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If you’ve met someone online…

…made plans to meet up for a first date

…but then after you’ve made those plans, the person says or does something creepy (or racist) that makes you reconsider…

IT IS OKAY TO JUST CANCEL.

Use a text medium (preferably the dating site itself):

“Dear (Name), I’ve changed my mind about meeting up in person and am writing to cancel our plans. So sorry for the short notice. I wish you well. Your Name.”

No further explanation needed. You don’t have to tutor them about what they did to annoy you. Send and disengage.

They will react how they react. Rejection never feels great, but a good reaction is “Wow, that’s sad but I understand & wish you well, too” + leaving you alone.

If they react with extreme anger or clinginess or “you’re just like all flakes who always cancel on me” (typecasting), or demands for a chance or for reasons, think of it not as “you making them angry and owing them a correction.” Rather, they are confirming your instincts to not meet them. You changed your mind about meeting up. THAT IS THE REASON. YOU ALREADY GAVE IT. Don’t respond, block them everywhere.

“But,” you say, “I flirted with them!”

“But they told me a lot of personal stuff/I told them some personal stuff!”

“But we’ve been texting a lot, I am worried they will think I am rude or that I led them on if I just bail”

They might think that you are rude. So, do you want to tell them you don’t like them *during* the awkward date? Or afterward? Cancel! Cancel now and risk that someone you have already decided you don’t like won’t like you anymore!

I’ll go back to regularly scheduled posting of questions, but these were piling up and some of you are on deadlines with looming weekend dates to cancel. Cancel away, my friends!

——————————

 

Winter Pledge Drive Week is in effect. Maintaining the blog takes about 30 hours weekly when you add in comment moderation and it’s a big help to have your support. If you’re able to send a few dollars, feel free to use Paypal (welcometoawkwardtown@gmail.com) or contribute via Dwolla or Cash.me. Thanks for your generosity and thank you always for reading.

 

 

I woke up to the BEST update, y’all.

THE BEST.

LW 764 is safely out of their relationship & situation. I won’t include their whole message since it has some potentially identifying details, but I wanted to share this part with the community:

“…the discussions on the Friends of Captain Awkward forums and a lengthy discussion with the National Domestic Violence hotline (not to mention the unwavering support of friends and family who saw Partner’s abuse years before I did) really have helped me make this huge step. My physical health is already MUCH better, despite living out of a suitcase for the time being. I’m incredibly sad, sometimes rageful, but mostly relieved and excited to start the next chapter of my life, living alone. Thank you.”

I know I’m not the only person who has been thinking about you these past few months. May your new life be amazing.

 

 

 

Dear Captain Awkward,

I wrote letter #243: Mother’s Day: Not Always a Holiday and…Biological Mom passed away suddenly last weekend.

I can’t pretend my relationship with Biological Mom wasn’t fraught with heartache, disappointment, and a lot of sadness…but her sudden death has brought the painful emotions of the abuse, the disappointment of choices, questioning the boundaries I set…so many simultaneous and interchangeable rounds of sheer sadness, deep anger, and complete numbness.

Enough time had passed that our relationship had leveled off to a distant, but nice status quo. Nothing had been resolved nor were there any apologies, but she was respecting my boundaries. I was even thinking about inviting her to come visit my out of state home.

But now she’s fucking gone. Gone.

Now, what do I do about funeral arrangements? How do I work with her husband, a fucking sexual predator, to give her the proper funeral and send-off? How do I support my older sisters who did not experience the abuse while not compromising my own heavily conflicted grief?

So far the husband/step dad has been open and allowing me to participate and giving me reasonable space to be involved, but not directly interact with him.

I’m clinging tight to my twin and my Dad who understand, but I feel so lost.

Afterwords I’m going to track down a therapist, I promise.

-Missing My Moms

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From Kate in London:

Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, SE1 8XX near Waterloo station, 16th January, 11amonwards.

For an awesome new year – please bring anything with you which you think is awesome, from a youtube link to an object of your choice, or a book you want to share.

This venue is working out really well.

PLEASE NOTE – the food market is closed this week, so please bring your own things if needed.

They sell food in a cafe (standard sandwiches etc.), but they also don’t mind people bringing food in from outside.

