I went to a Superbowl party last night.
It's funny, when you're far from home, the things that make you realize that you're alone--I didn't care so much about about the Superbowl itself, and have skipped it altogether in years past, but it was the principle of the thing. I didn't have anybody to watch it with, if I wanted to. Which is how I ended up in my ("my" in the sense that I have been there three times now) church basement at 6:00 Sunday night, surrounded by strangers and snack foods.
I think I'm glad I went--I met some people around my age, and a couple of the girls invited me to their Sunday night "alternative" service and to their Monday-night dinner group in Arlington. And there's something to be said for just going, for getting out of the house and making an effort, just to say I did. But man--there is also something about walking into a room and not knowing a single person, and having to make something of it or just stand there and be awkward, that is horrifying. I'd forgotten what that's like, and if I'd given it any thought beforehand, I frankly might not have gone. Which, of course, is totally the wrong tack to take--it's painful, but it's necessary if I want to get a handle on my life here and actually meet some people (so as to avoid this same situation in future). I am pleased with myself for going. I also left during at the beginning of the fourth quarter to go home and recover from the sheer social exhaustion I'd brought on myself (...and to watch The Office; who am I kidding?).
It'll get easier soon. Right? Right.