As a freshly-graduated high-schooler, I’ve been invited to several grad parties. Consequently, these parties have reminded me that I’m an awkward, socially-anxious person. Here’s what a typical party for me is like:
The party begins at 4. I’m lying in bed, watching YouTube videos and playing Soda Crush while wearing my Forever 21 panda PJ dress. I have a master plan of starting to get ready at 4. That way, I should arrive late enough to ensure that someone I know will be there. Also, by that time the party should be crowded enough that I can comfortably, invisibly blend in. I’m a genius.
OK, I watched a few too many videos. And I suddenly remembered some actual errands/chores that I have to do before I leave. I’m just starting to get in my car to leave. This is quite later than I expected. Well, it’s not too late if it’s within the hour, right? I really hope I didn’t miss anything.
Found the place. And now I’m approaching the house. God, it looks so empty. Where is everyone? Maybe this is the wrong house? I bet I’m going to walk in on a total stranger’s party. No, wait, I see the host. That means…THIS IS THE RIGHT PARTY BUT NO ONE’S HERE YET.
WHY ARE THERE ONLY FIVE PEOPLE?? I PURPOSELY CAME LATE, GODDAMMIT! There’s no one I know. And there’s no where to hide. Hold on, stop hyperventilating and put on a brave face for the host…hey, stop talking to those other more fun people and notice me before it’s awkward, goddammit…”Hi, hi, thanks for inviting me…your house is beautiful …I’m going to get some food, I’m starving!”
That went smoothly enough. But this is a fucking code red situation. I texted my friends and they won’t be here for at least half an hour. That means I gotta ration out my anti-social activities VERY CAREFULLY until then…
- The food’s not ready and I don’t have anyone to sit with yet. So I’ll go to the drink table and consult them all very thoughtfully and slowly to kill a couple of seconds that I otherwise would’ve spent standing awkwardly in the corner.
- Scope out the room. I don’t know anyone. God, there’s a guy that I hate. I can’t let him see me alone and desperate. Okay, there’s one girl who’s a friend-of-a-friend. I’m pretty sure she thinks I’m lame as fuck, but I’ll “accidentally” go towards her direction and say hi. That should take approximately one minute.
- Hark, some hope! The host left out paper and markers to write farewell messages on. You bet I will wring out every minute I can get out of this one.
- The food’s ready and yay! — there’s so much. I knew I came for a reason. I’ll spend lots of time filling my plate, but the issue is who will I sit with…
- Now, with a full plate in hand and facing many empty tables, I begin to despair…
AN ACQUAINTANCE ARRIVES AND SHE HEADS STRAIGHT FOR THE FOOD!! This is my chance (and my only option)! She immediately pairs up with another person from the party and I greet her, then casually-not-so casually trail behind them.
This is awkward. I don’t know what to say. I’m a stalker. I’m a fuckin’ loser. Why do they take so long to get food? Okay, here’s the moment of truth: “Do you guys want to maybe sit down with me?” They say sure. FUCKING!!! SUCCESS!!! I. AM. LIKABLE.
The Acquaintance’s boyfriend is also here and now sitting with us. We were lab partners for like a whole year. I hope he remembers who I am. Oh good, he just told a joke to me. He remembers. Now we’re all talking and, surprisingly, I’m faking it pretty well. Either I’m cooler than I thought, or they’re just really nice. I’m actually enjoying myself. But a few of their inside jokes do go way over my head.
AT LAST, MY DEAR FRIENDS ARRIVE. I trap their asses at my table and we begin joyous discussions. We take Snapchats and pig out on snacks. I check the time and mourn. “Dude, there are still like more than three hours until this party ends…”
“You’ll get through it!” she insists.
Like all grad parties, this one has badminton. I don’t know why people are so eager to be athletic. Didn’t we suffer enough during gym class? Either pricks or strangers are playing, but eventually acquaintances/friends take their places. I feel comfortable enough to join them for a while, laughing and not keeping score.
More people have flowed in, and there are now several clumps of friends that I can talk to based on their availability. I talk about college plans to one, then hop to another one as they greet strangers. This crew is cool. Oh, they’re starting to talk about drugs. I’ll just see myself out of this conversation…
I alternate between friend groups, snacking, badminton, and enjoying music.
Wow, the crowd has really thinned out. That was fun couple of hours, but what else is there to do? The host answers our prayers and lets us play VIDEO GAMES. I love Super Smash Bros with a PASSION. I almost love playing it and watching it equally. I scope out the competition first before requesting a turn: I am such a noob at Smash.
Party’s over already? I wonder where the time has gone. I even stick around for an extra half-hour. Some people are sleeping over but I better get home. After driving, I change into my pajamas and fall into bed with my laptop. Time to recharge with some Netflix stand-up comedy and Tumblr…
Flickr photo source: Moyan Brenn