blogging gobbledygook and such

Don’t Take Me To Parties

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Here is Ian in Hamburg‘s handwritten valentine! This is one of my favourite postcards of Malaysian scenery. I don’t even know if that life-size chess board really exists!

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I went to a Chinese New Year open house recently. There are only two reasons I go there every year: the food and the ang pow (red packets). It is Dee’s rich friends and I do not know anybody there.

I do not enjoy going to parties or events where I don’t know anybody. Dee, much as I love him, is hopeless as company because he forgets his family when his friends are around. He wouldn’t bother if I have a place to sit next to him at the table, knowing how shy and antisocial I am. He wouldn’t even call me to sit next to him when there’s an empty seat later, knowing that I was sitting at the next table alone with strangers.

You might say, I’m a big girl now and I shouldn’t be clinging to my dad. I should mingle! Like how this uncle (in Malaysia, any male or female adult who isn’t related is also called uncle or auntie) chided me for reading my book at the open house that day. He sarcastically asked, are you praying? And me, being rather slow, said uhh, no. Then he ordered me to put away the bloody book and talk to people.

I found that very offensive. I recognise him because he goes to the open house every year too, but I don’t think I’m that close to him to be talked to like that. Also, who was he to order me like that since he’s not even the host?

By the way, newsflash: in my blog, in certain places around the Internet, I am one of the most friendly people you can ever know. Outside, I’m so shy and timid you wouldn’t believe that I can actually talk that much in my blog.

You might say it’s not a good ‘attitude’ to have, because as human we are social creatures and are bound to be in some social occasion or another, therefore I must develop some social skills.

Now see, I am going to disagree with two points.

One, I don’t think I should mingle for the sake of mingling. These people are all here for the food too and perhaps for the hosts, not to get to know me. And even if they showed interest in me, it’s pretty pointless because I have nothing in common with these uncles and aunties. They all rather talk to each other and do actually have things to talk about with each other. I mean, I don’t even see these people except this one time every year, so really, I don’t see the need to bust my gut trying to look friendly and sociable when really, I am not.

Two, I have different objectives for attending the open house. I went there solely for the food and to collect some ang pow. I did not go there for point number one. So since I’m very clear of what I want out of the open house, I don’t see why you should be bothered if I was reading a book while eating my bowl of ais kacang. What does it matter to you if I’m behaving in a terribly gauche manner? What should it bother you when it doesn’t bother me?

See, I know I’m shy. It used to bother me that I’m shy because people see it as some sort of character flaw. In some ways it is not an advantage to a situation, but it is me. I am shy, shy is me. And honestly, I’m okay with it. I don’t want to act sociable because people want me to be less shy. I don’t want to be sociable with people I would only see once a year or never after that, because I rather be really sociable with people who know me and can appreciate what I have to say.

So yeah, don’t take me to parties.

Comments on: "Don’t Take Me To Parties" (13)

  1. So…….did you get a lot of ang pow? I must confress that it seems rather strange to me that you’d want to go to an open house and accept money from people but would not want to converse with them. I get and fully appreciate that you don’t want to be forced into mingling with them. Feeling forced to do anything is seldom enjoyable.

    I guess my qeustion is whether it’s socially acceptable to accept ang pow from people while not interracting with them at all? Here in the states that’s how you wind up with coal in your stockings. 🙂

    sulz: i would talk to anyone who’d talk to me, i’m not rude like that! it’s just that they have no interest in talking to me as they have their own friends around, and it feels right daft for me to join in a conversation where i don’t get the subject half the time. and the adults who gave me angpow just gave them like they were passing me a napkin. i guess the tradition of giving and receiving angpow is not very meaningful in these day and age.

    also, the general rule is my dad would have to give the kids who are at the open house angpow, while the kids’ parents are not obliged to give me in return if i were not there. in a way, it’s also for… financial fairness?

    anyway, i’m pretty old to be receiving angpow, so i better collect as much before i can’t! 😛

  2. Nice postcard indeed. And if that chess board actually exists, I’d wanna see it. I’d wanna visit Malaysia once in my life, it’s a beautiful country.

    So, parties. I like parties but I don’t enjoy at parties much pretty much because of the same reason. I can’t figure out how you can go to a party and randomly start talking to a person you don’t even know. So that’s why I don’t go to many of them. If I have a good number of friends though, it’s good. But it’s just that most of my friends happen to be extroverts so whenever they go to a party with me, they get busy seeing the women and trying to talk to them and I well..I just stand in there. And ultimately it gets so boring that I don’t go with them anymore. It’s happened a good number of times. Now I go to a party only if there’s a guarantee that the food would be good and that there would be booze which can be had without being seen by the parents. And since both these demands are not usually fulfilled, I go to like 3 parties max in a year. Doesn’t bother me. I’m happy being what I am. I know I’m okay and I don’t give one piece of shit about what the uncle’s and the aunties think.

    sulz: me too! we’d go together, okay? 😉

    I can’t figure out how you can go to a party and randomly start talking to a person you don’t even know.

    that’s it, ish! extroverts would find it fun, but for reserved people i think they’d prefer going to a party to have fun with people they actually know. good food is an important factor, but if i’m not comfortable with the person going to a party with me i’d rather skip the gastronomic experience.

  3. I’m predominantly an introverted person. I hated being taken to parties, and I know what you feel because that’s exactly what I feel if I’m forced to socialize. I used to be friends with a girl extremely outgoing who acted just like your dad, and always left me on my own while I just stood around awkwardly and without the first clue of what to do next.

    So, in the core, I’m always an introvert. I don’t mind spending time alone, and when among people for too long, I feel the need to rest and just be by myself with my ipod, a personal project, drawing, reading, or just lying around thinking about abstract stuff.