Meet on the fourth floor, outside the Blue Bar (go up in the JCB lift, lift 7, which is bright yellow and quite musical).

Here is the internal map of the Royal Festival Hall: http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/sites/default/files/documents/RFH_map.pdf

I will have my Cthulhu with me, which looks like this: http://forbiddenplanet.com/3950-cthulhu-baby-plush/  One time I forgot it but I will do my best this time, however if I forget again I will put up a sign. I have long brown hair and glasses.

The venue is accessible via a lift, and has accessible toilets.  Waterloo tube station has step free access on the Jubilee line but not on the Northern line.

The London Awkward group has a Facebook page, which is here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/549571375087294/.  There is also a thread in the new forums for saying hello.

My email is Kate DOT Towner AT Gmail DOT com

(February meetup will be on the 13th.)

Cheers,
Kate

From “peregrinations” in San Francisco:

San Francisco Bay Area Awkwardeer Meetup!

When: Sunday, January 17 at 2 pm

Where: PIQ in Berkeley
91 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704 (Google Maps link below)
1.5 blocks from Downtown Berkeley BART station (on Fremont-Richmond and Richmond-Daly City/Millbrae lines)

What: Bay Area Awkwardeer meetup! Feel free to bring knitting, crafts, books, or just yourself

About PIQ: PIQ is a bakery, cafe and pizzeria with a wide range of meat-based, vegetarian, and vegan options, and it looks like they have a couple salads for gluten-free folks as well. They have a big open floor plan with lots of seating, a reasonably quiet atmosphere (good for talking), and are handicap accessible. Bike parking available, street parking for cars.
PIQ’s website: http://www.piqbakery.com/#!berkeley/c19ux
Menu: http://www.piqbakery.com/#!menu/c12bi
Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/piq-bakery-berkeley

How to find us:
I’ll be wearing a bright red and gold Pashmina scarf, and will make a foldover sign saying “CA Meetup” to put on the table. I’ll be seated inside.

For more info:
Feel free to pm me here, or email me at peregrinations74@gmail.com.

Hope to see you next weekend!

Google Maps link:https://www.google.com/maps/place/PIQ+Berkeley/@37.8713581,-122.2680894,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x67bb26f229ac728d?sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjttO25i6DKAhUIeD4KHdbWCQUQ_BIIezAK

Have a great time!

 

Ahoy Captain,
I was hoping you could give me some scripts for internal use only.

A few years ago I was in medical school in city A. In my final year, I failed my exams & had to repeat the last semester – and know this sounds ridiculous (“the worst thing to happen in your whole life is failing an exam, you lucky, over-privileged jerk?”), but I have never felt worse, more devastated and humiliated, in my life before or since. I was the only failure in my year, & all my friends graduated without me. Ultimately, I graduated at the end of the semester, have been a doctor for several years, and my supervisors give me satisfactory reports. My self-confidence was not-so-great for a while and I have issues with anxiety. But a year ago I moved away to work at City B Hospital. It was a natural progression based on my experience, but I was entrusted with more responsibility, less supervision, learned a lot and people tell me my confidence has noticeably increased.

This year I’ll be moving back to work at City A Hospital, for many excellent reasons, not least because they will be giving me a type of position I’ve been trying to get for the last 2 years, and necessary for getting onto the training program for the speciality I’m interested in. I’m looking forward to this move on the whole, but I’m worried about how I’ll deal with seeing my old friends, many of whom still work there. They are not the problem – they were and still are great to me. But most of them are registrars now (kind of a middle-management position) while I’ll still be a junior. I’m worried that, working with these guys, probably being told what to do by them sometimes (as part of our jobs), I’ll start thinking what a loser I am again. I already feel a little depressed when I hear about one of them passing an exam or getting a promotion (because I am a terrible person). I mean, I try to tell myself stuff like “They know more than you because they’ve been studying for specialty exams / they’re further along because they had a head-start /it’s not a crime to take longer to progress in your career – that doesn’t make you a loser”. But then I go “Yeah, but they didn’t fail and you did, therefore all of that must be interpreted in the worst possible light – so you kind of are.”. 

Captain, have you got any other suggestions for how to convince my self-doubt to STFU?

