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Hello Chicago!

This is an event co-hosted by the Chicago Game Lovers Meetup, Geek Bar Beta, and me. We are trying out a thing. Read on for more info.

Date: Thursday, November 13

Location: Geek Bar Beta, 1941 W. North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622

Time: 6pm-11pm

Event name: Awkward Meet & Geek

Description: Put on a clean shirt and come out to play games and meet some new people at this low-key event for single people sponsored by Geek Bar Chicago and Chicago Game Lovers hosted by Captain Awkward. More details below!

Who can come to this event?

Anyone over the age of 21.

Is this speed dating?

Nope. We’ll have board games like Settlers of Catan, Battlestar Galactica, and King of Tokyo, some video games like Super Smash Bros. Melee and Pokemon Stadium, and some art supplies and coloring books so you’ll have something to talk about and do with your hands. We’ll also have little cards you can fill out with your contact information, like so:

“Hi, my name is ___________. I really liked _________________(playing x game/coloring/geeking out) with you and I’d love to hang out again sometime. If we did get together, I would like it to be a (check one) _______ DATE-date/_______ FRIEND-date. If you’d like to get in touch you can reach me at _____________@________________________.”

If you like someone, you can fill out a card and awkwardly hand it to them before you (or they) leave. They may email you. They may not – there is absolutely no obligation! The idea is to make a low-key and friendly event where everyone can meet some new people without any pressure or “hitting on” (please see Geek Bar’s anti-harassment policy) needing to take place.

Is this for straight people only?

Nope!

What if no one of my preferred gender or orientation shows up?

SOME nice people of some sort will show up, and you’ll play games with them, and it will be a pretty fun night out of your house.

What else should we know?

There’s a full bar serving both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and a menu of awesome food you can order. Also, you can sign up for a free 10-minute consult with Captain Awkward or Geek Bar’s Fleet Admiral David Zoltan. Discuss your dating hopes and woes, get some fresh eyes and perspectives on your online dating profile, or let us take a few recent, flattering photos of you.

I’m scared it will be awkward.

We are (wo)men of action, and lies do not become us: It will probably be awkward, for the first 5-10 minutes. Putting yourself out there as ‘I am single and actively looking’ is awkward and vulnerable. It’s also an incredibly brave and wonderful thing to do. If you come to this thing, you may not meet the R2 to your Threepio, but you won’t be alone.

Meetup Members can RSVP at the Meetup Event Page, you can RSVP in comments here, or you can decide to roll on in at the last minute – no worries. There’s no cover charge. I hope to see some of your smiling faces there to keep me company and play games.

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Hello! I am in possession of some…interesting…information regarding my brother’s new wife, and I’m not sure what, if anything, to share with my family.

My brother had a pretty nasty divorce a few years ago and hadn’t dated much since, so we were all excited to meet his new girlfriend earlier this year. Within the next three months, they announced they were pregnant and got married. While it’s definitely fast, everyone seems happy, so yay!

Here’s where it gets weird: I got an email (to an address using my maiden name that I rarely use) this summer, from a man who claims to be my new sister-in-law’s ex-boyfriend from her time in another country.

It’s a pretty rambling, incoherent email with some screenshots of text messages between them — where she is clearly trying to brush him off. He asks me to tell her to “apologize” to him and “recognize what [she] did to me” by ending their (alleged) long distance relationship in favor of my brother. He knew about their marriage and the baby on the way, and knew that I was my brother’s sister. I was so disturbed by the email, and I responded, angrily, to say leave me alone and leave my family alone.

About a month later, he sent another email-o-nonsense Again, I responded, saying he was to stop contacting me, and I set up an email filter to send everything to the trash.

My husband and I talked about it, extensively, and decided to keep it to ourselves. The text message screenshots he sent me weren’t incriminating at all, and the only thing my sister in law was guilty of (if even that) was texting short answers to his questions.

However, I get another email this week. It’s from a different email address, but on the same topic, and the content of the message makes me think it’s the same person.

Now I’m struggling with my self-imposed vow of silence to my family. I see that this person viewed me on LinkedIn — and I’m connected to my dad on LinkedIn, and my maiden name is pretty unique. I’m worried he’s contacted my parents, and I have to admit this is setting off some alarm bells about my new sister-in-law.

However, there’s a baby on the way and they seem happy, and I don’t know if saying something about the emails helps anything except not having to keep this secret anymore. I do know that my sister in law has changed phone numbers recently with the explanation that an ex had been contacting her frequently.

Also, I know I shouldn’t respond, but man, these emails piss me off.

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Closing comments because, WTF, people? 

LW, your coworkers are not going to care about this that much. It’s gonna be fine.

 

Hi Captain!

I changed careers and started a job in a brand new field about a year ago.  Around the same time, I started dating someone new.  I kept quiet about my new relationship at work for a few reasons:

  • Being new on the job, I didn’t know my coworkers so well, and I wanted to get a better sense of the culture around personal talk at my company.
  • I didn’t have a great sense of whether or not the relationship would be a long-term thing or just a fling.
  • I identify as a lesbian.  I’m dating a guy.  All my coworkers are straight.

A year later, I’m pretty invested in the relationship.  My community has been supportive and wonderful; everyone I hang out with gets that identity, desire, and behavior are separate things.  It feels like I’m back in the closet at work though.  I initially came out to my coworkers as lesbian and haven’t told them I’m dating a guy just yet.  I play the Pronoun Game occasionally, or speak about “one of the people that I’m dating” in vague terms, and I’m tired of it — I’d like to come out and let people know.

My coworkers are warm, kind, respectful humans.  I am sure they have the capacity to understand, but I’m struggling to come up with the best way of explaining the situation.  Do you have any scripts?

