evannichols (evannichols) wrote,

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I Hate Doing It Wrong

Competence is an issue for me. Part of that is Family of Origin stuff. When part of the Tribe’s self-identity is being Smart and Capable People Who Aren’t Like The Mouth-Breathing Hordes, there’s an expectation of knowing how to do things correctly.

So imagine this scenario: I received an invitation to a Halloween party, which said it was Saturday night, from 8:00 pm to 4:00 am. Now, I’ve gotten my Punctuality Issues under control enough so when given such instructions, I no longer arrive on the host’s doorstep precisely at 7:59:59. No, I drove up at 8:20; fashionably late, I thought. I note that the living room appears to be empty. Anina answers the doorbell looking a bit bemused, and subsequent conversation reveals that she thought the party started at 9:00.

Awkward. And triggers my issues; I mean, what does that say about me if I can’t get something so simple as a start time right? Paul and Anina were very gracious, and I didn’t apologize more than half a dozen times while helping set out trays of food and light candles.

The silver lining was that I got to chat with them a while. I’m not one to dominate social conversation among strangers, so once the other guests arrived, I was far more observer than participant. Feeling off-kilter as I was, and still fatigued from being sick earlier in the week, I only talked with a few people over the course of an hour before moving to the porch. There I hung on the fringe of the group conversation, and stayed until I could claim I’d been there long enough to not be the sort of person who turns into a pumpkin after only an hour at a party. Then I went home.

I think the most enjoyment I got out of the party was just being invited. My friends don’t throw very many parties,* so it was one of the few such events I’ll attend this year. It seemed important to go, but aside from letting my hosts know that I appreciated the invitation, I’m not sure why I went. I mean, I barely knew anyone there. Sometimes I can act like an extrovert enough to mingle at a party and not feel like a wallflower, but I wasn’t up for it that night.

And yes; I checked afterward and found that the invitation I received said 8:00, in two places (and you can see the picture here). So I wasn’t hallucinating.

*As far as I know. Maybe they have a lot that they don’t tell me about.
Tags: friends

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