Mentally Preparing to Party
Today, my childhood friend turns 30 and is having a party—a party she has been reminding me about every other day for two weeks. First the Facebook invite, and then via text. The first one said, “I know you have a life over there in Orlando and everything (I really don’t), but I really, really want you to be at my party” (I’m not entirely proud of this, but she knows how I am regarding parties, especially ones where strangers will be in attendance).
I’ve been kind of freaking out about this, to the point where I just feel really tired and have had a constant headache for the last three days. It starts at 2:00 (the party, not the headache), and the invitation says, “Kid-friendly until 7:00,” indicating that this is supposed to go on for several hours. Some of the people on the invite list I know (although only one of them really well—Erin, another childhood friend I met when I was 12, and I am excited about that—but seeing a few of the others will be like stepping into a mini high-school reunion (not so much excited about that). I really hope “kid-friendly until 7:00” doesn’t mean “everyone feel free to bring all your kids. . . ”
I was hoping to bring the boyfriend. The boyfriend is an extrovert and a social butterfly who will talk to anyone like he’s known them for years. I was hoping he could do that while I stood there smiling and offering the occasional interjection, leaving them all thinking, Wow, look at Sarah’s totally normal and super-friendly boyfriend! She must be totally normal and super-friendly, too, and clearly does not have crippling social anxiety. But the boyfriend cannot come because he has a fantasy football draft at the same time.
So I will pop a couple Advils, buy some beer, grab a snack tray (I wanted to make something myself so I could wow everyone with my culinary prowess, but I overslept and now I don’t have time), and grin and bear it until a socially acceptable time to slip away. Or who knows—maybe everyone will be really cool and I’ll end up having a super-awesome time, and all this catasrophizing will have been for nothing. I really hope for the latter.