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From organizer Michelle:

Hey Captain,

Just writing to say that after a several month hiatus, the Twin Cities meetup is coming back this weekend! This month’s meetup will be at Common Roots Cafe in Uptown Minneapolis, Saturday the 23rd from 1-4. I will be bringing my coloring books and crayons. Feel free to bring other activities as well. I will try and sit towards the front, but failing that I will be wearing a rainbow scarf.

The website is http://commonrootscafe.com/, and it is at Lyndale and 26th Ave.

Please email me at mmanson413 at gmail dot com if you have a question or want to RSVP. Hope to see you all there!

Have an enjoyable time!

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I’m still writing fanfic masked as advice columns for Indiewire, so if you are interested, check out the recent columns for Orange Is The New Black (what do you do when your friend is telling an big & obvious lie but you don’t want to rock her fragile mental state) and today’s Halt & Catch Fire piece (what do you do when you’ve slept with the boss and your coworkers are making a fuss?). What (currently running) TV show should we tackle next?

Map of Buffalo NY

Image source: Town Map USA

I’m traveling without reliable internet access until Monday, which is a good thing for me, but a bad thing for cleaning out the spam filter or moderating comments. Thanks for your patience while I take a small break to see good friends.

I’m messing about with WordPress themes again for the next few days. The only way to see how they will really work is to “apply” them and try them out for a day or so. Please do not derail ongoing discussions to comment on graphics changes, thank you.



From reader DigitalTart:

Chicago Meetups are a Thing Again Sort Of!

Date: Saturday, 5/17/2014

Time: 3:00pm

Location: The Chicago Cultural Center Lobby (1st floor), 78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602.

Transportation: By CTA, a whole slew of busses and trains. By Metra/Electric District/South Shore Line, Millenium Station. By car not recommended due to obscenely high cost of parking.

Activities: Let’s look at some art! The CCC has both rotating and permanent exhibitions. I’ll find a table in the lobby and stake out for a while, then when we’ve collected a few people we can head upstairs to the galleries if there’s enough interest. The cafe has permanently closed but I believe outside food and beverages are allowed in the mingling areas but not the galleries.

How to Find Me: I’ll be wearing a shiny purple dress and will have a big sign saying ‘The Awkward Table’.

SPECIAL BONUS ACTIVITY: The Windy City Rollers are having their championship that day as well, and I will be going to the game at 6pm to support my girlfriend on the Manic Attackers.

Nice! I’m so glad that local people are planning these.


Details from your host, A.:

“Hi Awkward community,
There will be a meetup for Melburnian awkward people and associated nerds on May 11. The location is the same as last time, Jimmi Jamz on Lygon (http://www.eastbrunswick.jimmijamz.com/). I’ll be around from about 3pm to about 4:30pm, with a copy of Hark! A Vagrant on my table. There’s tasty pizza (and other food, but pizza!), coffee, and alcohol. It’s fairly accessible, kid friendly, and public transport friendly–plus parking on a Sunday is fairly painless.
Please feel free to bring friends, small children, books, crafts, and interesting facts.”
Enjoy the day!

A christmas ornament that combines a star and the Texas flag.

As you read this, I’m either on my way or already in Texas and will be there about 10 days visiting boyfriend’s family. It’s his first Christmas home in years and years (the curse of the retail worker), so his mom is pretty darn excited about it.

I’ll have irregular, “reading this on my phone” internet access. I’ll do my best to clean the spam filter periodically, but I’m closing questions for a bit so I don’t come back to a pile-up. Twitter will probably be the easiest way to reach me if you need something quick, and the forums will likely be hopping.

In the meantime, I wish you happy (Happyish? Coping? At least there’s decent liquor/one nice person I can talk to here?) winter holiday of the next week or so. We’ll talk again in 2014.




Dear Captain Awkward (And Awkwardeers),

I’ve been in a fantastic relationship with my partner for a few years now. He’s incredibly supportive of my mental health, and

Kinky and Healthy are two different - but not mutually exclusive - things

Not an effective fighting strategy.

complements my personality perfectly. However, and this may seem a silly concern, I’m worried about the fact that we never argue. Basically, I’m concerned that this might mean that we aren’t communicating well enough.

