I just got back from one of those perfectly fine, thankfully brief, “meet ‘n greet ‘n stand around ‘n eat cake” work events.
I stayed for the bare minimum amount of time required. I talked to three people (who I talk to almost every day anyway). I ate a piece of very nice white cake with coconut icing. After 15 minutes, I slipped out the door, walked a few steps away from the gathering and audibly sighed then did the “covered in ants oh it’s so icky get them off me” dance.
I HATE those things. I HATE big groups of people (especially nice, friendly, welcoming people who I don’t recognize. Especially people who I email/speak on the phone with, and know who I am but I don’t know who they are). I HATE the awkwardness.
I SUCK AT SOCIAL INTERACTION.
At one point I turned to one of the three people I knew, and said, “the more quickly everyone figures out that I’m just awkward at these things and stop expecting me to be social and friendly, the better off we’ll all be in the long run.”
I’m fine being the wallflower. I like it. If I could have wedged myself behind the coat rack, I would have. If I could have brought knitting to occupy myself, I would have. If I could have just NOT ATTENDED THE DARN THING, I would have.
But I couldn’t. So I sat there and ate cake and talked to the three people I knew and counted down the minutes until I could make my escape.
Call it “personal growth”. Call it “being an adult”. Call it “free cake”. Call it whatever you want. But I hate it.
Hey, at least there was cake.