I am bad at doing things alone. Like, really bad. I’ve spent about a third of my life in relationships (sad, I know) and therefore have usually had a date to most things. And when I haven’t had a date, I’ve had friends to come with me, but in case you forgot, I moved and have very few friends so this is difficult at the moment. But on the bright side, it’s forcing me to learn how to go places alone, and that is a life skill everyone should develop (although I’m pretty sure everybody else developed it like a decade before me).

Over the past few weeks, I have gone most places on my own. Fortunately, I have an awesome housemate and a couple of new friends, so I haven’t just been wallowing away in my room feeling sorry for myself (though actually, I totally have done that for the past few days due to sickness) and whatnot. But with new friends, it’s easy to ask them to go out to a show or hang out at a bar or come to a party; it’s less easy to invite them to go shopping for skin cleansers or to the grocery store, as I used to do with my friends all the time (errands + bonding = productive fun!). And going to events that I doubt they’ll be interested in? I just feel silly and terrified of rejection, so I don’t ask and just go alone.

I was a poetry major in college — yes, I know — and one of the main reasons I moved to Portland was to see what living in a place that has a heavy poetry scene is like (hint: it’s a lot of cuffed jeans and beanies and kind of hot people). There have been a few events I’ve wanted to go to, but have been too afraid because I hate doing things like that alone, though I don’t want to ask anybody I’ve met because generally, most non-poet folks don’t really feel like listening to a bunch of people read for 2 hours. But after getting ready numerous evenings only to decide against leaving the house, I finally sucked it up and went to one. And it wasn’t bad at all! A little awkward, yes, but I am glad I did it nonetheless.

So, for those of you who are also a little socially inept when it comes to doing stuff with a lack of accompaniment, here are a few brief tips on how to go places alone.

Photo: The Mary Tyler Moore Show[ITPGallery]