I joined a local freelance writers meetup group. It’s through Yahoo Groups and there are lots of different meetups. The point for this group is to meet other freelancers, network, share ideas, etc. So far, we’ve met three times. The first time involved me, the organizer and her boyfriend, and a massage therapist. Apparently, the massage therapist just likes to go to ALL the meetups, whether or not he participated in the given meetup activity. I can only imagine when he goes to the Diannic Wiccan Meetup…
Last month it was just me and the organizer who, incidentally, invited me to join a fiction writers group which has met twice and is really fun.
This month, the organizer called in sickly and asked me to take over. So I was the substitute meeting coordinator. That meant I had a to make a little sign MEETUP LOUISVILLE FREELANCE WRITERS. There were four people who RSVP’d yes and I was the only one who showed. That doesn’t mean I was alone.
We meet in a coffee shop/bar/cafe which is really lovely except that it is generally overrun with law students armed with lattes and laptops. Tonight, I had to sit at the bar. I dutifully propped up my signage and before I settled in to read next week’s critique piece for my fiction group, headed to the loo, leaving the sign and my jacket in case anyone should happen upon it.
I got back from the loo, eager to dive into the story and the guy next to me, a dead ringer for Matt Frewer of Max Headroom fame (SEE: 1980s Pepsi ad).
“Are you guys writers?”
Well, I can only speak for myself as I am only one person….
“Because I’m a writer. I mean, I write comedy. I write blogs. I’m an accountant but I write a lot too.”
And it was this awkward exchange and the sheer lack of seating that held me a rather unwilling captive for the next hour.
He asked me what I write. He asked me what I read then insulted me for not being well-read enough to read Anne Rice. He complimented my youthful looks and asked where I work out. We had a terribly stilted conversation about writing and he spent many minutes being TOTALLY STUNNED that I have been writing since about the fourth grade. He tried to give me tips on getting more business for myself. He asked lots of questions about my Day Job for a Large Insurance Company because he has LOTS of OPINIONS about INSURANCE.
I don’t mean to be unkind, Reader. And I don’t think he meant to be strange. People like that seldom do.
This sort of thing used to happen to me all the time – random folks would bend my ear for a tick or two, divulging embarrassing details of their lives or just blathering on about nothing. I think it used to be a result of my availability. I’m married now – I put out a different vibe.
The funniest thing was the guy sitting on the other side of my New Best Friend. I think he was a teacher grading papers and munching what looked like a delicious cheese plate. I caught him glancing our way to confirm or deny for himself such details as my youthful looks. He stifled a snicker at my SERIOUS aversion to the Twilight series of drivel books.
After an hour, I excused myself, sighing that nobody was able to make the Meetup and I’ve had a long day. Then I came home and wrote this post.