Monday, October 27, 2014

How to Get Ready for a Party

As of last night, I have finished all but the afterthought heel of the second Halloween sock. That means I am just a few minutes away from a completed pair of socks, days ahead of schedule! I don't know how the second sock knitted up so quickly, but I made sure to check that sock #2 was the same size as sock #1 before I grafted the toe.

Now that the socks are very nearly done, I have plenty of time to complete my party-preparation ritual. This is a finely honed system for getting myself ready to cope with group activities and social situations. The only times I can avoid using this system is when I plan the party, because then I control the party, I know what is expected of me, and I feel safe. I'm also okay if the party is with my close friends, people I know actually like me and really want me to come to their party.

Yes, you get to know the system. Of course. I mean, one of you might relate! Probably not, but still.
Step One (several weeks before party): Set a highly ambitious goal for party or event. Plan to purchase a new outfit made up of hard-to-find pieces, decide to knit a new sweater or learn to sew in order to make a dress, look for a dress or skirt which is long enough, decide on a piece of clothing that is unflattering and become devastated when this is discovered.

Step Two (approximately one week prior to party): Burst into tears. Crying can be caused by a variety of factors, but the primary reason is that parties are, for the most part, unstructured and lack of structure means lack of control. Ugly cry. Blame childhood for lack of social skills. 
Step Three (week of the party): Change entire outfit (or costume) idea. Do so while crying and feeling wholly unattractive. 
Step Four (several days before party): Go back to original idea because knitting was somehow finished on time, crafting was completed ahead of schedule, or missing article of clothing was discovered by some miracle at T.J. Maxx or Target. 
Step Five (day before party): Realize that no matter what is worn to the party, it will be worn by you, and you cannot do parties because you are a neurotic basket-case. (For proof of neurosis, see steps one through four.)  
Step Six (day before party): Ugly cry some more. 
Step Seven (night before party): Resignation. You must go to the party. You are going to the party. You will bring a book and hope no one notices you. 
Step Eight (night before party): Lie in bed all night, awake, waiting for party. Insert panic attack or crying spell here. 
Step Nine (hour before the party): Cry a lot or have a panic attack before walking out the door of the house. 
Step Ten (approximately 30 minutes before party): Arrive at party location 30 minutes early due to fear of tardiness. Due to fear of earliness, remain in car with book and waves of terror. Hope no one notices you in the car and discovers how early you have arrived, come up with various explanations for earliness that do not include evidence of mental illness. Realize that there is no way that you can deny that you have serious problems with social interaction. Decide that covering up problem with humor is the way to go.

Now you understand why people shouldn't invite me to parties (also you understand why I am still single and likely to remain so). I mean, I want to go. I have fun when I get there. But I'd rather not know that a party is going to happen until someone picks me up in their car and tells me that the party is where we're going.

Sometimes a nunnery sounds like a super-cool place to live. Except that other people would live there, so that would be awkward. Let's face it, I'm probably going to become a recluse like Howard Hughes, only without the hygiene issues, because I can't stand to go more than one day without washing my hair.

This blog is cheaper than therapy.

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