My awkward-social-gatherings-with-many-people-phobia

My parents are dragging me to this party to get to know our new neighbors.

Well, okay, they’re not dragging me. I agreed to go. I’m not sure what I was thinking when I did so.

My expectation: It will be very, utterly … lame. It won’t be a real party, will it? It’s a party with grown-ups – German grown-ups. Ergo, it’s not a party.

It’s a social gathering. I hate awkward social gatherings. There probably won’t even be music.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. I like social gatherings with people I know and are my age and know what to talk to me about. It can be really nice to just meet up and talk and order food and everything.

Okay, here’s some things that I find awkward about social gatherings:

– The awkward silence. Surely, the grown-ups (I’ll be turning eighteen in three months, but that doesn’t make me a grown-up) will be talking about grown-up things like taxes and how high they are or the gas prices or insurance, but that’s not my area of expertise.

– Being the first ones there. That’s always a danger you might have to face when you’re trying to be punctual. Again there is then the danger of falling into an awkward silence.

– Eating in front of others. When I’m with my friends (or my family only) I don’t really care how I eat. But when I’m with many strangers (rich strangers) I’ll be constantly obsessing about what I look like when I’m eating – and that’ll lead to a catastrophe.

– Nowhere to run! Of course, I could stay on the toilet all evening (I do that a lot, actually), but then maybe people would start to wonder if I had digestion problems, especially my weird doctor neighbor who always asks me if I’ve got my time of the month when I come from school early.

– My weird doctor-neighbors laugh. It’s the most annoying thing I’ve ever encountered. She laughs at everything. My father for example may be hard to understand sometimes because his German isn’t perfect and he sometimes gets a stutter. You can always tell that she doesn’t really understand if you see the blank look on her face and take the fact into account that she’s laughing hysterically when my dad isn’t actually trying to be funny.

– My sister’s temper. The easiest way to get my sister to hate you is to think she’s fifteen. She’s twenty-one, by the way, but some of the fifteen year-olds dress like – well…as if they didn’t have a face and had to apply ten tones of make-up to even get one. A few people have made that mistake – and they were never forgiven. No doubt people will be guessing our ages and making just that mistake.

– Judginess. I’m well aware that’s probably not a word, but you know what I mean, right? When I’m with my friends I don’t get judged and I don’t feel the need to judge anyone either. But here I fear there will be a lot of judging going on. “Oh, look at that make-up. Looks like she used the whole bottle.” “Well, someone’s hungry.” “Is this a hair in my food.” “Oh, goodness. Go see a dentist! When did you last brush your teeth?”

Social Gathering at the Home of Rahel Varnhagen von Ense (undated)

Yes, yes of course it will be alright in the end and I shouldn’t have been so worried – but well I AM worried! Or well, terrified would be more fitting.

And may I add that our host forced her family to put on their stiffest smile and their Tommy Hilfiger jumpers to take a professional family portrait – and then put it on the front of a calendar she sent to all of her clients? Awkward.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s