Tuesday, April 11, 2017

What Party?

I often say that I’m not a party-person.

After sending a note to a friend, where I mentioned I avoid parties, I got to thinking.
(This is not about Democrats and Republicans, though I’m not fond of those kinds of parties, either.)

What is a party? If I’m not going to like ‘em, I should define what I don’t like. Don’t you think?

Small dinner parties are fine. Eight or fewer people can have a meaningful conversation, and even benign conversations will at least leave me with a sense of connection.

As soon as that word, connection, popped in— I realized what sort of parties bothered me: the ones where a connection was not possible.

You know what I mean, right? Even if you like to go and let loose at such, you must know what I’m talking about. The ones that are all Rah-Rah-Boom-Boom-Hop-Hop--isn’t-it-swell-and aren’t-we-swell-to-be-here gatherings.
Only the young’uns replaced the word “Swell” with “chill.”

Either way, it’s a form of feeling part of something, which always left me feeling less part of anything.

Nothing makes me feel lonelier than a large, noisy gathering. Being alone in my room feels less lonely.

I can’t find a word for my affliction. It’s not a phobia, fear of crowds, or social anxiety per se. It’s a dislike, such as you may have for eating sardines. (Yes, I picked that one because sardines get crowded, too.) I don’t break into a cold sweat, and I appear functional. You wouldn't know I didn't belong.

And afterwards I feel emptier than before.

This post is a long-winded way of explaining why you won’t find me at rallies, birthday mega-bashes, marches, galas, or national conventions.

You will find me here, writing just to you.
Incidentally, this is my #300 blog post, and this is the party for it.


Donna OShaughnessy said...

300th post! Well done you. I don't mind the big parties, I was raised in crowds (Chicago) and so they have a familiar feel to them, but I do so prefer the smaller gatherings. Every Sunday our three sons and wives, a few grandkids, come over and we crowd into our tiny grain bin kitchen to talk and eat. My favorite kind of get together.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

#300 and still you are writing such pertinent, relateable posts, Mirka. I can definitely relate to this one! I'm not a party person either, for every reason which you so deftly explained.

Vijaya said...

Mirka I hear you. I like small, intimate gatherings but it's always such a pleasure when I connect with another human being beyond small talk at a large gathering. Suddenly it's all worth it. Your blog is both personal and informative so thank you for writing. V.

Kelly Hashway said...

Congrats on your 300th post! I forget what movie it was, but there was a line about how the character felt loneliest when surrounded by people. When I'm in huge group settings, I seek out someone to connect with and talk to in order to combat that loneliness.

Barbara Etlin said...

Congrats on #300! I think you're an introvert, like I and many other writers. I like one-on-one conversations, but hate big crowds. I have been to a few conferences and found them exhausting, although I did manage some good networking. And at one big party I networked myself into a blind date in which I met my husband.

Happy Passover!

Mirka Breen said...

Now that^ was one GOOD big party... Had I met my husband at a big party, I'd still have a small wedding...;)

Mirka Breen said...

You and WIDO Publishing are why I braved the daunting prospect of blogging, and it turned out to suit me.

Tina Cho said...

I agree, Mirka. And congratulations on your 300th post! You're so faithful to blogging!

Unknown said...

My kind of party, Mirka! :)

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Haha, again, same here! I started on Blogger when my second book came out. It and Facebook make up my "author promotion" efforts.

janlcoates said...

I feel like most writers would agree - even those who appear to be extroverted (from the outside, at least). I always enjoy reading your posts - keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I agree, eight seems like a perfect size party. Congratulations on #300!