Why have parties suddenly got so scary? They haven’t changed; parties never change. But I know I am not alone in genuinely fearing them to the point – sometimes – of getting all togged up, hopping in an Uber, getting to the door and then turning round and going home again.
It’s not to do with feeling ugly. I’m a grown-up, I know that truly gorgeous days are few, hideous days are more about the way I feel than the way I look and everything in between is just who I am. It is to do with… dealing. Dealing with the crowds, dealing with the encounters and most of all dealing with the conversation.
I have proper social anxiety because I have proper trouble talking at parties. What to say? And who to? And how to handle such a terror of getting stuck that I cut short chats with people I like just because it somehow feels better to be on the move rather than stuck. Even if I’m stuck in heaven.
And it’s not FOMO when I say that the fun bit of the party is always where I’m not. I just panic and bugger things up so I never end up in the actual hub. But in the suburbs. A bit bored. A boredom that is actually a mask for inner-alarm. When did parties get this hard? Was it when life got anxious-making and relaxation only really happens in the bath? Was it when getting absolutely spannered was no longer the dignified point of the evening? Parties make me panic and panic makes me boring and I resent being boring so I’d rather stay at home. Which, if you are single is not good. And if you are married, isn’t so hot either. Help. Answers on a prescription please…