P-A-R-T-Y? 'Cause we got to!
Somebody asked me recently why I dislike parties. Let me start off by saying that I feel bad that I dislike parties. I do. All my friends seem to like parties/bars/clubs/et al, and I feel like I’m missing out on something. Like I’m missing out on an essential part of being a 20-something and having a social life. But I’m like Mike with sports: I feel socially obligated to attend them, rather than derive any actual personal enjoyment, and I learned from after-school specials that peer pressure isn't a good reason to do something. Let’s delve deeper:
PRO: Parties are the best place to meet a new potential beau. Theoretically, at least. My party-going friends have tried to entice me to attend more of these crowd-based social functions under the premise that I’ll meet some amazing girl. There are various reason for which I don’t buy the premise, some of which I’ll go until later, but I won’t deny that parties are probably the best place to hit on girls, if only because they’re one of the few social functions at which such behavior is expected.
I’ve watched a couple dating shows that have been coaching single women in picking up men, and I think they give terrible advice. For one, they tell women to approach men in the stupidest places. The book store. The golf course. Home Depot. Yo, when I’m at the ‘pot or getting my book selection on, I’m there to get shit done. This is an agenda item on my to-do list, and I really don’t feel like engaging pretty girls in conversation about…whatever. Theoretically we might have such a magical conversation over the course of five minutes that I will ask for her number, but experience has indicated that likelihood is slim. I was talking to Liz about how I bet yoga sessions are actually a goldmine for picking up women, but I don’t know how receptive a woman would be to getting hit on during her moment of Zen.
One doesn’t have this problem at a party. People at parties expect to get hit on, lonely souls hope to connect. This, however, brings us to the con.
CON: I find girls at parties to be boring. And I’m not even saying that they’re boring. This isn’t a character flaw on their part. It’s a character flaw on my part. I find them boring. I find myself boring. I listen to myself and think, “My goodness, I am so fucking dull right now. Why don’t I just shut up?” Because then it would just be awkward, that’s why.
I don’t think I’ve ever had a real conversation at a party. We’re not exchanging important information, and we’re not enwrapped in the banter and rhythm that renders an otherwise inane conversation enjoyable. We’re just two people talking. For the sake of talking. We are, as my friend Pat refers to it, just a couple of birds chirping.
My biggest consolation is that my favorite celebrities claim, at least, that they don't party much, either. Natalie Portman. Michael Cera. Masi Oka. I guess I'll include Scarlet Johanson. And Kirsten Dunst. You won't catch Mary Jane at a rave.
Party over here: