Otter (Lutrinae) - A cute and generally awesome animal that holds hands with other otters so they don’t drift apart. Has not been known for being rude, abusive to or exploiting other otters or for erecting sets or ridiculous social constructs which would prevent them from enjoying the little time the have on this planet. In spite of their awesomeness, some otters, however, are distant cousins of the skunk.
--- (From “The Great Encyclopedia of Scientific Stuff”)
Q: What is this about, and how is it different from other meetups?
A: OK… Please read to the end.
Firstly, have you noticed something about most meetups that you go to to meet people and make friends? Well, more often than not, you don’t manage to do the latter. Of course, it may be your own fault for one reason or another, but in a great deal of cases, nobody is really at fault - you like the person, you talk to them, you reckon that you could be good friends, then you go home and suddenly… nothing happens.
To tackle this problem, this group will take the whole idea of meetup to the next level. By setting up this group, I’m hoping to create a whole network of people open to making new friends, not ashamed to admit it and offering others more chances to actually approach them.
This means that
a) I strongly encourage you (but of course, YOU DON'T HAVE TO) to use social media, especially Facebook, and to leave your address on your social network of choice in your profile. Also, do join our Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/610930639018265/ and feel free to post there, and we are on Twitter, too: https://twitter.com/TheLutrinians Of course, even if you don’t leave anything, others will still be able to message you through the Meetup site.
You can (and should) indicate whether you want to be added/contacted and who buy (anybody, only people of a specific age group/gender etc.)
b) We don’t just meet up to do stuff together - rather, we try to make some friends doing some stuff along the way (so that we can avoid awkward silences as much as possible :)) If you just want to do those things with us without the “friend part”, that’s OK, too, but please specify so in your profile.
Secondly: This meetup is not for everybody. This meetup is for genuine, warm-hearted people who want to find simple friendships and enjoy and discover all those things that this magnificent city has to offer. It is for celebrating life and the wonderful people around you - it’s not for networking, and it’s not for dating, although, of course, if either of these occurs subsequently, it’s cool :) And it’s definitely not one of those groups “for professionals” (what’s up with that, and what do those people even mean by “professionals”? Yuppies? Just people who have a job? Well, what about people who have just been made redundant? Are they allowed to join? Why this discrimination? Are people who are currently employed any better than the rest? Ah, well, never mind.)
So, what I actually meant by bringing meetup to a new level was: if/as we expand, this meetup will hopefully become more than just a meetup - perhaps rather something like a small nation of people who are just plain nice, awesome and have a heart. The kind of people who
• you can talk to like to a fellow human being
• are liberal-minded
• want to live in harmony with the world and other human beings around them
• are maybe a bit too shy to approach you when you meet them or to send you a request on Facebook, but who have space in their life for a new friend
• are into “Within Temptation”, “Nightwish” and similar bands (well, OK, this one is optional - but wouldn’t it be lovely if you were?)
• don’t stick chewing gum on house walls instead of throwing it into the rubbish bin
• don’t get drunk at a football game, yell around and start a fight
• don’t bother other passengers on a bus with the bang-bang-bang coming out of their headphones
• don’t brag about their income to make themselves look better (and probably just feel better about themselves)
• aren’t overly extravert (to the point of it becoming unpleasant) and intrusive
Well, you get the picture.
So, to sum it up: This group should help us find more human warmth in this fast and scary world of ours.
Q: Sorry, is this a communist meetup?
A: Communist? Not at all. This is a group for those who don’t approve of corporate greed, but this is just one aspect. This group should be neither about politics nor religion. I do lean more to the left in some questions, but then again, slightly to the right in others. Like many of us, right? But it’s just me. I do acknowledge the importance of money, I’m not against business or business people as such - I’m simply against those who con and exploit common people. Aren’t you? I do believe that money (or the love and the pursuit of it) is very likely to spoil you, yes, but again, this is not what our meetup is about. But speaking of it, do have a look at this here:
Q: So, what if somebody wants to be friends with me, but I don’t really “dig” them?
A: Of course, this is a risk, and it might happen. But look, you have so much more to gain - isn’t it worth taking it?
Q: What kind of events do you do?
A: Ah, the usual kind (although I’ll definitely try to think of something less usual): Social/guided walks, restaurants, game evenings, hiking, day trips, concerts... Definitely open for suggestions.
Q: So, is this some hippy sort of thing, then? Or is this some sort of sect?
A: Nope, nothing of that sort. And no, we won’t be smoking anything, and we won’t stalk you or threaten you if you decide not to come again. Pinky swear.
Q: I’m a bit weird/quirky or shy/suffer from social anxiety/have difficulties talking to people. Is it still OK for me to join?
A: Of course! And by the way, there is a meetup specifically for shy people: www.meetup.com/shy-london (those are wonderful people, so do give it a shot)
Q: How much will it be, then?
A: What, the fees? Well, joining our group here or on Facebook is free, of course, but if you come to one of our meetups, I would normally ask you for 1 quid per event to cover the costs (Meetup does charge organisers, you know, and there are other expenses, too).
Q: Can I host an event, too?
A: Of course! If I know you personally, I can make you organiser straight away, but if we've never met or even talked, I'd need to have a little chat on Skype with you to get to know you a little bit.
Q: Why are you doing this? Looking for a girlfriend? Wanna be rich and famous?
A: I do have a girlfriend, and yes, we are getting married at some point of time (it’s not an urgent matter, though :)) The reason I’m doing this is this: A nation of people like us should exist - must exist - but for some reason doesn’t. It is something that so many of us long for, but no meetup has to my knowledge managed to achieve this stage of closeness and familiarity. There is so much insanity in the world - more as well as less obvious kind - so I thought it might be a neat idea to create something, well, sane. We are social creatures, but we worry too much about what others might think of us and whether we’re perhaps breaking any social norms etc. etc. etc. Ever since I came to London about over five years ago, it never ceased to amaze me how many unique people there are around, and yet how poorly most of us manage to establish a bond with each other. Finding people and doing small talk is not a problem - what to do later apparently is.