SOCIALLY AWKWARD OR CREEPY?
HOW YOU THINK YOU ARE BEHAVING MAY NOT MATCH OTHER PEOPLE’S PERCEPTION OF YOU
AMBER LOVE 11-AUG-2015 Yesterday I released the extensive notes and video recap about my experiences at the Deadly Ink crime academy last Friday. In the notes yesterday, I mentioned how I didn’t have opportunity to really network at all with other writers; and the only instructors I met were the ones from those sessions. There was no reception/mingling during the day, only later at 8PM when I was long gone.
PREDATORS SEE OPPORTUNITY
The brief moments of time to talk to people at the conference were not that pleasant as a rather socially awkward man, around maybe early 30s, occupied my time. Four of us were talking because we arrived early (registration said 9AM, but class wasn’t until 10AM and there was no refreshment table or anything). We were bored and sitting in the classroom. Every break he tried to engage me in conversation. I bolted when it time for lunch, hoping he wouldn’t follow me up the sidewalk. Even as I was validating my parking at the end of the day, he happened to be at the front desk and was trying to talk to me at the same time as the employee was giving me directions.
APPROPRIATE TIME AND PLACE FOR SUBJECTS IS LOST
I was there to talk about writing. I know conversations will carry a heavy amount of small talk when people are strangers, but I hate when my first exposures to people end up being about politics. I guess it’s good in a way, because then I learn who to avoid the rest of the day, if that’s possible. But I want to get away when I’m at a convention. I try to avoid Twitter’s breaking news about real life mass murders or rapes. I want to escape to the world of fiction for a day. That’s all. And this Creepy guy wouldn’t stop talking about societal things. I guess he thought it would be a way to gauge whether we could bond. If I said I was against marriage equality, he would’ve shifted his stance towards that. Guns. Feminism. Just let me focus on writing, please! I will gladly talk about all that with acquaintances and friends.
Honestly, unless it’s brought up organically in discussion, I don’t want to hear about your politics. I don’t want to know if you’re bigoted against the LGBTQ community or against equal rights or who you’re voting for. I do not want to know. I’m there to learn about plot structure. The same thing happened in gun training. I don’t care about your votes; I just want practice in shooting things and to learn new guns. Capiche?
THEY FIND THE OPENING THEY NEED
The not creepy guy in the room, I’ll call him Luddite Guy because he was still embracing vinyl and had never heard of Audible, had brought up Amazon and CreateSpace. I mentioned that I just uploaded my non-fiction book there.
Naturally the next question from Creepy Guy was, “What’s your book about?”
“Etiquette and how web cam girls are harassed.” I hoped that by saying the harassment of women is a strong subject for me that he’d get the hint that I didn’t want to talk to him, but no.
Both men then asked what cam girls are. Are they new to the internet? Not to sound like an asshole or elitist, but it’s the internet which is 98% porn. I kept my tone calm and pleasant and explained the very basics about how it’s like a personal strip club viewed online. Luddite Guy had some questions about how it technically works, like whether the girls see people or if it’s only text. But then Creepy Guy kept making it weirder. Luddite Guy showed slight body language of embarrassment, but at least he wasn’t getting personal.
“How did you write this? Did you… like… talk to girls who do that?”
“I dated one.” I was not going to admit that I tried it (it’s in the book) to this person who was being too clingy with my time. There was an older woman in the room too and I much rather would have been talking to her about writing. She looked serious about her craft and was also there to learn.
*wide eyes and blushing*
“How do you… date someone who does that?”
“It’s about being secure and being honest. I helped her get the whole thing setup and encouraged her to do it in the first place.”
“Are you still together?”
*after a break*
“What do you mean about how girls are treated?”
“There’s a lot of harassment and general mean behavior. People can come into a room just to call a girl fat and they can do it in a mob with multiple people ganging up on her.”
“How do you tell her a compliment?”
“Don’t be a creep. It’s pretty simple.”
THEY FIND A WAY TO SEEM LIKE THEY CAN RELATE TO YOU
Then I had to hear about how he once had a girlfriend who broke up with him because she was a lesbian and that he considered “forcing her to marry him” because he loved her anyway, but he knew it wouldn’t change her.
Good for you, pal. Good for you.