Saturday, May 2, 2015

Solo at the Soirée

It's awkward — walking into a party alone when the only people you know are the hosts. Ack. Introductions, everyone else cozily coupled. The din at a level that makes it difficult to hear conversations, and conversations with complete strangers are difficult even with the best acoustics.

So I filled a plate with food (the requisite crudités [rainbow carrots, cauliflower, broccoli-ettes], the expected hummus, the bowls of whole grain & seeded chips, the goat cheese display), grabbed a hard cider and sat down in the middle of a group of people and made small talk. Very small talk, that seemed to go nowhere.

How's the water situation in San Diego?
Are these windows original?
Which of you are siblings?
Have you tried the baba ganoush?

I like parties.
I like people.
But going it alone can be daunting, and after an hour of chattery fits and starts (was I making any sense?), I made my exit, slipped off up the alley and headed home as the evening was cooling, past lilacs just past their prime, beneath bowers of mountain ash whose fragrance careened me back decades to the back yard of my childhood home, and the woods beyond, nettles beginning to line the path, fiddlehead ferns unfurling in the shadows as I sighed home, home, home.


  1. Honestly, going to parties with a partner who is very socially competent and welcomed, when you are the sort of person we are, is also very daunting.

    In fact, it's difficult, so difficult. But it gets better, if we try. The really difficult thing is to even care about trying, if that makes sense?

    Love, C.

    1. C., I think you nailed it with this: "the really difficult thing is to even care about trying". Often I ask myself why I even go to parties where I know so few people. I suppose there is an underlying optimism, or something. Also, a desire to be out and around people. It's hard!

  2. I hear you. Been to many such parties, and you're right: it's about getting out and meeting people. Who knows what lies ahead? But really, I get more weary of these gatherings....I prefer a smaller intimate setting. You know what's worse than going alone? Going with a socially awkward or openly hostile partner. Been there and done that.

    The relief of home coming is enormous. You're not alone in this!