Come to Forks and you, too, can ride JJ like a rodeo horse.
I'm going to get right to the point tonight: there are some real, very legitimate and acceptable reasons for not joining us in Forks when we make our return (and probably last) trip this September. Among them:
If I go to Forks, I'll have to eat ramen noodles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the next 18 months.
My parents won't let me go. If you need permission, you should stay home.
My dog/cat/small child would not fare well if left alone for several days, even if I left a big pile of kibble and bacon for everyone to share.
It will be used as grounds for divorce. [This one is iffy; if you would get divorced over this, you may have bigger problems than getting to Forks and should probably come hang out with us regardless.]
Nobody wants to buy one of my tatty kidneys and I'm too old to sell eggs.
Why in the world would anyone want to go to Forks??? You people are fucking nuts. [We know.]
You'll be high-fiving people if you make it!
But lately, I've seen some people referring to the reasons they can't/won't/could NEVER go to Forks that are decidedly NOT acceptable. At all. Amongst them:
I'm too shy.
I'm uncomfortable around people I don't know.
I've never done anything like that before.
I wouldn't know anyone.
I would rather push RPatts off a cliff in La Push than find myself in a large group of strangers.
You get the general gist, yes???
I know it's a bit cliche, but I'm going to say this for the record and I mean it: If I can do it, you can do it, too. Period.
It is making me absolutely crazy that people are saying they are too shy/too afraid of people and therefore could never, not ever, go to Forks. Heavens no! Want to know what I think of that? You are depriving yourself of a ridiculously amazing and potentially life-changing few days with the most wonderful, caring, and friendly group of women I have ever had the good fortune to spend time with in my life.
I know what you hold-outs are thinking: women can be catty bitches. They can be clique-y and ostracize people, they can rake other women over the coals like it's their job and they're getting paid overtime. And all that's true. But as someone who's over but hasn't quite forgotten the way I was treated by other chicks when I was younger, I GET being afraid to go. Really. I do. I was worried myself! Before we went to Forks last year, I fretted over the possibility of people being mean, about people getting left out or picked on, of drunken girly brawls breaking out, and a whole lot of "Mean Girls" reenactments (sorry people, I get nervous - hope for the best, prepare for the worst!). And you know what? My fears - all the things that kept me up at night as the trip approached (and there were many) - were completely unfounded. Not one of those things happened. And I didn't turn into a pumpkin.
We LOVE this place!
We turned Forks into a euphoric, kinda drinky, estrogen-filled utopia. And it was good. Everyone smiled at everyone walking down the street. The air practically crackled with good vibes. The people in Forks made us feel so welcomed, too! It didn't matter if you were young or old, tall, short, skinny, fat, what color you were, what you were wearing, or if you were Team Edward or Team Jacob. OK, that last one's a lie: we slathered the Team Jacob chicks in honey and left them naked and tied to trees in the Hoh - but they totally deserved it, am I right???
My point is, it's time for a little tough love: fuck your insecurities and all the little voices saying "I can't!" and get your ass to Forks! You can do this! Listen, I can't guarantee that everyone who goes to Forks will have a fantastic time. I just can't. But statistically speaking, the odds of you having the time of your life are very promising. Even if you wig out and spend all your time visiting the beaches and rain forests alone, you're still in for a breathtaking, heart-stoppingly wondrous trip. I overheard one (one!) person of the 100+ who made the trip last year say she was bored. Honestly, if you were bored, it's on you. I didn't have enough time to do everything and see everyone while I was there. I was never bored.That being said, if you are expecting a well-organized conference-like experience with a set schedule, you will be disappointed. We just don't roll that way, and you've probably figured that out by now or you've stumbled here by accident.
I also heard one or two people say that they didn't talk to many people. And that, I think, is my bad. The first night we were there, we had agreed to all meet informally in the local bar. I expected a few people to be there. There was a CROWD. A big-ass, gleeful, beautiful crowd. And they wanted to meet me. And I sucked it up, popped some Xanax, and went up to every person in the room (I hope) and introduced myself. I knew so many of the names I saw on the name tags that it was like putting faces to old friends, and the conversations came so easily. I am not extroverted AT ALL (I'll run from acquaintances I see in the grocery store rather than have to make small talk, ok?) and I usually try to figure out how to tactfully avoid having to be all huggy and kissy, but I practically threw myself in into the arms of everyone there that night. OK, I DID throw myself into the arms (and laps and boobs) of pretty much everyone - and it was awesome.
The next night, I'll admit it: I rested on my laurels. I shouldn't have. If I have one regret about Forks (aside from not making it to the little thrift shop around the corner from the motel), it's that I didn't talk to every single person who showed up to be a part of our Twitarded extravaganza. Can I be honest? I assumed that people would think it was weird - and be unwelcoming - if I just waltzed up to them and introduced myself. This year? I don't fucking care if you want to talk to me or not - you're going to see me in your face at some point, like it or not! Note to self: get more Xanax. Seriously? I'm no druggy but I cannot overemphasize the helpfulness of a good dose of anti-anxiety meds.
Look, I know it's hard to throw yourself out there, but what we saw last year was absolutely amazing. Don't miss out on this opportunity to reinvent yourself! So many of the women who met up there have made life-long friendships with people and are still meeting up and vacationing together today. And I know that this trip isn't going to be some all-expenses-paid trip to the Caribbean with some cabana boy handing you drinks with fancy umbrellas in them at the snap of your fingers. It's Forks, and we'll be at the Elks Lodge. It's going to be a little hectic and fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, but it'll be so worth and so much fun.
And if you're real shy, let us know. PLEASE let us know. We'll help. Unless you have a tarp and axe. In which case we'll make sure to save room in Latchkey Wife's portable freezer. But barring that? Just get yourself there - you can handle it, and we'll make damn sure it's worth the effort.