For someone who’s an unabashed and self-avowed introvert, I lead a relatively extroverted lifestyle. For one thing, I make a living working with hundreds of people every week, facilitating group meetings. For another, I’m partnered to a charming and outgoing guy who is actively social and quite gregarious. One of the agreed-upon bylaws of our relationship is that I attend – at least occasionally—social functions where he interacts with friends and colleagues.
This is all by way of explaining the four pieces of See’s candy that I downed in one gulp last night. You see, a friend of my partner was having his 40th birthday party, and I went as a means of fulfilling my social obligations (plus, he’s a really great guy). Ironically enough, I ended up going alone since my partner had to be out of town. Prior to my arrival at the door, I rehearsed a few ‘ice breakers’ in case I ended up stammering in embarrassed silence. (Hey, its happened to me many a time.)
But despite smiling, despite channelling ‘relaxing energy,’ and despite my rather cute ice-breakers, I found myself gravitating towards the food table like a moth to a flame. People were pleasant and conversational, I was made to feel welcome, and the atmosphere was friendly. Nevertheless, my inherently non-social instincts led me to feel claustrophobic, nervous, and jangly. For some reason, I knew that chocolate was the answer. After all, it was the answer at the last three parties I attended this year. Along with cake, cookies, nuts, fried things and well, anything processed. Sadly, veggies don’t do the trick.
Honestly, I don’t want to live in a hole, and I love to be with my partner when he’s out and about, watching him in his element and hanging out with his amazing variety of friends and acquaintances. I’ve tried eating before going. I’ve tried going to the gym right beforehand. I’ve tried visualizing myself having a good time. These all have a positive effect, but don’t completely do the trick. So last night, four pieces of See’s candy disappeared in a flash.
After that, I pretended my cell phone was ringing and I excused myself to ‘go outside for a moment.’ And then I walked home.
If you like people but don’t like parties, have you got a trick? Do you fall into the chocolate cake, or have you got a good veggie strategy? I’m all ears. And mouth.