I’m a social gal; I like people. I enjoy parties, meeting new people and finger foods. I adore finger foods. But, I have anxiety when I’m going to a party where I’ll be socializing with folks I don’t know well. Which is the exactly what the neighborhood party we’d been invited to would be. I’d met most of the neighbors but usually it was a quick intro, where I couldn’t tell you their names 5 minutes later. There would be a white elephant gift exchange (Oh God, do I get a silly gift or try to go for the cool/silly/funny/alcoholic gift??), all the neighbors had RSVP’d and my husband could only come for about 30 minutes, because he’d agreed I should socialize while he watched our boys.
The night of the party came and when we walked in, the anxiety hit me hard. I saw there were WAY more people there than lived in the ‘hood. Their house looked like something out of a, “Pretty Homes You’ll Never Be Able to Recreate” magazine and the entire kitchen was made to look like a nightclub, with standing tables, food that made me drool and dim lighting.
“There’s a mixologist downstairs and we have a fun game. Ask people the questions on this paper, write them down and put it in the box. We’ll draw a name for a fun prize!” the hostess said upon shedding our coats. I love prizes! My husband and I visited the mixologist and as I turned around with my drink, I ran into…my EX Boss, who’d moved into the neighborhood recently – joy. I worked for him years ago, while going through my divorce.
He’d fired me.
Anyway, I smiled a quick hello, moving quickly into the crowd. I downed my drink, ordered another drink and that’s when things started to go south.
This why I’ll never be invited to another neighborhood party.
- I introduced myself to a couple who looked familiar and asked, “Oh are you Sheila’s (hostess) parents?” They kindly informed me that no, they were high school friends. I grabbed drink #3.
A neighbor asked one of the game questions – What’s a favorite holiday tradition – and I replied, “My husband likes to get drunk and dress up like Santa and try to fit down the chimney. We have fun seeing if he’ll fit.” I giggled as he look at me blankly and left.
- I noticed my husband talking to a very busty, tightly dressed, high heeled, big haired woman. She was laughing and touching his arm. He saw me and gave me the, “Help!” eye signal. I walked up, he introduced me and she just…walked away! I thought I was whispering when I said, “How bitchy,” but given that she turned around, as did the couple next to me, I realize I need to work on my inside whisper. I have three boys, I NEVER whisper!
- I was enjoying the amazing finger food, when my son called asking when I would be home. He had a tummy ache. My son always has tummy aches when he has to poo, so I wasn’t concerned. Frustrated with his whining, I exclaimed, “You can poop alone, you don’t need me! No, it’s actually weird to have people hang out with you while you poop!” Again, working on my inside voice. I apologized to the people at the finger food table for not taking my call outside.
- My husband left to go home to the boys. The next woman I met was pregnant. I figured this was safe ground, so I asked her when she was due. “I’m not pregnant,” she said. “Oh… Neither am I!” I exclaimed. Drink #4.
- I eventually ran into my ex-boss again and decided to be mature. I said hi and asked where his wife was. “She left me. We’re getting a divorce.” Before I was even aware I had spoken, “OMG, I SO called that!” came out. I apologized (but really, I did call it).
- I was chatting with a woman who has two daughters. I commented, “It must be awesome having girls. You get the fun letter P’s; pink, princesses, ponies. I get poop, penises and punching.” She excused herself and I didn’t see her again.
It’s embarrassing putting this down on paper, so I’ll stop.
I have to tell myself we’re not “that” family, lots of people have an extra two or three drinks when nervous. Lots of moms get fed up with farts, and yell, “I’ll tape your butt-holes shut if you don’t stop farting!” and their sons think that sounds awesome and actually do it. I can’t help it if the neighbors hear me—they chose to have their windows open.
I’m pretty sure we’re normal and somehow ended up in a neighborhood of lots of “not-normal” folks.
Right? This is normal?
This post originally appeared on Tipsy Tiaras. It has been used with permission.