I looked at my hair in the mirror of the car using my hand to rearrange it. I had just pulled up into Rodger’s parking lot.
“You are not on a real date, stupid,” I told myself. “You are just going to talk A.A. stuff and eat lunch.”
Still, I didn’t want to look like I just crawled out of the bed and I did. I couldn’t get my hair to do anything.
“Screw it!” I muttered as I reached for my baseball cap on the passenger’s seat and put it on.
I walked into the restaurant to find Wanda sitting by a window near the back. My social anxieties surged. Beads of sweat broke out on my forehead. My hands felt clammy. She turned to look at me and waved me over as she smiled. I felt as if everyone in the busy restaurant was watching me. I took a seat at the table.
“I was beginning to think you weren’t coming,” She said.
“Sorry,” I replied. “I am running a little late.”
“What are you having?”
“I think I am going to have two barbeque sandwiches and an order of fries,” I replied. “You get whatever you want. I have a tab here.”
Soon, the waitress arrived and we ordered our food. The waitress disappeared into the kitchen to place our order. There was an awkward silence as we both sat there for a moment. I looked out the window watching the cars pass on the busy highway and the many patrons coming to and fro from the convenience store across the street afraid to make eye contact.
“I don’t bite,” Wanda finally said breaking the silence and captured back my attention.
“I know,” I said. “You have to forgive me. I can be awkward in such one on one social situations.”
“You don’t act like you are,” She said. “You have such a pleasant speaking voice and seem so sure of yourself.”
I touched my finger to my temple and said, “It’s all up here.”
She laughed as she leaned across the table and quietly said out of earshot, “Honey, I am a little loco myself. I don’t think we could have drank like we have and not be a little crazy.”
Her saying that completely disarmed my social phobias. We sat for over thirty minutes after eating talking about A.A. and the various aspects of the program. She also has two dogs and we got on that subject as well.
“I expect you to have a sponsor in a few weeks,” Wanda finally told me before I was ready to head home and she had to go back to work.
“I will try,” I said halfheartedly with a lukewarm and uncomfortable smile.
The waitress brought our receipt and I placed a tip upon the table. I and Wanda got up to walk out of the restaurant.
“Let’s do this every week,” Wanda said.
“I would like that,” I replied. “I feel comfortable around you.”
“It’s just my charming personality and alluring wit,” Wanda said facetiously.
We both laughed. She gave me a hug and I drove home with a full stomach and a big smile on my face. My therapist told me that just enduring these social avenues would help me overcome my fears and she is right. It gets easier every time I try.