This past Wednesday I had set aside time to go to a book club made up of dog moms. Yup, dog moms! It was the first book club I’d ever been a part of and that I showed up for. Except I didn’t really show up.
I made it as far as a parking spot one door away from the pub where we were meeting. I couldn’t step out of the car. The anxiety was too much: what if they don’t like me? What if they think I’m weird? What if they (the women who RSVP’d) already know each other?
Then there was the pub anxiety. Although I’d already combed their menu online, I was still worried there wouldn’t be anything for me to eat (I’m a vegetarian). I rarely drink, but would I feel pressure to buy a cocktail? Are we going to ask for separate checks, or split it? How much of a tip do I need to leave?
All of these thoughts whirled through my head, as my husband (who was dropping me off) and I sat in the parking spot. My head felt warm — or maybe it was my face. My heart beat faster. I almost started crying. And ultimately, I was unable to get out of the car.
Worst of all, the dog mom in charge posted on the Facebook page just that afternoon to get a final RSVP. I said I’d be there! And I felt that it would be rude if I didn’t offer an apology, so I did — on that same post, which everyone can see.
I’d love to say that I didn’t beat myself up about this, but at least I only did it on that night. I was better the next day.
I was really looking forward to book club, and I wanted to discuss the book. Next month’s book selection has been announced, and I plan to to walk into the venue without incident. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.