    I don’t know if it’s because of my job, or the constant self beating I put myself through for years because of the same reason you used to; thinking that being shy was a character flaw. But I can say that in the last 2 years my social skills have improved a great deal. Especially when I hang around extroverted people, I get in the mood. I dance, annoy people, and become obnoxious and tell bad jokes. I had to force myself in the beggining, but now it comes naturally. First it happened only with closer people (I used to be patologically shy even among my best friends). Later, after I got fully into my doctor practice, having to talk to 30 different patients a day, dealing with at least 5 different nurses, and responding to all my doctor teachers, was -has been- a traumatizing experience, but I gotta accept it was a helpful skill to learn with dealing with people I don’t know.

    I was still to cold and impersonal with everyone. Not because I don’t feel stuff, but because I physically don’t know how to act. Having a boyfriend last year improved a lot these physicall skills. We’re not talking just about the boyfriend girlfriend stuf, but the whole socializing physical part. Now I’m able to hug and mess with people (I didn’t know how to hug a person, I didn’t even know how to handshake, I had analyze and think through every step of the movements and it made me look awkward.

    I still get tired of being social. It’s sort of fun while I’m in there, but it’s the most exausting thing to do. I get tired of small talk. My interests are kinda uncommon for the most part, so talking to people I don’t know is not thrilling for me unless I discover an amazingly interesting person, which is extremelly rare.

    I’d much rather spend time with close people or even bymyself.

    And of course, the best parties are always with people you know. The other ones always get old and I get sleepy. Unless there’s a huge dance floor. Nobody talks about silly stuff then and I love to dance.

    After I get enough of it, I withdraw again, except I don’t feel bad about this anymore like I used to.

    sulz: wow, this should have been blog fodder for you! thanks for sharing, i can see that if i start socialising more i may be able to be less awkward in social situations like you. it’s just very hard to start, though! and like you, i’m quite physically awkward too. i’m still quite self-conscious when i hug people, afraid they may smell my bo or something! 😦 unfortunately, i can’t do the dancing bit with my two left feet.

  4. I only attend family parties, and even then I’m a wallflower. I do however enjoy the food! 🙂 If I happen to go to a party with people I don’t know, I get an anxiety attacks. Yeah, I’m weird that way.

    That, and the only things I enjoy talking about is stuff that most people either don’t understand (CSS/blogging/Lord of the Rings) or are not interested in (politics/reading/etc…).

    sulz: i’ve heard of anxiety attacks but i don’t quite know what this means. what happens to you when that happens?

    i just find it hard to be friendly with someone i don’t know. i don’t know what to say, or what topics to talk about. it doesn’t help when the other person isn’t trying in the conversation! on the other hand, i wouldn’t mind listening to someone yammering about himself. better than me wracking my brain of topics to converse!

  5. it’s sort of like a panic attack. I can’t really explain it.My body gets all twitchy, my hands get sweaty, I can’t concentrate, and sometimes a stutter. I’m such a dork.

    sulz: would you get panic attacks if you do a presentation then? that’s how i am when i do presentations but i don’t know if that’s a panic attack for me.

  6. I used to, but high school got rid of my presentation horrors.

    sulz: oh, how nice! i’ll never get over doing anything in front of a group of people.

  7. sure you will, someday.

    sulz: i hope so. 🙂

  8. Sulz,
    That does look like a piece of heaven on earth. Thank you! I didn’t see the beach in Malyasia, but Taman Negara’s fascinating jungle made up for it.

    sulz: you’re welcome. i’m sure all of us would like to have a go at that life-size chess board. even if i don’t know how to play chess!

  9. hey sis,
    guess what! i’m writing this at home! 😀

    that doesn’t mean i’ll bounce back to blogging regularly anytime soon. but i feel like i got back my security blanket!

    you changed the costume of your blog once more, eh? nice and minimal as usual!

    i saw a life-size chessboard in a tv drama serial. the lords of this country used to have such things in their gardens.

    ok, til later!

    sulz: hey, you’re back! great to see you again. i do hope you’ll visit here more often. 🙂

  10. I enjoyed reading this post because I am just the opposite! I love talking to people and asking them questions, just finding out who they are and what they are about. But, it takes all kinds in this world. There’s room for everyone!

    By the way, can you tell me what “ang pow” is?

    sulz: hey there! i’m glad you can appreciate my perspective even if you aren’t like that in nature. 🙂 i sometimes wish i were more like you, but then i think that wouldn’t be quite me really!

    ang pow is red packet, given to kids and unmarried people by married people during chinese new year. 🙂

  11. That’s weird….Amy and I still get Ang Pow from her Chinese relatives. We’re basically 30 now for crying out loud. I’ve always wondered what the rules were for that.

    sulz: haha, you’re not supposed to according to tradition since you’re married! but hey, are you going to refuse money and disrespect your elders? just take it if it pleases them! 😛

  12. you actually bring a book when you go on cny house visits? whoa… hahaha… but yeah, i know the feelin’ as i’m introverted too. 😛

    sulz: i just get sick of staring at people and buat muka. 👿 i bring a book everywhere i go. when i don’t is when i need it the most!

  13. but… but… buat muka and giving that extra gigawatt smile might make your ‘aunties’ wanna give you a couple of extra ringgit. if you gave them your utmost wtf-is-your-problem-biatch-muka-5-sen, they might say to themselves, “wth is wrong with this girl ah? i give her free money, and she gives me that face. better reduce the ang pow content.”

    think bout it. 😉 nyek nyek

    sulz: of course lah i pandai buat muka when they give me ang pow! takkan when receive ang pow do it with a sullen face, right? and it doesn’t matter how i smile anyway since i’m really too old to get them by now, just by virtue of not being married!

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