So, we went to the Austin Labor Day BBW Bash dance on Saturday. It was the same routine we've done a mess of times before - spend time and energy making ourselves pretty so we can go pay entrance at the door and then deal with a cash bar. Loud music, people everywhere. This time though, I think it felt truly empty for the first time.
I always enjoy seeing old friends that I don't keep in touch with - that was never the problem. In fact, it's the primary reason I even decided to go to the dance and not puss out like I wanted to on Friday night. But as we were sitting there, and I was having more fun making the toy animals on the table do perverted things to one another, it struck me deeply...
I don't enjoy socializing anymore.
I don't like meeting new people, having the same conversations over and over. I don't like feeling as though I have to be pretty and funny and entertaining for strangers. When the Austin BBW Bash group held St. Patrick's Day and Memorial Day events, we went, but the experience was the same. I walked away feeling as though I paid money for something that didn't entertain me, so why go? Even Chris mentioned to me last month after JenMarie's birthday party that I didn't seem like I was having any fun because I didn't talk to anyone there, either.
I know that in large part, my "shyness" around strangers is due mostly to embarassment over the poor condition of my teeth, but I also think I may be hiding behind that excuse because I've hermitized over the last couple years. I rarely go out anymore unless it's with my friends. With gas prices being so high, I don't really leave the house too much, except for weekly girls' nights and trips to see Mom.
It's frustrating for me personally to go to these big events anymore. I feel as though I have some kind of "responsibility to the BBWs" to attend functions and go through the ordeal to present a nice package for display. Maybe it's just me, but I think that feeling runs through a lot of us (and by us, I mean the BBWs who did any modeling or professional work) and that's why we make the effort that we do, to look good and put on our faces for the crowd. We get stares and lewd comments. Our assets are photographed (usually without consent, in my experience) and we're thanked for our money and service to the community. Whatever.
Maybe that's why I don't like socializing at the events with strangers. I feel the weight of the looks when we enter the room - the men like to ogle, and the women... well, I don't know why they stare. Reasons could be numerous, I suppose, but the end result is that I feel seperated from the group because of it. Like I'm not a real person anymore. The vibe I have gotten a few times in the past is that some of them think I must not face the same problems they do, or that my life is somehow easier than theirs. Because I'm tall and fair skinned and perceived to be better-looking than they? I don't know. I speculate, probably incorrectly, but that's how it strikes me at the time of this entry.
I know I used to really enjoy going out with the BBW groups. We used to have a BLAST at clubs and houseparties. Even the bash used to be something I looked forward to, unlike the events I now dread.
Have I changed, or did they?
I don't know. Right now I have more questions than answers and probably need to spend some time sorting it all out. Until then, however, I'm staying in my hidey-hole and I'm not coming out. You can't make me!