Yes, I’m that person who, when attending a party or social gathering of which she does not know anybody except the host, would not talk with anybody except the host unless spoken to. I would be that person who wanders about the house, pretending to be very interested in the details of the cracks on the wall and the contents of the refrigerator, if I can get away opening it without seeming too much of a social misfit. Though being caught opening said fridge would label me as such already in most cases.
Why do I get myself into such things? Because I would never say no to an invitation if it was given by someone I love and respect very much. Otherwise, sod off. I’d name any disease that comes to mind or come up with a very creative and convincing excuse if it warrants that – and believe me, I can lie very convincingly when I put my mind to it – to get me off coming to your party. I would never do that if I like you, even if I have to come to the party alone, even if I would spend the day dreading your party because I’d be going alone. Unlike many of my friends, I do not have the luxury of a human accessory to bring to parties like this – as in, a boyfriend.
So please, don’t ask me to mingle around when you catch me playing Tetris on my cell phone. Don’t tell me that your other guest who does not know anyone else besides you, the host, mingles around too and so I should be like this person.
I am not your other guest. I am not as attractive, or as skinny or confident or poised. I do not know how to strike up a conversation with a total stranger, what more total strangers who all seem to know each other and are talking among themselves with the kind of comfort and ease of people who have known each other for a very, very long time and would not appreciate some stranger, such as myself, to butt in the conversation in a pathetic attempt to fit in.
I know I am socially retarded, which is why I neatly avoid most occasions which require me to perform social acts like talking to strangers. So forgive me if I’m horribly rusty from that act because I avoid said social situations and therefore revealing myself as a social retard. Forgive me for not making small talk with your relatives who are all talking among themselves, even though I’m so clearly alone in the next armchair. I only thought of not declining your invitation by accepting it. I did not know I need to boost your hosting ego by pretending that I fit in with the people in your party to make you feel like a successful host who doesn’t need to babysit any social misfits for guests.
And please, don’t tell me to be less socially retarded. It’s so easy to tell me to smile and open my mouth and ask general, inane things to people I won’t ever see again (until next year perhaps, if I get invited again, which I doubt after my pathetic social performance). It’s so easy to say that if I try, people are more likely to respond in return.
It’s not so easy for me, because I know my social ineptness isn’t just a cause, it’s a symptom of something much more problematic. It’s an obvious sign of a lack of self-esteem and all that shit that comes along with it when you were constantly told as a child that you’re hopeless, fat, dumb, lazy, ugly, disgusting and a lot of other unsavoury things that do nothing to build your self-confidence. It’s not so easy for me because the very rare moments when I did try, it just failed and it made me feel worse than if I were to keep my damn trap shut or stuffed with food. It’s not so easy for me when everybody around me did not come to the party alone and therefore they look like they’ve graduated magna cum laude in mingling. It’s not so easy for me when I clearly need help in the socialising department and you are telling me to deal with it on my own.
Merry fucking Christmas, everybody. Don’t invite me to your parties.