Thanking you in advance,

Doc With Doubt

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Sadness from Inside Out lying on the floor with the text "I'll just lie here until tomorrow."

Sadness from Inside Out lying on the floor with the text “I’ll just lie here until tomorrow.”

If you are feeling down at this time of year, this is your thread for general chitchat and commiseration. (If you love the holidays, there’s a thread just for you).

What you should know about comment moderation, in addition to general community rules:

  • I am grading final projects and traveling and seeing family & friends and not paying much attention to the blog.
  • Therefore, I’m closing questions for the time being, opening them again in the new year.
  • The spam trap eats perfectly good comments and no one knows why. I’ll fish ’em out when I can, but it might not be quick.

2016 is right around the corner. May we all make it there in one piece. <3

London is meeting up December 12. The news from Kate:

Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, SE1 8XX near Waterloo station, 12th December, 11am onwards.

It will be our 3rd anniversary, and 37th meetup, believe it or not.

To celebrate our anniversary / Christmas / winter / festival of your choice, please bring food to share. Bring anything you like, whether Bake-Off standard or a packet of crisps, but please also bring the list of ingredients so that people can avoid foods if they need to.

If you’re bringing something messy please also bring paper plates / napkins!

This venue is working out really well.

They sell food in a cafe (standard sandwiches etc.), but they also don’t mind people bringing food in from outside. There are several other local places where you can buy stuff as well. The excellent food market outside has loads of different food options, which can fit most food requirements, or you can also bring a packed lunch.

Meet on the fourth floor, outside the Blue Bar (go up in the JCB lift, lift 7, which is bright yellow and quite musical).

Here is the internal map of the Royal Festival Hall: http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/sites/default/files/documents/RFH_map.pdf

I will have my Cthulhu with me, which looks like this: http://forbiddenplanet.com/3950-cthulhu-baby-plush/  One time I forgot it but I will do my best this time, however if I forget again I will put up a sign. I have long brown hair and glasses.

The venue is accessible via a lift, and has accessible toilets.  Waterloo tube station has step free access on the Jubilee line but not on the Northern line.

The London Awkward group has a Facebook page, which is here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/549571375087294/.  There is also a thread in the new forums for saying hello.

My email is Kate DOT Towner AT Gmail DOT com

(January meetup will be on the 16th.)

Cheers,
Kate

Can’t believe it’s been three years!

Northern Virginia Awkward folks are also meeting up, 12/15. Your host, Creative Cat, has this to say:

Dear Captain & Awkward Army,

I’m hosting an Awkwardeers meet-up in Northern Virginia. I realize it’s the holiday season and thus super busy, but I’m hoping other people want a break from faaaaamily or obligatory seasonal parties as well.

Time is crunched for everyone, so I’m picking what works for me. However I’m planning to do this again, so don’t worry if you can’t make it this time.

When: Tuesday, December 15 from 11 am to 2 pm
Where: Breeze Bakery and Cafe, Annandale, VA
RSVP: none required, but if you have questions you can reach me via @untonuggan on Twitter

We’ll be on the ground floor. Look for the person with knitting (or spinning or piles of yarn) and the sign that says “Awkwardeers Meet-up.” I will bring some coloring supplies. You are welcome to participate in coloring or whatnot, or do something more introverted like polishing up your NaNo draft.

Accessibility (for those who need to plan):

– the ground floor is wheelchair accessible via the parking lot (which has just added more space), and the bathroom I’ve been in was *clean* and also relatively accessible (it’s a small single-stall bathroom, and I don’t know why they didn’t just omit the stall doors and make life easier for everyone.)
– you can reach Breeze via I-495 if you travel from DC/MD by car; there are also certain 29 Metro Buses (Hummer/Heritage and Little River Turnpike Stop). It’s also super close to NVCC Annandale campus, and not far from GMU-Fairfax.
– some baked goods can be purchased for about $2, and they have gelato and sandwiches and coffee. Purchases under $5 require cash. If you have allergies, you may need to watch out for things like butter, nuts and gluten. There are some pre-packaged items, though, like San Pelligrino.
– if you bring electronics, be aware that there are NO plugs to charge them

Hope to see you there!

Have the best time!

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