We have had disagreements, but usually that happens when I say something that’s concerning me and he agrees with whatever I’m saying. It’s not really an argument because he quickly turns around to my way of thinking. Or, less often, he would air an issue and I would see it as reasonable and agree to help fix it. And for a while, this was great! I felt that our relationship must be going amazingly because we never argue!
But the thing is, I’m now sort of scared about what will happen if we ever do fight. Because when we haven’t even really had any of the little arguments, who knows what will happen if we end up in a big argument? Because surely it can’t always happen that we just agree with the other person’s opinion. What about when we have to start making big decisions like whose job dictates which city we live in? Whether we have kids?
And I’ve noticed that I’ve started avoiding conflict because it’s got to a point where I’m scared of The Fight. The Fight seems to me to be this big inevitable thing looming that sooner or later we both have to deal with… and I don’t know how I’ll handle The Fight. So sometimes, I don’t mention things that upset me because I don’t want to lead to a fight. And that means I’m kind of bottling up grievances which I know full well isn’t healthy. We have an amazing relationship, but I’ve always thought that good relationships were about dealing with the bad as well as the good, and what if it takes us years to realise that we can’t handle the bad?
It’s not like everything’s been sunshine and roses. As I mentioned earlier, he’s been great with my mental health, but that means that he does the majority of the housework, as well as working, and although I’m working hard to be able to contribute more, it’s something that definitely hangs over me. I think the guilt from knowing that he basically just cares for me a lot of the time also means that I’ve stopped talking about things he does that sometimes upsets me, because I feel like I don’t deserve to be unhappy with anything he does when he’s great and supportive and puts so much time, and effort, into making our home a safe place for me. As well as trying to avoid The Fight. And I feel like, hey, I’ll have forgotten the bad thing he said tomorrow, so why argue about it now? It’s probably just me being over sensitive anyway, right? But what actually happens is that it still hurts tomorrow, just feels too late for me to bring it up, so just gets added to the pile of Things That Hurt Me. 
(Note: the things he says aren’t generally actually nasty things but just things that are badly worded and hurt my feelings. For example: “you’re looking beautiful today! I think that dress makes you look thin” and like I’m certain he means well but I’d rather be able to accept the fact that I’m not thin rather than feel like his image of me on beautiful rests on his image of me as thin, y’know?)
Basically, how can I call him out on things that make me sad at the time? I kind of need a method to use when usually I’d just lose my nerve and stay quiet because I’m now kind of really fearing conflict. 
And what if The Fight does happen and we end up having a big argument, either now or in the future? How will I be able to convince myself that this isn’t the end of the world and that our relationship has the potential to survive that, when so far it’s been built on a foundation of mostly harmony and agreement? I feel like we’ve been constructed by all our friends as The Couple Who Never Fight, The Perfect Couple, and I’m scared of realising that we’re not.
~~Conflict Avoidant

Seattle is meeting up on December 4:

Hello, Captain! I’m writing because Seattle Attic (http://seattleattic.com – that makerspace a few of us started after meeting through your blog) is hosting a Captain Awkward Seattle meetup!
  • When: Wednesday, December 4 at 7:30PM
  • Where: Seattle Attic – suite 605 in the Pioneer Building. Entrance is on James across from the Merchant Cafe, dial “Attic” on the call box and the door will open.
  • What: Cocoa and conversation! I’m feeling festive, and every year I set myself the enormous task of writing holiday cards to all of my friends and family – I’d like to do that with some fun activity and good people around!
There will be food, there will be seasonally-appropriate warm beverages. Bring your own greeting cards/project or just come play a game or chat about Awkward things!
Please email info@seattleattic.com or tweet @Seattle_Attic if you have any questions.

Additionally, Captain, if you feel so inclined – perhaps you’d be interested in linking to the Indiegogo campaign the Attic is currently running? It can be found here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/launch-seattle-attic

And there’s a great writeup about us on io9 here: http://observationdeck.io9.com/help-fund-a-feminist-makerspace-in-seattle-1467872208

Yay for Seattle Attic and what sounds like a very fun meetup!

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