Open Mouth Baby Kisses, and other meetups

One of the ways I decided to meet people this year was through joining an Underdog kickball team as an individual. I’d subbed before (and played Sloshball), so I figured it was a safer bet than something requiring a bit more athletic skill, like softball.

There are an astounding THIRTEEN teams in my league, so three (including mine) had byes the first week. A few of us decided to use the free Sunday as an opportunity to meet each other, and while not many people actually showed up, it was still a good idea. We got beers at Leny’s and make small talk, which I was only somewhat awkward with. (And, surprise surprise, I was the token native Seattleite.) We considered heading to a nearby field to kick the ball around, but that didn’t happen, which is unfortunate, since it was actually a rare GORGEOUS March day. And…we may have settled on a team name (Open Mouth Baby Kisses) that I only mentioned in passing as an example of a non-kickball-pun name that a co-worker used for one of her teams.

This past Sunday was our first actual game, and I got to the field about 30 minutes beforehand. Some of my new teammates were there early, as well, and we made introductions while throwing the ball around, waiting for the previous game to wrap up. Everyone is super nice, and very supportive. Several have played together on other teams, and they were great about base coaching and offering tips. (I’d played kickball, but not for a while under sober conditions.) I didn’t see any action in the outfield, but I got on base four times, scored twice, and would have scored another time, if the third out of an inning hadn’t happened at the same time I crossed home. After our 13-5 win, a few of us headed to a bar for beers and free nachos. It was fun getting to know them a little better, and just having casual conversation with people again. I found out one of the guys even teaches in the small school district I grew up attending. We’ll see how the rest of the season goes, but we’re off to a good start! Maybe this weekend we’ll even be able to field a full team!

The following day, I attended my first meetup for a ladies-only group (with the pretty lame name Happy Girls Are Prettiest). The organizer had bought four tickets to one of the Aziz Ansari shows, and I’m so glad I went. Even though some of the jokes were the same as on his newest special, he’s great live (and the audience participation was awesome.) But, more importantly, I met three cool women and got some practice at both making small talk and asking get-to-know-you-type questions. I think that’s a brain muscle I need to work on a little more, but practice makes perfect and I’m planning to go to two more meetups with the same group this weekend. Progress, right? I hope?