Volunteering: I'm good, but I'm not that good.
October 13, 2009 8:52 PM Subscribe
I've been cooped up and dealing with excessive work and depression for a while. I'm on the mend, and doing better than I've been in a while, and I'm looking for ways to meet more people. I hear all kinds of great things about volunteering, and while it appeals to me, I haven't had very good luck with it. (More inside.)
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (20 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I've never been good at meeting people, but over the past five or eight years, I've come to appreciate that I'm much more of a people person than I've given myself credit for. Still, I need to put forth some serious effort to get myself off my butt and go out and do things--my guess is that it's down to books being the only reliable friends I had growing up, so I never got the habit of going out and seeking out human interaction.
Anyway, my question is narrower: I've tried volunteering in the past as a way of meeting people, but it's been most effective as a way of meeting people who are a) much older than I am, b) intellectually plain in a "I love Oprah, NASCAR, country music, voting Republican, and not thinking" way that puts me right off, c) somehow attached, or d) some combination of the above. Other times, I get stuck with a solitary task or something that doesn't let me interact with people, and that completely defeats the purpose of me going to volunteer in the first place. (Yes, I understand computers. No, I will not work on your organization's website. My website sucks. Do you want your website to suck?)
Ideally, I'd care enough about something that needed volunteers that I could enjoy helping for the sake of helping, but I'm not that good. I must be absolutely clear: I'm not doing this for any noble reason or charitable impulse. I am doing this to audition prospective girlfriends, preferably cute alternative types who can tolerate dating a 9-5er. I give to charity, regard myself as a compassionate person, and love helping others, but I'm afraid this is about me.
Anyway, my question: can you recommend somewhere in the Bay Area that would fit my bill? Or if you think I'm completely barking up the wrong tree, can you suggest somewhere else to look?
Demographics: 29, male, straight, lawyer, lives in San Francisco.
Throwaway email: firstname.lastname@example.org.