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November 7, 2010

Goodbye Parties - Social Situations

Last night, a work friend of mine (I'm not going to name her, because I don't want her to be embarrassed) had a going-away party at the Railway Club here in Vancouver. We met on Twitter, in the sense that we first came to each other's attention as we were trying to get our respective offices involved in the whole social media world. When she discovered that there were only a very few of us in the entire Faculty of Education, she thought it would be cool to get together and share notes, have a little fun, that sort of thing.

So I don't know her *that* well, but well enough that I was happy to be invited to her party. She actually had a work going-away party on Tuesday, but I wasn't able to go to that (she said it was kind of lame anyway, as only a few people showed up, and only one current co-worker). Last night's party was a family and friends one. I wouldn't know *anybody*.

I wasn't quite sure what I had gotten myself into.

Those who know me know that I am *horrible* in social situations where I don't know anybody, or only know one person (and that person is the center of attention, so they're not going to be spending *that* much time paying attention to you).

I was a bit nervous when I walked into the Railway Club (and a bit wet, as the rain was coming down hard). It didn't help that I actually got there before the woman in question, so I wasn't even sure if I was finding the right party. Thankfully, as I was looking around, she showed up and everything was good.

I'm not going to go into the details of the party, even the mess-ups (which resulted in the first four beer pitchers being paid for by the Club). Because I want to talk about how it affected me (hey, it's my blog, so you shouldn't be surprised).

This is the first time that I've been to a club or bar on a weekend night (as opposed to just coming in for a burger and a beer in the afternoon) in quite a long time. Probably 12 years or so. It was rather interesting to watch the people in the club. There was a live band in the front of the club, but we were in the back, so I didn't people-watch them.

Yes, it was definitely loud. It brought back memories of barely being able to hear the person you're talking to, either getting the gist of it or having to ask them to repeat. There was a lot of leaning in.

Thankfully, I didn't get asked to wear a puffy shirt.

At the beginning of the evening, there were fewer of us, so we were sitting around a long table in the darts area. I talked a little bit, but mainly listened, and I wasn't really getting involved much. I was beginning to wonder if it was going to be a short evening for me.

But then I got up to use the restroom and, when I came back, was standing around instead of sitting. The woman's mom came up to me and started talking to me (incidentally, I'm not used to parents of people in my generation being partiers too, but her parents definitely are, or at least were last night. They were very cool). I don't know if she noticed that I was being kind of a wallflower or if it just came naturally to her, but we chatted for quite a while and I started becoming a bit more comfortable.

Yes, drinking 7 glasses of beer definitely helped that, but still...

I started talking to my friend's dad for a bit too, and a couple of her friends, and I started feeling like I belonged there. I was actually having fun! We were all laughing, joking around, and yes, well-lubricated. But it was a blast. I felt included.

I'm still not comfortable in these types of situations, and I don't know if it would have been any different if her mom hadn't started things off. Does it take somebody outgoing to suck me out of my solitude? Does it take booze?

I don't know. But I can say that I had a lot of fun last night, was out late, and I am so glad I went. It was also just interesting to be in a party atmosphere again. It was a bit different as the last time I was in that atmosphere, I was single and looking. This time, it was just observation.

I do know that, if the opportunity ever presents itself again, I won't be as nervous.

(For those of you concerned, the Railway Club is downtown and I live downtown, so I walked home. No driving involved)


  1. great story- has happened nto us all, those parties where we don't know anyone and then have a great time.

  2. What did Kim say when you came home?

  3. Thanks, Pris! I'm just not a party-goer, so it doesn't happen to me. :)

    Mom, what do you think she would say?


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