Friday, January 02, 2009

Why I Don't Like Parties

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.


Tracy said...

*Waving hand wildly* I, too, am a dreader of parties. ;)

... Paige said...

I'm usually too loud, but my voice carries and momma always said life was... oh not that momma. My momma always said I'd make a good opera singer because my voice carried so well.

Parties can be nice if they are the on the smallest side say 1 to 4 persons, six if I really like 'em.

Judy said...

I discovered at parties that although I embrace my 'boringness' no one else felt inclined to do so.

No parties for me.

Like, what WOULD I talk about?

Take today for example.

I stood on a toilet seat and added random colors of old blue ornaments to my cobalt blue bottles which are on top of an old wooden cupboard to see which ones gave me the most eye-candy' pleasure. I dropped one ball and it shattered all around me. But in the end I got it just right.

There you go. WONDERFUL party conversation stoppers.

Now if YOU were at the party, I would ask about your barn and all the great old things you have displayed up there. Good times that would be.

nancyr said...

I also dread parties! I hate all of the "small talk". The "what do you do?" "What does your husband do?"
The person who asks really doesn't care, most of the time.
I would much rather stay at home with a good book.

Jammie J. said...

Oh yes. It's kind of a weird feeling to explain something that is clear as day to you but the other person just doesn't get it.

I get what you're saying and, like Paige's last paragraph, I prefer my "parties" to be small -- 1 to 4 people. If I have to attend a larger party, I usually find myself on the fringes with other quiet type people engaging in low-voiced conversations that have nothing to do with the folly goings-on elsewhere.

Alas, though, I guess it takes all types to make a party go round. Which might be confused with a merry go round. :)

Joy and Phil said...

Maybe because we do not see them very often, family gatherings that include my closest friends are the only partys I like, and I LOVE them! All others bore me to tears! I have been called a hermit by some for that reason ... but it just "ain't" my thing.

Linda said...

Aye! I agree wholeheartedly! I detest baby showers and wedding showers and other similar gatherings. What DO people find to chat about? The weather? Where you got that lovely blouse? The difficulties of finding a good babysitter? Your recipe for those wonderful little melt-in-your-mouth cookies? Or how about wakes? And the inevitable comments about "doesn't he look good?" I so badly want to say, "no, unfortunately, he looks quite dead". I too enjoy blogging and I enjoy reading your blog.

Anonymous said...

Your blog just made my day.

A lot of friends (I call them friends but we don't really have much in common other than having gone to high school together), have been throwing a lot of parties lately, and I always dreaded going. Out of all those parties, I only went to two: the first was because it was my close friend's debut and it was small anyway; the second was because the celebrant delivered the invitation herself, and it felt too wrong not to go.

People always comment on how quiet I am, but it's really just because small talk was never my thing. Now I'm faced with all these parties, and with each passing event I was getting more convinced that I'm a bad person for dreading the chance to be with other people, to the point that I Googled 'i don't like going to parties' in the hope of finding solace. Then your blog came up, and it made me feel much better. I'm glad for the company. So, thanks. :)

Divya Jain said...

ditto.. just so you know this is universal, I am from India.. this article made my day

Mara said...

I googled "I hate parties" and came upon your blog. I'm glad I'm not all that freaky. lol. I cannot stand parties and small talk and pretending I like people and their shallowness.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Thank you so much for writing. I feel like Im not alone now. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the blog :) It's so nice to hear that other people feel the same as I do. Now I just have to find people like me too so we can have small gatherings and talk about things we all are interested in!