Monday, June 18, 2007

Last one at the party

I don’t go to many parties. By choice. On occasions when I do end up at them, I frequently find myself helping out in the kitchen, hanging out by the bar, making small talk when I catch myself in the presence of others equally awkward at socializing, and more often than not, just wandering around observing people and smiling when they notice me.

I don’t mean to make myself out to be a wallflower. I actually love interacting with people I know and care about. And I think I have a knack for putting others at ease.

It’s more that I’m self-conscious. I’ve never liked being onstage and I’m a terribly bumbling performer. I’ve always preferred to promote other people’s exhibitionism rather than risk the embarrassment of my own clumsy attempts.

On the other hand, I hate to miss out on anything. So at those parties I do end up attending, I’m usually one of the last ones out the door! It’s ironic I suppose, but only when the crowd starts thinning out do I start feeling less guarded. There’s a growing awareness that the event is coming to an end, and I want to capture whatever my holding back may have caused me to miss. This feeling goes way back to childhood when I always wanted to stay up later than my parents thought I should. Just a few more minutes… to see how things play out.

Okay, obvious metaphor: I haven’t lived my life completely. Maybe I’m a slow starter, hesitant to jump in, but I’m not ready for it to be over yet.

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