I chickened out in the end. I chose the easy way out and retreated into my hermit cave instead of attending the pirate-themed beach party my company threw just for kicks. (Also, I keep mentioning pirate-themed, only because I want to remind myself how ridiculous it sounds to someone who doesn’t like themed parties that involve dressing up.)
My company is big on these bonding events, and really it’s not so bad. There’s pizza, booze, games, goody bags, prizes – the usual shebang you’d expect at a company party. But I’m not a party person in general. My idea of a good Friday night is curling up on the couch with a book, or being productive and churning out pages of my novel.
It might be the cynic in me speaking, but I don’t want to get close to anyone when I’m likely not going to see these people again. I don’t want to get attached when I intend to leave as soon as something else comes along.
But I do understand that in order to have something worth writing, I need to go out and live. Experience things, see things, meet and talk to people, even if they’re only going to be acquaintances. I know I need to break out of my routine and my cloistered life for the sake of my sanity, my social life and cultivate a less boring personality.
But I’m terrified – deathly terrified – that it would turn out really awkward and, well, un-fun. And that I’d have wasted my time being a socially-retarded loser. I think that’s the reason why I’m always hesitant to attend social events. That I’d be reminded of the fact that I either stick out like a sore thumb or have to behave in a socially acceptable way – requisite small talk, bright smile to constantly hold up, chirpy voice – in order to fit in.
Of course, staying in my comfort zone makes me even more of a socially-retarded loser.
I want to get out more. I do. But sometimes, going out is such a hassle and meeting new people is daunting. Terrifying. It gets even more terrifying the more I retreat into my shell. Because the truth is, despite how much I convince myself I don’t care what people think of me, it is ALL I can think about when I meet them.
Does she think I’m weird?
Am I boring him?
Is she wishing she’s anywhere else but here with me?
What will he say to his friends about me?
Do I have something in between my teeth?
Oh god, did I just snort in laughter?
Well, in any case, it’s raining now. A part of me is relieved. Now I won’t have to feel so bad about not going. A moment later, another part of me chides that relieved part for being so selfish. Urgh. If only I weren’t such a weirdo. How do you become normal? What is normal? Taking part in social drinking and party games? What if I don’t want to be that kind of “normal”? Does that make me abnormal?
Next time. Next time I promise I’ll go.