This Weekend I Blew Off A Holiday Work Party

I don’t want to go. That admission, those words, make me feel like a heel every time I have cause to utter them with a tortured whine. You would think I was heading into surgery or Jesus even worse, visiting the dentist. Yikes! Nope, just invited to something where the undertone is laced with so much should I’d have to serve time if I smoked it.

I’m not good at parties.

Correction: I’m not good at parties where I don’t know folks or I know them and don’t connect with them or they are so far out of my comfort zone I feel faint from the change in the altitude.

I have long resisted extra curricular work functions. It’s strange really. At times I want so badly to connect with my coworkers and yet I’ve experienced what it’s like when personal runs into business and there’s no defined edge. Like over easy eggs when you break the yolk and go after it with a triangle of toast, it’s not always pretty. And it’s a fine line between all in, here’s my crazy, wacky, talk to myself as I eat frosting with a spoon for dinner in my underwear self, versus keeping it professional and discussing weekend pleasantries.

This particular party was a tough call. I really liked the host. I actually really liked a number of people there. The issue I struggled with was the combination of facing a few people who have been unkind to me and my natural introverted ability to feel like a deflating balloon when trying to make small talk.

I suck at small talk and a few of my coworkers suck at being nice people. It’s one thing to know me and not like me but an entirely different thing to judge what you don’t know. It’s maybe a Mean Girls thing or maybe with my natural awkward grace I’ve come across as off putting. I’m not sure. I just know I’ve tried any number of times to be friendly and open myself up and the interest shown was as much as you’d see at a paint drying contest. Ok, fair enough. It’s left me feeling lonely and frustrated but at the very least I’m a nice person so maybe it’s them? Maybe we just aren’t people meant to click with one another?

Whatever the case may be, we only get one spin around this crazy place and I’d like to really enjoy it. That means I need to go where I want and do what I want and when I have the option to choose, spend time around the people I want. It has to be that way…for now. I imagine one day, if I keep at it, I will cultivate a self love that runs so deep I’ll be comfortable in any situation. Until then though I will protect my unsure heart and spend time where I feel respected and loved and appreciated. Maybe that would have been at this party and maybe not. My gut told me not to go though and she has my best interest at heart so I’m sticking with her.

***Editor’s Note: I’ve always wanted to call myself an editor – and Gisele – but we can’t have everything.  A quick note on the above to settle my paranoia that I swear will have me wearing a hat made of aluminum foil one day so nobody can read my thoughts. There are a number of people with whom I interact on a regular basis at the office who are lovely.  I do feel valued and respected by most and would go so far as to say it’s the most appreciated I’ve ever been by management at a company (and I’ve had a decent run).  I suffer from what most folks might be familiar with and that’s my penchant to focus on the negative while the positive is glowing at such a rate I can barely see my hand in front of my face.  There are of course people who I feel have been unkind, and deliberately so at that which makes it tough and awkward at times, but on the whole I feel lucky and grateful to have the opportunities I do at work.  In re-reading what I wrote, I wanted to be sure I painted an accurate picture.  I also would prefer to not get canned should anyone discover this and feel it is inappropriate (which I don’t think it is but you never know).  And finally, for the sake of accuracy, I would have only been stopping by said party as we had another family get together prior to which would have had my husband and I arriving late.  It ran over.  It helped make my decision (this may make me seem less bad ass but trust me, I can be a rebel when I want to be).  Now, I have to eventually stop typing and trying to apologize for what I’ve originally said which essentially seems to be what I’m doing which would in turn make what I said seem insincere.  It’s not.  I just hate hurting people’s feelings…even those who have hurt mine.  I also hate unemployment.  This note hopefully assists with both.  Signing out exhausted, rattled and ready to run and hide, yours truly.  Now, where is that aluminum foil…