Party Girl: A True Life Story

I am not a party girl.  I tried for a while, but it wasn’t my thing. Now I avoid them whenever I can, and am happier for it.

I’m no good at party talk. At working the room. At speaking with strangers about stuff that doesn’t matter to me, and when it does, I get too serious and scare people off. They want to have fun. To forget about serious. I don’t blame them.

For those who like to eat, drink and be merry, in groups, large and small, I defer. I wish I could do it. But I can’t. It weighs me down. Makes me wonder: What am I doing here? I could be at home reading The Goldfinch,” on the phone with a friend, or writing my blog.

I went to a party last night. An anniversary party for my building, the one into which I just moved. It opened for business a year ago. The building is beautiful. The apartment airy and spacious. The people fine. The staff helpful. The location safe, and convenient.There are trees outside my window. I like it here quite a bit. But as I walked toward the “Party Room” I got my usual pre-party jitters, and flashed back to Marlo Thomas, in her 1966 series “That Girl,” where she played a young single, actress, living in New York, advised by her agent to get out there and meet people (to network, as we now call it). Marlo is not good at parties. She’s not sure of what to say. Of how to approach people already engaged in their own little groups. Of  how to “Work A Room.” She’s me, both then and now

The advice from her agent is to “Mingle.” She gets to the party and she gives it a try. She makes her way through the crowd and sidles up to the edge of each group while repeating the word “Mingle.” Not once, but as a kind of mantra. “Mingle, mingle, mingle. Mingle, mingle, mingle,” she mumbles as she works her way from one side of the room to the other. But she doesn’t get much traction, and is left, in the end, as she was In the beginning, pretty much alone. Solo. Single. Ignored. They key to this conundrum eluded Marlo, then, and continues to elude me, now. Of course she was fictional, while (as far as I know) I am not.

Yet, as I look back, it seems that my problem may be nothing more serious than confusion. For through the years, I’ve confused mingle with mumble. And it just doesn’t work. Mumbling is not even on the same planet as mingling. Mumbling is for sissies. So I must up my game. I must “Sing out Louise,” and forget about myself for a change. If there’s another way, a secret I have not yet uncovered, a gene I can have transplanted, please, tell me. Ready or not, it’s time for me to stop mumbling and start mingling! If not now, when?

Should you be interested in making a change in any belief or habitual behavior that prevents you from being at the party, whether yours or anyone else’s, try this imagery exercise:

 Out of the Shadows

Frequency: Do this exercise in the morning upon awakening and in the late afternoon (5:00–6:00 PM).

Intention: To make a transformation, and to live a new life in a new way

 Close your eyes. Breathe out three times slowly. See yourself hidden in the shadows. Breathe out one time slowly. See yourself now emerging from the shadows into the light.

What happens? What do you see, sense and feel? Then breathe out and open your eyes.

 

The Talking Head

 

I am doing something I’ve rarely done before. Something simple and unremarkable. But for me it’s extraordinary. I’m talking to people I don’t know. To people I’ll probably never talk to again. To people with whom I have nothing in common besides our “Peopleness,” and our proximity. And it’s doing something for me, and to me that I would never expect. It’s making me feel lighter, more connected, less stressed out, happier!

It happens without my noticing. It sneaks up on me in the midst of  ordinary moments. It’s spontaneous. Not purposeful. Best of all, it makes me feel at home in that other part of the world. The part that‘s the way it’s “supposed” to be. Where we feel together, not separate. Flexible not defensive. Open, unafraid, relaxed,and at peace. It can happen for a second or two or for a couple of minutes, hardly more than that. It comes and goes fast— It’s a peek through the spirit curtain. A hole in the wall of loneliness.

What we hear and say is rarely memorable. Sometimes there’s a chuckle, or a moment of clarity. Sometimes not. But what’s always there, both present and real, is a sense of kindness. Of caring. Of aliveness. Of real people talking with no hidden agenda. With no need to explain, defend or justify what’s said. Nothing more is required. Just a few words between fellow travelers in this difficult and uncertain world, and the day is transformed, becoming Worthy. Worthwhile. Golden. 

Too bad there’s no way to know this except by finding it our for ourselves.

 

 

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