Tuesday, December 14, 2010

one-hour party (lyn)

I’ve never been much of a partier.  I do much better in small groups.  Even in college, I can’t remember a single party standout.  All are blurs.  If it’s a party where I know people, I’m fine.  But send me off to a party where I know few people, and send me off alone, well for me, these are the worst.

Every year, BAFTA hosts a lovely holiday party in the British Ambassador’s spectacular apartment.  Last year I didn’t go, and since I want to be more active in this organization, I decide that this year I’ll attend.  Throughout the day, I think often of not going.  But my name is on some RSVP list, and it would look bad not to show, and so in the end, I wash my hair and blow it out, select a slimming black skirt and cashmere sweater, say good-bye to Alexander and leave the house around 6:15.

It’s a bitter cold night.  I arrive at the bus stop and a bus is there.   It’s one of these new express busses where you pay at a kiosk and then board through any door.  It works on the honor system.  Tickets are only randomly checked.  I have a decision to make:  do I board the bus without buying a ticket and risk a $200 fine if caught, or do I buy a ticket (and therefore miss the bus and have to stand in the 20 degree weather waiting for the next bus)?  It is so cold (and this from a person who loves winter).  I decide it’s worth the risk and so I board.  The entire way to the party I’m formulating my excuse if caught.  Fortunately, I’m not.

Within a half hour of arriving at the party, I’ve spoken briefly with the two people I see and know, listened to a short welcoming and thank you speech, eaten some passed hors d’oeuvres: 2-3 little salmon sandwiches, a couple of fried shrimp with an orange sauce, 2-3 mini quiches, a tiny roll with roast beef, and a glass of warm mulled wine.  I’m done.

Exactly one hour after leaving, Alexander is surprised to see me home.

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