Thank you so much!

Cheers,

Complicated Queer

 

 

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Organizers Mercy and cookie sent me the details:

We’re meeting up in Munich again! This time we’re back at Cafe Klenze, Tuesday, October 28th at 6pm. The cafe is open until 8pm on Tuesdays.

The address is:
Cafe Klenze, in der Alten Pinakothek, Barer Straße 27

It’s is on Tram line 27, the Schellingstr. stop, or the Pinakotheken stop of Bus line 100 (which runs between Hauptbahnhof and Ostbahnhof).

Website: http://www.victorianhouse.de/index.php?id=191

The café sells cake and small food stuff (soups, salads, quiche, bagels), but are fine with people only ordering drinks.

We have checked with the café, and they say it’s ok if you want to bring your own cake due to food allergies or the like, as long as you order the drinks there.

The green stuffed frog toy will be in attendance to help people identify the group.  :)

According to this website, the cafe is accessible, although the counter is poorly designed for people with wheelchairs:
http://www.cbf-muenchen.de/lokale-muenchen/lokal/klenze1

It has a ramp to the entrance and so does the building. There’s an accessible toilet, too.

You can come and join the meetup spontaneously, or let us know by sending an e-mail to munich-awkwardeers@rauschpfeife.net , or by posting in the Germany Thread of the FOCA forums (http://friendsofcaptainawkward.com/forum)

See you there!
Mercy and cookie

Caaaaaaaaaake.

Lucy inviting Charlie Brown to kick the football from Peanuts, by Charles Schultz

Seems legit

Dear Captain,

I am currently estranged from my sister. Growing up, we were home-schooled together and were extremely close. She was usually awesome, but once we became adults, she would sometimes become obsessively jealous of my time. As examples: she demanded that I apologize for calling my significant other on the phone without including her in a conference call because “it is incredibly hurtful to talk with a mutual friend without including me.” Or, she would not call me for weeks and then, when I wrote to say “hi”, she would lambast me for not contacting her earlier and demand an apology. Or she would demand an apology if I planned a social gathering and then invited her because, if I had REALLY wanted her there, I would have let her choose the activity. She always seemed to be keeping a secret tally of what she expected from me, and she’d either get nasty with me or give me the cold shoulder when I inevitably failed to meet her un-communicated expectations.

For many years, I basically just apologized to her every time she would bully me because I was pretty socially clueless and assumed that I just really sucked at friendships. However, I’ve since decided that this is Not Normal. I’ve tried communicating my problems to her, but she always says I am being too sensitive or unreasonable. After I came out as transgender, it all got much worse until I was definitely keeping her at arm’s length. Then, about this time last year, I invited her to my wedding. She responded with a nasty email telling me that she couldn’t come “this time” (this is my first marriage) because she had a long list of unspecified grievances against me that she had never shared with me before that I should have addressed before I invited her if I had REALLY intended her to feel welcome. When I told her she was being disrespectful, she replied that I was too easily offended and my wedding invitation was obviously just an “excuse to attack” her. I was pissed off and gave up, my wedding came and went without acknowledgment from her, and we haven’t really talked since.

A couple of months ago, after radio silence for almost a year, she sent a postcard with a normal, friendly message in it., apparently pretending that everything is fine. At this point, I’m done. I haven’t responded. Her birthday is coming up next month and I’m not planning on contacting her at all. I’m still angry and I’m absolutely not ready to deal with her. However, I can’t shake this nagging fear that I’m stooping to her level of giving the “cold shoulder” and harboring resentment and grievances that I’m not trying to work out with her. I don’t want to emulate her passive-aggressive behavior by punishing her with my silence. Is it fair for me to just leave the door firmly shut unless she’s willing to approach me with an apology and a real effort to change her behavior?

-Not passive-aggressive

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Captain Awkward,

I want my parents to get divorced.

There’s been a lot of unexpected changes from their marriage to today, but everything always seemed okay, at least topically.

But a big reason my mother married my father specifically was because he was a Christian. Recently, his views have changed, and he is an atheist. This is partially due to a domino effect from my coming out. I am an atheist as well, and my sister is Christian.

This has sort of put a spilt through family dynamics, because religion is a very large part of my mother and sister’s lives, and, in the case of my mother, recovery and dealing with mental illness. Non-religion is a very large part of my father and I’s lives, and, in my case, recovery and dealing with mental illness.

The atmosphere has been tense for weeks. They’ve been arguing, assuming things about each other, and their already very different personalities have started to seriously clash. I’m not sure my sister notices it, but my father has noticed that I’m noticing, and we’ve talked a little bit. He says he wishes I weren’t so perceptive. Right now I’m inclined to agree.

And it bothers me. More than that, it’s making my anxiety, feelings of guilt, and general mental state get significantly worse.

My father brought up “staying together for you kids”, but that kind of atmosphere is tugging at my seams. It’s stressful to watch, and I want it to stop. But… it’s not my relationship, and even if my father doesn’t feel the marriage is working out and is coming to terms with “the D word”, my mother denies the tension and seems to err on the side of marriage being held super importantly and not getting divorced unless things absolutely implode. Neither of them are faultless in this, not by a long shot, but if this carries on the way it is, to the point where someone breaks down or things and collide?

That implosion would hurt like hell for me. But I feel selfish that I want them to split up, at least partially for my sake. But I don’t want to relapse from stressful second-hand emotions. But it’s, above all, not my relationship.

How can we, as a family, discuss this and come to a solution? I have no idea what to say, or what to do, or if I should even do or say anything.

A Deer’s Divorce Dilemma

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