Saturday, March 20

I am not a (party) animal

A couple of weeks ago we had a nice weekend planned.  The girls were at their cousins for a couple of days and Tom and I had a bit of peace and quiet to look forward to and a party to go to on the Saturday night.

The party was a birthday celebration for a friend of Tom’s.  We’d received the invitation a few weeks earlier and Tom asked if I’d like to go and I said ‘yes, that will be nice’. 

All Occasion Big Party

The weeks passed and the big day arrived and I thought ‘a party…meh’.  I’d even dutifully posted on Facebook that it was going to a be a good weekend, including the party in list of enjoyable things about to happen.  By the time party hour rolled round I was thoroughly disinterested.  It was cold and raining, the party was being held in a shed or barn or something and worst of all there were over 60 people invited - I only vaguely knew one of them.  I had a sudden realisation that I had absolutely no interest in attending this party.  In fact the very idea of having to go to this event, make small talk with strangers and generally socialise filled me dread.  I didn’t want to go.   I told Tom.  He was a bit disappointed but understanding.  After much thought and deliberation I decided not to go.  Tom said he’d go for a couple of hours.  I changed out of my party clothes and got into my PJs, poured myself a glass of wine and settled on the couch, with Jack at my side, and watched Midsomer Murders.  Happy.

I’ve since reflected on this (for the want of something better to do).  During this reflection I came to realise that I don’t like parties, I’ve never liked parties and I have, in fact, spent my whole life disliking parties and avoiding them where possible and enduring them when it’s not possible to avoid them.  I even remember as a child not particularly liking parties.   The same goes for clubs and organisations and conferences.

I’m not anti-social, I like spending time with people up to a point.  I’ve always been very happy in my own company but a nice gathering of close friends and family is fine.  A dinner party, or lunch with a small group is lovely.  I think my limit is 6 people before it becomes too much and too overwhelming for me. 

image

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me (is there?).  I know I’m not alone in not enjoying certain social gatherings.  I’m past the point in my life where I feel I have to party like it’s 1999 (and that reference proves it).  I’m also past the point in my life where I have to pretend about such things and can actually say ‘thanks for the invitation, but I’m not really into parties but would love to catch up for a drink/coffee/dinner sometime’ and not make excuses or lie about phantom previous engagements.  

Does this mean I’m finally growing up? Or just getting old?

9 comments:

Dave said...

I feel exactly the same about large gatherings of people, and hadn't been to a party for many, many years - until last weekend, when I, out of a sense of duty to my kids who had organised it, went to my ex's 60th birthday party (she's a lot older than me, I was a child bride). I didn't enjoy it.

laoi gaul~williams said...

i am exactly the same as both of you :)
i would rather sit and read or watch a good film than go and party~i am a very solitary person and do not enjoy social situations.
we have a bit of a pagan camp dveloping around a trip to avebury and i am half dreading half looking forwards to it.

Caitlin said...

Well thank goodness for that.

I also recall you changing your mind about a local gardening club when you were halfway there Dave (am I remembering that correctly?)

I can imagine how you feel Laoi, I'd be the same...I mean it's AVEBURY!!!...but a with a lot of others it loses some of it's appeal.

I've never been a 'joiner' I find it excruciating.

Dave said...

You remember very well, C.

別跟我說 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cathy said...

It all depends on the crowd...the one you described I would have ditched as well!

Hate dressing up and going out (maybe if I was a size 8 model-looking type I wouldn't mind so much?) - finding something to wear is excruciating!

Love going out with close friends...other stuff I could do without...

is this a pattern amongst us bloggers? do we prefer typing away at our keyboards?

rainy night...or any night really...i would choose being on the lounge in pj's over a party! so either we are all normal or all weirdos lol

Z said...

I'm fine with parties as long as they're not the sort where the music is too loud for conversation but there's nothing else to do but talk to people you hardly know and have to nod and smile a lot and pretend you are following the conversation. I mean, I can do them but they're not a lot of fun.

The other ones that are hard are where most people know each other but not you - which it sounds as though that one was. If no one knows many people, like at a wedding, then everyone tries to make friendly conversation, but if you're the odd one out then it's very dull.

With those exceptions (and I can deal with them), I like parties. I am happy to be anonymous in a crowd, or I can join in conversations. I have needed good social skills over the years, so work on them. My natural inclination is to be quite reclusive, but it's not good for me, so I make a point of joining things and meeting people.

miss*R said...

Hi Caitlin!
re Deuter.. I bought some of his albums from iTunes. one is the East of Full Moon and the other Land of Enchantment.

I like that you stayed home in your PJ's... listening to your inner voice is always good.

Caitlin said...

Robyn! So lovely to 'see' you here. I've been trying to decide which album to buy first on iTunes, 'East of the Full Moon' is the 'winner' so far.

Beautiful profile pic by the way. :-)
C
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