Vulnerability (1)

Letting yourself be vulnerable. “Hey! Does that tie in with the book?” Of course it does. When you play one of these games, you’ll notice that some people are afraid to do their best – or at least make it look like they’re doing their best. They’ll finish drawing a torso or writing a phrase, and verbally or physically convey a “Whatevs!” afterwards… because exposing your best to people is risky and can show weakness. (I don’t dwell on this fear-to-commit in the book, but I do mention it.)

But there’s a bigger tie-in, which I didn’t write about, because I didn’t let myself see it until this week. The scariest part of Social Nonsense is being the person to suggest playing it. I was with some people, and we were sitting at a table, and there was that pause, and I knew that we’d all have a good time if I started that legal pad going around, but I remained silent. Because introducing the idea of a game is risky, and opens you up to hurt and rejection, right? What if they said, “What the hell, Doug? Are you eight?” Or if they did play and rolled their eyes and made fun of me the whole time? (I do comedy, and yet I really hate being made fun of) And now that Social Nonsense is out I’m afraid of hearing, “Are you just trying to get us to buy your damn book? If you are that desperate for cash just ask for a handout.”

If you have the book and haven’t gotten up the nerve to ask anyone to play with you yet, you know exactly what I’m talking about, and you aren’t alone. In fact, the author is standing right there with you.

You know, in the first draft of this post, I wrote the above example in the third person and made it hypothetical, because I was afraid of being vulnerable to you. And then I heard Alanis Morissette in my head and told you the truth.

This post is getting long, so I’m not going to tell you the Tom Waits story, but I want you to know that… it’s worth it. I’m not just talking about passing legal pads and telling stories and filling out bingo cards now. I’m saying that if the price of meaningful moments of true connections of creating and receiving is risking an eye-roll or being teased… it’s a price worth paying. I’m paying it too.