We are the people who sit at the few chairs in that crowded room.
We are the people who find what’s inside those shot glasses a little weird, or think that beer is too bitter.
We are the people who help random strangers when they throw up because really, that’s the only way we can get involved.
We are the people who when dancing, just really jump up and down and randomly wave our hands in the air, but only for a few seconds.
We are the people who “disappear” from the party for a few minutes, but that’s only because we really, really need some “air” and end up staying outside the doors for ten minutes.
We are the non-party people: the people who as much as they like people, or trying to like people, or liking get-togethers… don’t like parties.
Which is why, when we get invited (and on the rare occasion go) to a party: it always ends up something along these lines:
We get there. We greet the people that know us and laugh with them when they say lines such as “oh my, you actually came!”, “let’s get you drunk!”. We awkwardly stand in the corner or sit at a table or you end up dragging us along with you introducing us to person after person: names we actually ALREADY know, but we know perfectly well, we’re just not going to get along. and that’s the reason why we never spoke to them.
However, we don’t want to drag you down, so we tell you (somewhere between your third glass of alcohol and half a shot glass of ours) that you should go on, enjoy the party. We’ll make our own friends, we say, smiling as we push you to the center of the room and give you a small wave.
But it’s just so hard. The alcohol. The music. The few people we know know people better than we do- they flock together and we end up doing some quiet thing like petting your cat or walking in the garden, or (and this is the best case scenario) stick to one person we know (which is most likely feeling the same way as we do.)
And what about you? You give us sneaking looks at times; drop in on us, asking how we are, waving, smiling. But as the night goes on and the alcohol gets to you, you end up laughing with the group you’re most comfortable with (and we know this because you talk really loudly at this point) that you kind of feel sorry that you forced us to go, since apparently it is “not our thing to party.”
You end up apologizing the next day, we smile, say that it was “chalking it up to experience” or “maybe my mind will change about these things one day” , we go our separate ways, and you make a little reminder in your head to never invite us again to one of those parties.
The thing is, it’s not that we don’t want to. We’re not even angry at you for inviting us, we’re probably more angry at ourselves. We’ll think that we’re so antisocial, or that we’re weird, or that we don’t “jive” with most people- we hit ourselves the hardest because there was that “perfect” opportunity to “break out of our shell”, and we end up questioning ourselves on what we did wrong, how can we interact better next time, but at the same time being annoyed that these things are necessary and feel irritated at the saying “this is not even difficult.”
Perhaps what I’m trying to say here is a reason for me refusing that invite. Or me being a feeling a little bit hurt at that announcement. It’s just that it’s passed from the point of “could be” to “better not”, that I honestly think there is nothing wrong with you telling me stories of “how great that party was” and wouldn’t mind if you skipped the customary “wish you were there”.
What I want you to do is to understand: that I’m just doing both of us a favor, and I wouldn’t mind if you texted me at 1 am saying that “we’re still going strong” and inevitably ask us to keep you awake in class the next day. We know who you are. We know what you do. All that we ask is that you do the same.
So the next time you send out that post or text message, just remember…
What about us?