I now know why I... I don't really like... Parties are strange. Sometimes when I think about why I don't like parties I can't think of a good reason other than the fact that I wish not to get shitfaced, unlike the majority of party-goers. Somehow, the idea of throwing up, passing out, hurting myself (or others), and saying/doing stupid things while my judgment is severely impaired, does not appeal to me, especially if I won't remember any of it the following day. I totally get why teens party like that, though.
Actually, I don't.
The party I'm going to talk about was not a drunk-person-infested party, however. In fact, there were no conversations that started with, "Hi. Yeeerrrr preetttyy. What. What do you like? What. Yerr prettyyy." Instead, conversations started with, "I haven't seen you in a while. What are you up to these days?" Naturally, I told people about college and work. My grandma sometimes piped in that I was here (on the mainland) on business. Sometimes people would dig deeper and ask, "Oh? What are you doing?" and I would explain to them that I'm a research assistant working for UBC. I feel a little embarrassed when I say this; I'm worried that it sounds too good. "What are you researching?" At this point, my tongue fumbles around inside my mouth and my lips sometimes allow muffled sounds to escape into the air now full of anticipation. Or is it expectation? Eventually I would remember to breathe and would figure out which language to speak with these alien, or not-so-alien, beings.
The spiel begins: "The environmental standards for soil are under evaluation and they're revising the protocols for when they assess for contaminated soil, so we're doing a survey to help us with this." Even though that doesn't really make any sense, it's what I mumbled and it shut people up. I don't know why I don't practice something ahead of time, like I do when I call people or leave voicemails. I should say "We're conducting a survey regarding the types of outdoor environments children who are between the ages of 18 months and 6 years spend time in," but I'm only that eloquent on paper, when I'm reading it out, when I've practiced it, or when I'm comfortable. When I have eight eyes fixed on me that I'm absolutely positive have laser beams within them, I don't feel comfortable. And, for the life of me, I can't make that sentence sound better. The "spend time in" is... quite far from the "children." *sigh*
Work is easier than school. "Are you going to school? Weren't you homeschooled?" Then I say yes, but I'm going to college right now. Nobody on the mainland recognizes Camosun so I tell them I plan to go to UVic afterwards. This is the easy part: "What will you be studying?" Creative writing. "Oh! You want to be a writer!" Sometimes people ask me what I want to write and that's tricky. I don't know if I want to write screenplays, poetry, novels, or if I want to be a journalist. That's why I'm going to college: to learn about things I'm interested in. The "How are you going to make money?" question is tough to answer and I don't have an answer to give. I don't know yet. I'm 18, so I'm so sorry that even though I do know what direction I want to go in, I still have no solid idea of what I want to do with my life.
Of the few young adults who have a "definite" plan of what they want to do in life, how many do you think actually follow through?
Many times I'll have to get into The Dreaded Homeschooling Conversation. It's so popular that I've had to capitalize it. This time I had to stand up for the sane homeschoolers, i.e. NOT Christian homeschoolers or the lazy ones. "I know a guy who was homeschooled. He has never partied before, he has never drunk, and he has no social skills whatsoever. When he goes to parties now that he's in university, he's such an awkward guy. He doesn't do anything." I'm not going to lie. There are homeschoolers that really make you wonder how they will make it in the real world. Then again, how many high school graduates are ready for the real world? I know people in all three home/un-school categories: the Christians, the deadbeats and the curious ones. Guess which ones make it in the real world.
Most, if not all people who commented/liked this status is/was a home/un-schooler.
Before we go any further, I want to explain that this party wasn't so bad, but I've found myself in these situations at parties in the past. Nobody asked me how I'm going to make money this time around, thankfully.
Also, I'm not even going to bother with the pre-party matters.
I'm listening to Abba. I might not have the most... ordinary taste in music for a girl of my age in this decade. I mean, I love disco (unlike most of the people I know) but at least disco is dance-to-able, whereas the trash you hear on the radio has nothing but a beat that, if you're lucky, is just barely foot-tapping material. They call it "dance music" but unless you're gangsta and have been practicing your crotch-grabbing, you might as well stand in the corner and try to determine which THUMP to tap your foot to. If it's not gangsta-music, then you're left to jump. Playing music you have to jump to music at a birthday party where the age range is 3-85, the majority of the people over 30 and with a glass of wine in one hand, is not a good idea. If you want people to dance, you have to pick the right music. It isn't always easy but it can be done if you try. Otherwise, some fun, upbeat, softish music would be fine and it would probably agree with most people's taste in music, especially if the crowd is diverse.
It's really the explanations of "what I'm doing now" and "how I got here" that kill me at parties... That and the smalltalk. Or maybe it's when there's an awkward silence after you've discussed something and you are left to spin the beverage in your glass, take a sip, stare at your feet, glance at the food, fix your dress, smile at the people, pretend you're thinking, pretend you're calm, pretend you remember their names, pretend this awkward silence is okay, pretend like you give a shit about what they're "up to these days." There's a lot of pretending. Or maybe it's when you're done pretending and you're looking for a way out. Or when you are distracted by another party-goer who wants to talk to you and you leave the awkward post-smalltalk silence lingering behind you. Or maybe it's when you have to fart but everyone is singing "Happy Birthday" and you just can't leave at that point in time. After the cake, after the presents. After the cake, after the presents.
Speaking of which, who's coming to my 19th?
As relatively painless as this party was, it was dull. There is a cure for dull parties. Instead of letting people disperse into groups so they mingle only with a handful of invitees, something should be done to bring them all together. Something should be done to break the ice between the groups. Something like games. Board games and other party games should be provided and played. Simple, right? This is all I have to say about it. Look how short this paragraph is, the solution, compared with the other ones. Amazing.
This globulation is not my way of saying, "Don't ever invite me to parties." It is actually saying, "Don't invite me to boring parties where I'm forced to make smalltalk with people I don't know or haven't seen since I was a child and where I'll be unprepared and uncomfortable." Somehow I don't think this is the last of this kind of party for me. I did well. I really did. Except when I talked about work. Oh well.
'Til next time! Because everybody has birthdays... usually once every year.
I fucking love this song.
For the record, just because you listen to 70s music doesn't mean you should dance like they did in the 70s.