Weekend tales


My weekend was again quite social by my standards, so a success in a way. I was suffering from the effects of too much acupuncture until today – so four days of really low functioning. I already had plans with other people in place, so went ahead with them anyway, and it turned out OK.

Saturday I went to a dinner at a generic downtown restaurant with some people from the SA support group. I was seated between two women who I know fairly well, so we just chatted. It was too loud to hear what others at the table were saying, and I didn’t feel up to the effort of shouting across the table. I did feel a headache starting at the dinner, so it wasn’t without stress.

I find meals with people especially difficult due to childhood family problems at dinner I think – I was relentlessly criticized for my table manners and often had an unpleasant dinner time. I never felt severely anxious, but never actually relaxed and enjoyed myself either. It was kind of an exercise – here I am having dinner with a group and managing to chat. I’d like to go to a dinner and actually relax and positively enjoy myself. I’m not there yet. I used to avoid dinners – great, now I’m not avoiding. The next step is actual enjoyment – what a concept.

I went on to a singles dance with one of the women from the dinner. This was a low-key affair run by a fellow that usually does motivational type workshops through meetup. It was at a local Golden Griddle, fancied up with a disco ball and a DJ station. The theme was retro rock / disco.

Another event that was mainly good because I was scared to go. I’ve taken a few ‘swing’ lessons and I think I’ve had a salsa lesson, but I’ve forgotten anything I once knew. I do have a sense of rhythm though, so I can step and bounce to music. A few people knew how to dance properly, but a lot of people were like me, just bouncing around. The space was very small and crowded, so really, it didn’t matter.

I danced with the friend I came with and with the man that was sitting at out table. We danced three together. No one asked me to dance particularly, and that was fine. My gay friend asked me afterwards if there were any cute guys, and I had to admit, I didn’t really know. I didn’t really look for them. I was busy trying to talk with the man at our table, before I got overpowered by the volume of retro rock coming out of very poor speakers. My friend groaned to hear this. Note to self: Next time at a dance, look around a bit. What else are you there for??

The thing I’m there for is to face a fear of dances. That’s what I’m there for. Actual enjoyment will have to come later. And getting back home, I was kind of happy. Facing a fear and coming out alive will do that for you.

Sunday I attended a one-woman play at the Fringe festival, which is a festival of very small plays, usually by novice playwrights, though the one we saw was by someone well-known, Wallace Shawn, called Fever.

I’d invited everyone of my more recent acquaintances with any artistic tastes at all, thinking one or two would come. They all came but one! So there were six of us at this play, all there because of little ole me.

Fever is about a privileged urban woman’s growing realization of how her society is implicated in third world deprivation. She veers back and forth between her love of her own privileges – Xmas presents, Beethoven, beautiful houses, and the suffering of the other societies and classes that goes to pay for those privileges. She realizes that she has her riches because of the fighting and looting of her ancestors. There’s a complicated argument which I can’t quite reproduce here. The play is kind of breathless – a monologue that’s delivered pretty fast, so it was easy to miss bits here and there.

I believe this – that our good fortune as members of the first world rests on the backs of others and is more due to the luck of our birth than to our own efforts or just deserts. So for me, it was not a stretch to accept this, and I loved the play. It echoes my political views, and it was cleverly done.

The rest of my friends didn’t love it as much. One person outright rejected it as looking only on the dark side of life and showing a depressed woman. I thought the woman was waking up, this friend saw her as plunging into depression. Others had a more mixed reaction.

We went for tea and a treat to discuss. In any case, two people wrote me emails thanking me for the evening. A play like this expands your horizons, even if you don’t much enjoy the experience. Lucky me, I enjoy having my horizons expanded in this way.

Art from: Editorial Cartoon Blog & Painting

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