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peripheral party skills.

January 9, 2012

I didn’t make a single resolution this year.  Not that anyone asked.  In fact, I’ve been surprisingly shocked at the lack of people interested in my lack of resolution for 2012.  I feel like every year I get put on the spot for weeks with people asking how I’ve vowed to make myself better in the coming year.  And truthfully, had someone asked I probably would have made a few up.  But since you didn’t ask, I’ll only relish in my personal laziness for the next 12 months.


Okay but if I had one goal going forward, I’d say it’s probably maturing my party skills.

That may sound strange, especially considering I don’t really get invited to many parties.  But I’ve discovered that may be all wrapped up in the fact that I’ve never quite honed in on my could-be-amazing party skills.  This point was made all too obvious when I attended my last (one and only) party of 2011.  I was catching up on some irreverent, childlike conversation with my bestie Jen (whom I only see once a year if I’m lucky, but I talk to almost daily and if I could I would post all of our email exchanges here because they are a perfect and hilarious look into the lives of two women who both work, adore their families and also respect the occasional fart joke) when all of a sudden we noticed from our peripheral vision that another person was standing close enough to our two person huddle that they may actually be considered part of our conversation.

This is when things get weird and then later weirder.  Because just as I am recalling an epic instance of hilarity from when Jen and I worked together so many years ago, this peripheral person hurriedly and randomly jumped in with an introduction.  Followed quickly by what seemed a fast game of “getting to know you by asking strange and obscure questions that seem a little too personal for a complete peripheral stranger”.

After I felt this person was sufficiently caught up on too much of my life, I turned to Jen, clapped my hands in exultation and said “OMG I TOTALLY FORGOT TO TELL YOU!…..”.  With only 5 more words into the story, Peripheral Person stepped right on in and ruined it all by pointing out that I wasn’t “LOOKING AT HER ENOUGH!!”.  By now she was certainly involved enough in this conversation for me to give her at least 25% of my eye contact.  Those were her words not mine.  I don’t even know what most of those words mean.

So obviously, since I flunked out of every public speaking class I ever paid for, I immediately started darting my eyes all around in different directions at the start of every new word.  Leaving no time for me to think through the use of inflection or emotion or even vowels.  The story was ruined and by the time it was over, the entire room had cleared out for fear of a contagious brain fungus that had obviously taken me mentally hostage.

When driving home later that evening, I wondered to myself if I had found myself in an isolated event in which one random person had maybe crossed the line in proper party conversation.  Or if perhaps she was right…and I just suck at parties.

Regardless of who is right, Peripheral Person has a point.

Going forward, I will now force myself into every possible, and even private conversation that I can.  I will then immediately look for any small break in dialogue to introduce myself.  And then politely take the opportunity to point out any and all flaws I can see in their interpersonal communication.


Suddenly my social calendar fills up and 2012 becomes my most fulfilled year eva.

I’m sassier than your momma,

6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 10, 2012 7:22 am

    lol my dear laura! and btw, the interaction with peripheral person was one of the highlights of my night because “did that really just happen?!“…i think this kind of thing only happens to you. also, when i look back, i will not remember the story you told me, but rather the hilariously awkward encounter and your stunned look that ensued.

    i personally think that social situations are only made better by your presence, so while i’d like to say “don’t change a thing”, i wouldn’t mind watching you butt into random, private conversations and criticize other people’s social skills.

    i love you.

  2. Juliette Genteman permalink
    January 10, 2012 4:51 pm

    Um… I think Peripheral Person is ridiculous. Who does that?!

    And if you publish a book of you and Jen’s emails, it is likely I will purchase a whole box of them.

    Also, next time I find time to throw a party, you are totally invited. 🙂 I wish we lived closer too.

    • January 23, 2012 4:37 pm

      i may do that book idea 🙂 you may be the only one to get it though. worth it!!

  3. Peripheral Person permalink
    January 12, 2012 1:22 pm

    sorry. I won’t do it again. I just want to be loved.

    • January 23, 2012 4:34 pm

      i understand. we’ve all been there. next time, just do me a favor. keep walking.

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