I went to a party recently, and it sucked donkey balls.
I cannot attribute this to not knowing anyone there, because there were at least two dozen familiar faces. And I cannot attribute this knowing but not liking any of those familiar faces, because among them were loved ones and dear friends. The food was pretty good, the dessert was great, mohitos and cosmos flowed like (insert your favorite flow metaphor here. Water/wine/tears/lava... it's that time of the month and I don't want to forcefully subject you to the metaphor that comes most readily to my mind. (Oops, too late.))
So anyway, lots of booze, lots of food, lots of flashbacks to me in middleschool hiding in the bathroom stall of some fancy catering hall.
I went to a "reform" temple on the wealthy side of town, which meant that people whose families had lots of money but not so much piety or tact invited me to a lot of Bar and Bat Mitzvahs where latkas with caviar on top were crucial religious celebratory ingredients. According to the 50 or so lavishly catered affairs I attended between ages 12-15, an ancient coming of age ceremony is simply not complete without novelty Groucho Marx sunglasses, miniature roulette wheels, caricaturists, fountains of chocolate, and sometimes three brand new ponies (no kidding.)
But hey, who am I to complain? I got 50 sweet goodie bags filled with personalized shirts, chocolates, light-up-pens, Tiffany bean necklaces, and sometimes even Bar Mints-vahs (because who wants to visit the holy land with a dirty mouth?)
I also got hours upon hours of awkward 7th grade dance antics, where the girls and boys treated eachother like a hostile enemy species until some coked-up professional "dance motivator" in a sequined vest skipped over and insisted that everyone join in for a mortifying game of "Coke and Pepsi."
Did you guys play Coke and Pepsi? Does anybody else think that having middle school girls repeatedly perch on the laps of middle school boys in the hopes of winning a giant inflatable saxophone borders on inappropriate? Was this just the ingenius plot of some horny group of 12 year olds? Have we been fooled into lap-perching submission for generations at the hands of a pervy pubescent patriarchy?
I didn't really have time to ponder these issues when I was 12-15 because, as I mentioned before, I was usually in the bathroom. These fancy catering halls usually had really fancy bathrooms that weren't even called bathrooms but rather "powder rooms," and the powder rooms were full of perfumes and hairspray and complimentary bouquets of tampax. They were also very quiet, and I found them a welcome escape from the blaring ear-assault of 3 hours of Backstreet Boys and Ricky Martin ickiness, or whoever the terrible pop idol of the era happened to be.
I have tried to be awesome at party socializing. I have tried to steel myself against the blaring music and sweaty handshakes and vapid chitchat about the weather and that yummy guacamole over by the bar. I have tried to imbibe half the contents of said bar in an attempt to enjoy myself more, but then I usually end up right back where I started- in the bathroom- and this time it's not because I'm a wallflower.
It's not that I don't like people. I mean, I don't like a lot of people, but I don't discount them as a race entirely. I think it's just that people were not meant to socialize in massive sweaty hordes of anonymous shouting.
But maybe that's just me.
Am I alone here? Are there other fellow bathroom-dwellers out there who couldn't wait for their Mom to pick them up from the 7th grade dance so they could go home and eat pizza bagels and watch old movie musicals with their cat and-
Well I think I've said too much.
Just to let you know, this candid admission only serves to underscore my allaround social excellence, because only the coolest person you know would willingly tell thousands of people about how she'd rather stab herself in the eye with a salad fork than go clubbing. Right?
Hope all is well, folks. Party on. Or off.
P.S. I'm in the process of editing the very last FINAL FINAL FINAL four pages of the book- a little "special features" section if you will, and I'd love a few more opinions. If you'd be willing to give me your two cents I'll send you the sneak preview. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org