Wednesday, 27 August 2008

I Got Rusted Anxiety

We're going to Montreal this weekend. Whenever I think about going to Montreal I start to have a meltdown. This has resulted in me not thinking about going to Montreal. Not thinking about going to Montreal means not packing for Montreal or even doing laundry so my clothes are clean to pack for Montreal. There is no end to this crazy.

Shawn's dad is flying us out to see his new house. Aren't we spoiled? The problem with Shawn's dad flying us out to visit him is that we now have to spend all of our time with Shawn's dad. Aren't I rotten?

I like Shawn's dad. What I'm worried about is Shawn's dad's family. They couldn't make it out to the wedding so this trip is less about him showing us his house than it is him showing us off to his family. His large family. His large family that speaks French.

Being Canadian, I "speak french." By that, I mean that I had to take french right through high school and if you dropped me in a situation where I had to speak french or die, there's a slight possibility I'd make it out alive. I can muddle my way through reading french but there is no way I can converse in french (apart from asking where the bathroom is. Or asking if you want to sleep with me tonight.)

Here's my problem: his family also speaks English. Um, yes, I know I am crazy. Stick with me, we're getting to the point.

If his family only spoke French, I would have an excuse for how awkward and socially inept I will be. Without the language barrier, I have no excuse. Just anxiety issues.

I am not good at meeting new people. I almost threw up when I met Angella and she's pretty much the nicest person ever. Multiple people told me that she was the nicest person ever and yet, I was still all "but what if she doesn't liiiike me?" Yes, high school was a fun time for me.

I'm not shy. I'm not cold or uninterested or unfriendly. I genuinely like people; I just don't like meeting people. My stomach knots up and my hands sweat and I blush every time I open my mouth to say something. Not that it matters that I'm saying something, no one can hear me because I'm speaking so quietly and mumbling. Oh the mumbling. I actually have intelligent, insightful things to add to the conversation. You wouldn't know it though because I'm bright red and muttering incoherently. (Okay so I realise that this sounds like shyness but it's not. It's anxiety. Unmedicated (for now) anxiety.)

I kind of want to throw up just thinking about it. Or maybe I want to throw up because I just ate a rotten almond and wow, is there anything more gross than a rotten almond?

I'm trying to focus on the positive. I've never been to Montreal before; the furthest east I've been in Canada is Ottawa. It's warmer in Montreal than it is in Vancouver right now. I actually am interested in meeting Shawn's dad's side of the family, despite the distress it's causing me. But the real kicker, the thing that clinched it for me, the first thing Shawn told me about when his dad invited us out: authentic poutine. I have never had authentic poutine before. I'm told that western poutine cannot even be compared to Quebecois poutine because they are not even in the same realm. We're in Montreal for 3 days. I plan on eating poutine every day. My poutine adventure will be photographed extensively. There will be taste tests. We will eat poutine in various establishments and document the differences and similarities.

It's good to have goals.


  1. Somehow mess up your flights and end up in Halifax, pretty please?

  2. Yay for food pics! I love food pics!

    The social anxiety thing is a tricky one. Just when I think I've got it under control, two good lookin neighbors move in next door and I'm a blushing, stuttering fool who talks about corn on the cob. I hate to be a pusher, but Xanax? God's gift to dorks.

  3. i credit the internet with many wonderful things in my life, but i suspect that the knowledge of poutine - and thus the likelihood that i will one day try it - will be one of the greatest boons.

  4. Yay poutine!

    I'll be thinking of you with great envy. I haven't been to Montreal since college.

  5. I have social anxiety sometimes, too! Like you, I am sociable and friendly. But, I don't like meeting new people at all. I mean I enjoy having new friends… but I don’t fancy the process of meeting them. I wish there’s a quick and easy way to get to know new people and become friends right away… that is if you like each other.

  6. I'm ignorant. What the heck is poutine? I'm going to Google it right now.

  7. I totally feel deja vu as I type this but what is this poutine stuff? Maybe I asked Angella before...cannot remember.

    I hope you have a fabulous trip! I get the anxiety thing, too. (shocker) I even twitch at times. So..when we meet, if my leg shoots out and does something tourettes-y, just give me a wide berth and don't take it personally :)

    Also, I won't make you speak French. I may request some Cantonese but just a little.

  8. I get nervous too! No, really.

    Have fun though. I have never been to Montreal. I look forward to the photos!

  9. Can't wait til the pics are ready!

  10. ack!! this is me to a T. I've never been to montreal... have fun. at least try!! ;) and - have a cocktail or 4. it makes meeting new peeps easier.

  11. Thats fabulous, Hillary, just fabulous

  12. You know, I was really excited for you because I was thinking, "Wooo food!" I mean, who doesn't love food? My entire trip to Italy was centered around this concept. Then I looked poutine up on Wikipedia, saw a picture and became scared. On the bright side, it may be served with Montreal smoked meat, which is killer.