If you are like me, (and I hate to be the one to break it to you, but, no matter what you are telling yourself, you ARE) then something funny happens to you when you are invited to a party. I am not talking about a kids birthday party, either, because no one who has reached puberty ever wants to go to those, including the parents of the child whose birthday it is. We just go because it is the right thing to do, and also because if we don’t, they can opt out of OUR children’s future parties, and that, my friend, is where society starts to break down. We go to kids parties to fill seats at our own kids parties, essentially. Not pretty, but generally true. But, shockingly, I digress. What I AM talking about is an invitation to a grown-up party, say, perhaps, a Christmas party, for example. The kind that clearly, in writing, states “No Children”.
Sort of like the one I was given, about a month ago, by, ironically, the woman who runs my daycare. I know, I know- you are thinking “Your daycare lady invited you to an adults only Christmas party? Like, she’s a DAYCARE provider…so…I mean…how does she know about adult PARTIES?”, and I totally get where you are coming from. But, I assure you, this woman is not your typical mini-van, soccer mom, daycare lady. She is actually really cool. Way cooler than me, if I’m being real. She has ten, yes TEN, children of her own, most of whom are grown and out on their own. She is chill, in a “I raised ten kids, so there is pretty much nothing that can faze me” kind of way. She has cool hair, she works out in one of those cross-fit type gyms where it is pretty normal to throw up in the course of your morning, and she has a ton of friends. This lady knows how to throw a party. So, when I got my invitation, I felt like Charlie when he got the golden ticket.
I was fine, and super excited, until about Monday of last week. That’s when that weird thing that I have been trying to write about since the first paragraph started happening. And I am pretty sure you already know what I am going to say, since pretty much every single person I have brought it up to says they feel exactly the same. So, I am all set to go to the party. I have a sitter, I know what I am bringing (everyone was told to bring appetizers instead of kids) (that was not really how it was said, of course) and I am pretty clear on what I am wearing. Except…all of the sudden, I don’t really want to go. I am tired. I won’t even know anyone there. She only invited me to be polite…she doesn’t really want me to actually show up. These are actual thoughts I had leading up to the day of the party. The day of the party, yesterday, they only intensified, and it was like there was an actual battle going on inside of me- there was the me that was going to the goddamned party, if for no other reason than I said that I would, and there was the crazy me, who was like ” But I am TIRED!” “Why are you doing this to me? This is going to SUCK!” “You are going to feel so stupid walking in there all alone!” “You are definitely going to embarrass yourself.” And on and on and on…
But you know what? Fuck that crazy voiced me! I was going to the party. And I did. And you know what? It was way, super, fun. So, here are five reasons why you should squash that asshole part of you that wants you to stay home for the rest of your life, and go to the party, even when you are nervous:
1) Go because you don’t even remember the last time you wore high heels- I mean, yes, you may be wearing them with jeans, but they are tight, moderately uncomfortable jeans, and that counts for something, right? I mean, seriously, there is more to life than yoga pants (and scrubs, if you are me, which you clearly are not, but you know what I mean), Ugg boots or tennis shoes, and bra-optional environments (If you are over 30 and an A cup, home is really the only bra optional environment, just to be clear.). Suck it up for one night, and suck it in- it won’t kill you. If you aren’t sure how to doll yourself up for an evening event, just do what I did, and put on MORE make-up- wing your eyeliner, re-apply your mascara, pick the next darkest shade of eye shadow, wear red lipstick. Curl your hair. So what if it’s raining, you will still think you look like you did when you left your house, and besides…there may just be one 29 year old girl at the party who nearly dies of shock when she learns you are ten full years older than her. I loved that girl, bless her little heart.
2) Go because you will know at least a couple of people there, even if it’s just the person who invited you, and one or two of her friends. If you live in a smaller town, like I do, you will know at least two people well, and be familiar with others, and it will be good to talk again without kids interrupting- even if all you talk about are the kids that you are finally getting a break from.
3) Go because you have probably forgotten how awesome you are! Seriously, all that stuff you were thinking, about how socially awkward and inappropriate you are? Hogwash! The vision you had in your head of sitting, alone, in a corner chair, trying not to see the pity in everyone’s eyes as they avoided you? Uh…that is not going to happen. Chances are, if you have a night like I had, you will remember how good you are at talking to people, about anything at all, and you will realize that all the mean things your teenage daughter said about your awful personality were total LIES. People love you.
4) Go because you are almost certainly going to find yourself laughing out loud, with other people, not the “LOL” we use as a response on Facebook. It feels really good to actually laugh, out loud, with other grown ups.
5) Go, because all of these things, above, will make you feel really, really, good about yourself, and we could all use a little of that, am I right? You need to break from your stifling routine sometimes, painful as the process may be, simply because you have almost certainly forgotten how much fun you can have…And more importantly, how much fun you can BE.
I am so glad I did not allow the paranoid, reclusive, side of me to talk me out of what turned out to be a really great night. I hope you take my advice and go. There may be a million lame excuses you are making to stay home, but now you have five solid reasons you should go- have fun, and happy holidays!