The group consisted of myself, Ash, zir friend S (who I didn't get to talk to but who seemed open-minded and interesting), Nikki (the organizer of the group, calm and strong), Nikki's partner Wolf (nickname -- can't remember the real name) (excitable, sweet, loud), H____ who dominated the conversation (a bit of an intellectual grandstander, but interesting!), two others who didn't say much (but had gentle spirits -- their presence was soothing), and Kat whom I really clicked with despite not really getting a 'read' on zir. We ended up in two half-circles, males on one side and females on the other, and had two or more conversations going most of the time. I mostly listened, poking my nose in every now and then. It was interesting to see how things flowed -- conversation in pairs, then in two groups, then in one group, and around again. Nikki told us about bellydance classes -- for $10 a session! near to me! I've been looking for that for ages -- I may start going (or I may wait until the next cycle comes around, since this 10-week cycle is half over). Ze also talked a little about the cat rescue where ze volunteers -- I think I'm going to look into getting involved with that too, if for nothing else than to assuage my kitten fever.
I was sitting next to Kat so we talked and I got to know zir a little -- we talked about the various ways we create, and ze mentioned that creating your own items takes down this barrier between you and the item, which is an interesting way of looking at it! I had always thought that creating something was bringing a part of you into physical form, but I hadn't considered the other side of it -- that there is a very real barrier between me and most of my daily items because I did not create them. I think customizing them can have the same effect as originally creating them though; I think that has been my (subconscious) motivation for customizing everything. Kat seems really cool: into bookbinding, cosplay, hooping, and various belief systems (eclectic, like me!).
Nearing the end, Wolf came over and sat on the coffeetable in front of Nikki and joined our conversation (turning zir back on the rest of the group). I found that really endearing, as it was so impolite and free! I liked their relationship -- they've been together 11 years and they have a cozy comfort that reminds me of my partner and I. It's that ease-of-balancing, that comfort that comes with having clashed so often that you've worn into each other and just fit. And Wolf said some things that were mentos in my diet coke, but I felt this affection/goodwill from zir that made me like zir anyway. The mentos: ze saw my I am a feminist sticker and said "You're not a feminazi!" (I think it was meant to be complimentary/ reassuring/ disbelieving) I didn't have a response. After I went home, of course, I thought of the perfect response -- "I'm not a griffin either!" followed by the explanation that a feminazi is a mythical creature, a straw man, as there aren't any feminists who want to mass-murder men. Later, ze also referred to zir partner 'molesting' zir -- phrasing which you all know my opinions on -- but I couldn't think fast enough then either. :-/ I do plan on going to the monthly meeting as a habit, so if ze uses that sort of term again I'll say something (I'm not invested in the results though).
This the first time I've had long conversation with strangers in a long time! I realized that it really nourishes me to talk face-to-face with new people (as long as it occasionally delves into the personal/passionate). Even though I didn't have much in common with most of the group, just the... brushing of spirits (for lack of a better term) was so good. And I really liked Kat and S; I want to know them more. Kat gave me zir facebook, so I added zir there, and we're hopefully going to meet up (other than at the next group)!
*oh yeah, I forgot that I hadn't mentioned it before -- Ash and I are rekindling our friendship now ;-)