NSFW, a weekly comedy podcast I listen to, was putting on an event called SXSoWasted, a gathering of fans of the show that takes place during South by Southwest. Like most web shows, the community of fans (known as Diamond Club) are a great group of people. If there were an event I’d feel safe at, this would be it. I packed my bags and took the trip on up to Austin.
(Side note: Driving 200 miles in the rain on an 80 mph roadway while sick: not fun. Not fun at all.)
Leading up to the event, I made it known I was excited while anxious and nervous. Excited because I knew the event would be fun. Anxious and nervous because, well, I don’t do so well in the interacting department of life. There were some other issues that worried me too. First, large gatherings aren’t my thing. Second, when there are a bunch of people talking and I can’t hear the person next to me, I feel like an idiot, especially since my hearing isn’t that great to begin with. Finally, the event was taking place at bar. I feel awkward at bars, especially since I don’t really drink. (Show me a bunch of beer and liquor and I couldn’t tell you anything about them.)
Nonetheless, I got my butt on the MetroRail and went to the event. And then the nerves started kicking in. I tried to occupy myself by looking outside as the train took its rout. That wasn’t such a good idea when you have butterflies in your stomach and your seat is positioned in the opposite direction the train is moving. Since I wanted to keep whatever little bit of food I had in my stomach, my time was spent looking at the floor and trying to get a signal on my phone.
The 30 minute train ride to my destination sure is a lot faster when you have a thousand thoughts going through your head. Off the train I went and across the street to the venue. As I walked up, recognizing the familiar Diamond Club logo on a shirt, I fumbled out words asking if this were the location for SXSoWasted. I happily was greeted and welcomed in. I nodded my head and whimpered out a “Thank you” as I entered.
WOO! Achievement Unlocked! I made it! But that was only half of it.
There were a lot of familiar faces that I really only know from watching the show, but I didn’t personally know any of them. I already feel weird walking up to people and just saying “Hi”. I feel like a jerk if I were to do that while they were chatting with others and them not really knowing who I am. I just took my place against a wall, looked at my phone, and … well, that’s about it, really.
The crazy part is, all the people I recognized were all right there in front of or standing right beside me! When I walked in,
(one of the music acts that night) was at the entrance chatting it up. Where I stood for the first half of the night,
were at the table in front of me. The countless times show hosts
stood right beside me. Even well known chatrealmers vincent404 and
were standing in front of me most of the concert. Not once did I say “Hi” or introduce myself to any of them.
So why didn’t I say anything? They’re all good people. Anything I said wouldn’t have hurt. And that’s the prob. I could probably get out a “Hi” and a “I enjoy your work”, but after that, I could probably only make nonsensical sounds as I wouldn’t know what else to say. I’m a terrible conversationalist. I’m sure there are other issues as well that I haven’t recognized yet, but that’s definitely one of them. (I still blame those few years working at a help desk.)
I don’t consider this experience a total bust. I did get to enjoy some great and fun live music, for free no less! Well, minus a 200 mile drive, gas for the car, and money for the rail. But outside of that, free! Well, that, and the $10 tip I accidentally gave the bartender even though I never bought a drink. The bartender seemed like a nice guy, so maybe I meant to do that. Either way, it was still enjoyable and would do it again. Maybe next time, I might actually get out a syllable or two.