So this morning I began reading a 1960 teen romance called The Look of Love, by Denise Cass Brookman, a specially-requested book on my Christmas list, one Tom gave me. And as I read the following two paragraphs I thought, aha! This is why I don't like parties:
"What it amounted to was that you just couldn't afford to be either stupid or smart. And study-smart or easy-smart was being too smart for your own good.
Candy didn't know what her own particular good was. She knew that it was supposed to be what everyone else's was--being middle. Feeling it, acting it, talking it. Feeling only a middle feeling, nothing at either end, no great enthusiasms, no great depressions. You acted middle, foolishly sometimes, but never radically. You talked middle, too, which was the same as being silent because you never said anything really--just things like Don't get carried away, and Don't stick your neck out, and Don't do any more than you have to do, and Don't try for two when you've already got one..."
Debra here again: Yep, it's that grey and boring middle conversation ground at parties which I dread. People reaching only for the least common denominator chat amongst the crowd... how the washing machine broke down or the neighbors fought again or the new spaghetti place that opened down the street. Grey stuff. And I'm talking about church parties since that's the main type I've attended the last, oh, 30 years. You know, potlucks, ice cream socials, birthday parties and such.
For forever I've preferred high roads and stretching my mind and dreamy topics or deeper, serious ones. Not conversations with uncomfortable conflict, either, but ones which take you someplace and drop you off there, changed. Talks which open your eyes to a person's heart or teach you something great which you didn't know before you entered the room.
I'm certainly not trying to make anyone feel this this way--I'm only explaining how I feel. You may not understand much of this or agree with any of it. In fact, two weeks ago I tried to explaining this to a good, good friend over lunch and she just did not get it. She adores church parties, always has, always will and the subject just fizzled away.
But I'm sure some of you have felt as I do and well, I just want you to know that if you, too, are a Dreader of Parties, you are not alone.
And too, it occured to me that I'm more grateful than ever to have this blog where I can jot down my beliefs and feelings--things which for eons (it seemed) I wasn't free to share with anyone other than Tom. Blogland has proven a great place to reach out with my not-suitable-for-parties chatter, if only tentatively, to others who understand and need me to understand them, as well.