Friday night I went to the symphony and the waffle house with marx-beard,* and it was perfect. . . or, closer to it. I mustered courage to talk about something other than labor organizing, feminism, or philosophy. He told me about his negative-trait-blind parents, and I told him about my big new project to learn how not to scare people.
This is a goal, see; my quest is to travel into Mordor and obtain social skills. No more hiding in my room and eating gram-crackers to avoid roomates; no more running out of, or on, friends; no more mortally offending people and not being able to figure out why. Time to become socially self-sufficient.
So. . . honesty, kindness, and a certain degree of openness, and down the rabbit hole.
* notice how I'm now using clever satirical names for all my friends? It gets better. just wait.