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Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Performance Anxiety

The Handsome Prince (who will actually read this entry since he saw his name at the beginning) had houseguests last night. His cool sister (he has three - they're all cool) came over and had a dinner party with friends. THP's eleven-year old niece cracks me up. When telemarketers call, she answers the phone and responds to the marketer's pitch with, "I'm 11 years old. Get fucked," and hangs up.

I have a wine rack that is nearly empty, so I've been trying to buy an extra bottle of wine whenever I can so that I can fill it up. But THP derailed that plan last night. It's empty again. His dinner guests went through a lot of wine. I really want to be sarcastic and funny about it, but the truth is that he's welcome to anything I have (except for that one bottle of Port that I'm saving to share with my soulmate, whoever that turns out to be).

I wasn't in the mood to party last night. It's unusual for me to miss a party, but I just wanted to be alone. After work I went to CC Slaughters for a couple drinks. I sat by myself and didn't engage in conversation, or even eye contact, with anyone. Sometimes I notice guys sitting all alone at the bar, and I feel sorry for them. I think maybe they are lonely. But last night I was one of those guys, and I was really hoping nobody I knew would be at the bar. For some reason I wanted to be out in public, but I also wanted to be left alone.

When I got home, I spent most of the night in my room. In spite of the laughter I could hear coming from "The Vortex", I chose solitude. I think it's because I just needed to recharge. When you are a person who likes to entertain, who enjoys making people laugh, who has a reputation for being extremely social, there is a certain pressure (self-imposed) to perform. When I don't feel funny or witty or smart, I avoid social situations because I don't want to let anybody down. I realize that my friends don't expect me to always be "on" - but I have come to expect that from myself. I hate feeling boring, and that's how I felt last night.

Come to think of it, even blogging has a certain social pressure, and I sort of feel that same performance anxiety about writing today. I regret very much that today's post may not be entertaining. Unlike many bloggers, I am not blogging only for myself. I'm blogging to connect - to relate to others - to build community - to entertain. Well, all is not lost. Maybe just admitting my performance anxiety will strike a chord with someone else. Maybe it will be a way for us to connect. Maybe making people laugh isn't the best thing I have to offer.

Instead of standing on the table with a lampshade on my head, I'm going to sit over here in the corner sipping a glass of wine. Oh, scratch that. We're out of wine. Okay, I'll have a vodka tonic, but if you're in the mood for a quiet chat and don't mind if I have nothing funny to say, feel free to come sit with me.

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