I have to go to a party tonight. As an introverted extrovert, this is an exceptionally hard thing for me to do. On one hand, the part of me who answers the Evite with an enthusiastic YES, I’LL BE THERE really means it at the time of the reply but the introvert regrets the decision the whole day all the way up to and including the time it is to leave in my party attire. Once I get to the party, I’m fine and sometimes I’m one of the last to leave, but it’s just making the commitment to follow-through and not come up with an excuse to not go that is hard. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve said I was sick but truthfully, I have not been sick in almost 5 years.
Tonight’s party is even harder to attend. It’s at a friend’s house across from mine on the cul-de-sac. Or at least I think of her as a friend. Cynthia and Matt (not their real names) are hosting the party and they invited my husband and me to their annual fete. A little background before I go on: I sent Cynthia a friend request on Facebook many years ago and she never replied. I didn’t really think too much of this fact; Cynthia is very busy and travels a lot for work. I figured she didn’t have time for Facebook. I sent a request to her husband, Matt, too at the same time and he finally responded sometime this year. Yes, it took him years but at least he said yes! He was very active–liking many of the things I said on my wall and engaging in conversation.
And then one day there wasn’t much coming from Matt. I didn’t notice right away. Something reminded me of Matt recently and I went to check out his Facebook page to see what he’s been up to (even though we are neighbors, we don’t see each other very much). Come to find out, Matt had unfriended me. I discovered this about a day before receiving the party invitation from his wife. The unfriending was completely unexpected. I wasn’t sure what I had said or done to make Matt unfriend me. In fact, I’ve gone above and beyond to make sure that I don’t post a lot and that it’s mostly friendly, happy, and positive posts. I’ve had more engagement with my friends than ever with this conscious posting. Out of curiosity I looked to see if he was friends with any of our other neighbors and whether he’s been actively posting to Facebook (yes and yes).
For two weeks I sat on the invitation to Cynthia and Matt’s party. I didn’t want to go (and I still don’t). It’s hard enough being an introvert and going to a party let alone being an introvert and feeling like the invitation was only out of being polite. If I am invited to a party, I want to feel like someone wanted me there, and is not just throwing out an invitation due to courtesy.
I tried to talk my husband into skipping it this year and told him of the Facebook shenanigans but he said that we are neighbors and we have to go. So not only do I have to get over my party shyness but I have to get over the fact that someone, for some unknown reason (and I’ll never be able to ask) unfriended me but kept other neighbors as friends. Oh, and his wife has never friended me but at least she’s consistent!
Ugh. So I will go…but I will go on my terms which are: don’t arrive until 7 or 8 and stay only until 9 or 10. Arrive late and leave early. And next year? I’m so sitting on the couch in my comfy pajamas, in my robe with a bowl of popcorn in my lap, and watching a movie or two instead of putting on a polite face for cul-de-sac sanity.