I’ve always admired Gary V for his brutal honesty when it comes to the dark side of entrepreneurship and depression. Everyone wants to be your friend when what you’re working on…is working, and they all ghost the moment things are not.
It’s been about two years since I have been single and as I work from home, there have been times when I literally haven’t uttered a single word out loud to another human being for days.
I was in what some call Monk Mode, focusing on reinventing and becoming the best version of myself, and do believe I succeeded at this agenda for a solid year, but something happened I wasn’t prepared for…I achieved the desired results, yet those results didn’t make me feel fulfilled.
I was expecting to feel happy, motivated, inspired, invigorated and ready to take on the next chapter, but I turned the page…the following page was blank. It’s been blank for half a year.
I consider myself an independent person and do identify as an introvert. I require my alone time to refuel, in order to play well with others…but this isolation was becoming unhealthy.
I consider myself a Foodie, in the sense that I like to cook, and enjoy eating healthy. I don’t like going out to eat because I’ve worked in enough restaurants over the years to realize the crap people are passing off as food these days, generally isn’t fit for human consumption…and you’re being ripped off in the process.
The flip-side, cooking for one, for every meal of the day, every day, becomes tiresome. I woke up the other day and realized I just have to get out and be more social…my sanity depends on it.
A long time ago, I bookmarked a spreadsheet someone made on Google Docs, that breaks down all the local restaurants by city, day of the week, and what food/drink specials they offer. I decided to put this to use.
Monday, I went to the WAB. I stopped going there after they changed the menu because they got rid of my favorite item, chicken tacos. But they recently brought back 1/2 off food Mondays, so I decided to give it another shot. Almost everything on their new menu is bread related, which I’m trying to avoid. I opted for the Antipasto salad with Dijon Vinaigrette, and decided this is going to be my new go-to menu item when I dine here. Only problem was no one was there. A few people, but I only spoke to the bartender to tell her my order and that I didn’t need anything else. The goal here is to be more social and interact with humans.
Tuesday, I went to The Emory, they have $6 burgers & fries. Not exactly what I’m trying to eat, but it does taste good. Sports was on, so a few people where out, but they were all watching & yelling at the TV, and I don’t know why they care. Again, I didn’t speak to anyone except the young lady who took my order. At least I got her name and we shook hands. I don’t really count interactions with hospitality as “being social” as it’s their sole purpose to be courteous to you, but at least I got out of the house.
Wednesday, I see that Rosie O’Grady’s has 1/2 off pizza. Great, more junk food, but oh well. I haven’t spent much time at this new location, but used to frequent before they moved. I grab a seat at the bar, people are singing karaoke (pretty well actually) and there are way too many TVs, but I just choose not to look at them. I grab a Metrotimes to see if there’s any interesting events to keep in mind, and order a pizza.
A young woman pulls up a stool next to me, and I make room for her to squeeze in. She asks what I’m drinking, I notice she has an accent, I tell her Labatt and recommend it because it’s not made with preservatives. I make this point specifically because my friends from overseas often complain about not being able to drink American Beer because of the preservatives…Indeed. She orders one.
Her name is Ronnie, she’s from Israel, and she’s here studying diseases at Beaumont Hospital on some international medical program. She leaves in two months. She’s petite, maybe five feet tall, and homely…natural, no makeup, obviously not much attention is being considered in the vanity department. Like, her eyebrows haven’t crossed paths with a pair of tweezers…ever. Not judging, just observing.
Karaoke stops and the room goes quiet for a while. I notice someone setting up turntables and a laptop. Ronnie orders some kind of gross looking pretzel things with a dipping sauce, and she asks me, “So…what are you doing here? I thought this was supposed to be Ladies-Only-Night.”
Apparently, the first Wednesday of the month is Lesbian Night, and the LGBTQ community knows this, but it’s not advertised to the public on their website or print marketing.
Now we’re both laughing at how clearly out of place I am in this environment as the clientele fills the venue becoming more butch as the evening progresses. We bond over our mutual loneliness. Ronnie tells me that it’s too bad she’s not straight. I tell her I’ll be her wingman. Eventually this girl wreaking of Old Spice, and a boy’s haircut from any random emo band from 2000-and-whatever tried hitting on her, but Ronnie said she had too many tattoos. Ronnie kept standing on the bar stool to peek over the bar at the dance floor to see if it was filling up. All she wanted to do was dance, and meet another girl. It was so cute. Eventually, the floor filled, Ronnie got her groove on and I felt like I made a real connection with an actual breathing human being IRL for the first time in forever.
After a good hour on the dance floor, Ronnie left alone. Finishing my beer, two beautiful women practically sat on top of me at the bar. My arrogance naturally assumed they were sending choosing signals my way. Nope. Next thing I know, they start making out, and I really wanted to watch because their passion was real….then I realized they weren’t doing this for my attention…I didn’t exist.
It’s bizarro when you go out to eat for dinner with the intention of being social & meet new people and a gay bar systematically pops up around you in real time. It almost felt like I was being Punk’d, except it’s really not that big of a deal…perhaps it would have been to my grandmother.
It’s now Thursday and after going out three nights in a row, I’ve decided to be introverted this evening. I don’t think I accomplished whatever it is I’m trying to achieve. I ate mediocre food and spent money I didn’t need to spend, and briefly interacted with one human I’ll never see again. I don’t even know what I’m trying to accomplish with posting this publicly. I suppose I wish I had someone to share this story with because I think it’s funny…yet I can’t bring myself to participate in the only setting people I know and care about interact with these days = social networks. I understand the utility, but you fuckers eat, shit & breathe there & it’s all so uninteresting.
I’ll just wait here for you all to stop triggering dopamine-driven feedback loops and maybe we’ll interact IRL again soon…