I knew, going into the meet & greet, that both meeting and greeting might be on the agenda. I spent a long time being nervous and pissed off about said nervousness — I really do feel celebrity is bullshit — until I remembered about social anxiety and how I get nervous whenever I have to meet anyone at all. I do just fine meeting strangers on the sidewalk, but put me across a table from someone and I’m lucky to string together two coherent words about the weather. This is true if the person across from me is a possible coworker, a blind date, a long-time internet friend, or Mike Ness.
I should have prepared remarks, but I didn’t. I was told it would be casual, and I can totally do casual. But surprise! It was not particularly casual, and so I have no idea what the hell I said. I don’t think it was mortifying, and that’s about all I’ve got.
If I had prepared remarks, though, maybe it would have been something about how me and Social Distortion are the same age, almost exactly, and I can’t tell you the first song I heard. But you know how some people get the urge to start nesting and they buy a house or have a kid or get a dog or organize their closet or drink a lot of hot chocolate or take up quilting? Me, I go to Social D shows.
social distortion @ the ogden, 2011-12-03
It’s not just about the music; I love a lot of bands. It’s not just that they put on a good show, although they do. It’s the whole thing — the other fans, bikers and punkers and straights and rockabilly queens, drifters and criminals and cops and PhD students and plumbers; parents there with their kids, parents there without their kids, sisters with their little brothers, couples on dates, the anti-social there alone. It’s getting to know them before the show and being family for a few hours, having a fantastic time, and not seeing them again till next time. It’s the writhing of the pit and the roar of the crowd as we all shout the words back at the stage. It’s whatever happens after the show — sometimes nothing, sometimes something. I’ve never been someone who felt I fit in anywhere, and my family is not exactly familial, and although these days I do better than fine, sometimes I want to be with my people. And my people, apparently, hang out at Social D shows.