A month or so ago, I attended my first Girl Geek Ottawa dinner. Good food, great company, inspiring speakers; what more could a girl (and geek) ask for? Except that when I got there and looked around, I didn’t recognize anybody.

Some might be unphased by this. But I’m sure at least some of you can relate: The sinking stomach. The rising panic.

Etiquette gurus may beg to differ, but the advantage of a geek-gathering is that whipping out your smart phone is completely acceptable behaviour. So I did. And started at it intently. Tapped purposefully. And wondered how to make a mournful “Hellooo? Anybody here?” sound less lame. Because nonchalance is a lot easier in 140 characters.

But it was completley unnecessary: there, at the top of my stream, was

Did I just see @sasharambles at #ggdottawa ?

<cue angel chorus>

Hallelujah! Saved by the bird. I immediately whipped around, and spotted Sara. And made the first faux-pas of the evening by abandoning a table full of potential new friends for a one that didn’t even have an empty seat.

Especially amongst strangers, but even amongst friends, I frequently feel… awkward. And any brief moments of relaxation are swiftly followed by raging self doubt: what did I say? Did it come out right? Did I interrupt anybody? I’m a terrible interrupter. And while I can crank up the bluster on Twitter, in real life I can’t even fully relax at a spa tweet-up.

Although I’m willing to put in a little extra practice for that one.

But back to dinner. I ended up at a table with some very interesting women. And I couldn’t have done too badly, right? Because afterwards I got a very nice email from one of my table-mates. She said it was a pleasure meeting me, she hoped I enjoyed myself, and I skipped out on the bill so could I please send her 20 dollars?

Related Links

  • Twitter and Cliques. I loved this post. It came at a time when I was new to Twitter and still finding my way around. Lara, who is definitely a cool kid (and don’t let her tell you otherwise), reassures that “Even the cool kids feel like losers some times.”
  • Brie from Capital Mom has invited everyone to share their Monday Moments. And Sara (yes, that Sara), recently shared a moment that resonates here.
  • Party Mummy posted this guide to mingling online & off, just before YMC Winterlude. It came in handy then, I think I may read it again.