There’s nothing better than a good house party – you can smoke inside, you control the music, the drinks are cheap and there’s no queue to get in.
But there’s also nothing worse that a bad house party. Difficult pauses. Polite chat. Racking your brain to make conversation.
I have a fear of going to parties where it might be awkward.
I’m fine once I’m there, but I worry in advance about the ‘Polite Conversation’. That’s why a good buffer is handy.
Last last Saturday an M.A. student from by year at St. Martins invited me to their house party, which was down the road from where I live. The only guests I knew who would be there were Catholic boy (he’s a Catholic. The Pope. You know.) and Astrid (amazing photographer/designer/pig butcher. Don’t ask).
As usual Leo had already booked in a bunch of Danes for the evening. I wasn’t sure I could invite them too. So I passed over Leo (similar to the Biblical passing over the Israelites)
First I thought, I’ll go fashionably late. I’ll go an hour after the invite time. That’s fashionable.
You don’t want to arrive too early and be the first. If you arrive when there already are a bunch of people you can always move away if there are pauses in conversation.
Then I think, maybe I’ll eat something before I go.
So I eat.
Then I’m quite full.
Then I think about how many people will have arrived already. I start to think maybe going earlier would have been better because that gives you the upper-hand when others start to arrive, of already being settled in. Walking in a room which is already in mid-swing can also be awkward. People have formed social groups. There’s mingling. And you need to mingle too and it’s all weird.
You see why I have problems?
Maybe I’ll roll one and then go after, I’m fully dressed and ready. Roll one, and watch some junk on the BBC iplayer as I smoke.
So in the end, I was sitting on the leopard print-couch (Bollywood eshstyle) fully dressed, boots and all, even though it was clearly obvious – I wasn’t going anywhere.
I’m totally socially inept.