Thursday, December 07, 2006

There is a Difference

I’m very diligent about monitoring the common areas of my office and the whereabouts of my coworkers, so I’m not faced with any unforeseen encounters. Trips to the kitchen and bathroom are very calculated, and today, when I was sure the coast was clear, I headed for the kitchen to make my lunch.

Much to my dismay, (and thanks to my apparently poor calculations), I was followed in by a senior attorney. So, I did my best at being cordial and initiated a conversation about the only thing that’s been on my mind for the last two weeks. “So, you’re not going to the Christmas party?” I ask. I was shocked by her response.

“No. I’m not a party person. I don’t like parties. I’m no good at parties, so I don’t go.”

Okay, first of all I was shocked because I would never be able to say that—even though I feel that way—because to me, not being a “party person” is a bad thing. It would make people look down on me, which in turn makes me a horrible person.

But the other reason why it surprised me is because she’s this extraordinarily smart, witty and opinionated woman and I can’t fathom her passing up an opportunity to socialize. She’s overtly social in the office, she’s very chatty and funny and it seemed out of character.

The bottom line is I don’t want to go to the Christmas party because I’m uncomfortable with myself and terrified of looking stupid in front of others; she doesn’t want to go to the party because...she doesn’t want to go to the party. Big difference.

And there’s nothing wrong with being the type of person who doesn’t get thrilled at the idea of a Christmas party. What is wrong is when you feel like killing yourself to get out of it.

’s all about self-acceptance. If only I could accept myself.

1 comment:

dave said...

You know, its my assertion no one truly likes parties. I am a (self-acclaimed) life of the party kind of guy. I laugh, I mingle, I tell jokes, sing karaoke (ok, not really but I secretly want to) and just generally have fun.

But its work. Being "on" is always a chore and I'd usually rather just be having a quiet evening with friends then standing for 2 hours laughing at the same stories I heard at the same party last year.

I agree that its not the same as being anxiety-ridden about parties but, then again, if the outcome is the same, what's the difference?

Other than the mental anguish, pain and suffering, of course.