It's been a tense week for me, mostly due to work stuff. Today, I tried all day to get myself to focus on overdue work stuff I should've done yesterday, but first I had to finish re-reading Arcadia and then I had to take a nap, and there was Facebook to be read, and so on. Finally did a couple hours' worth of work in the evening, then got showered and dressed and headed off to a party.
The thing is, it was one of those parties where I didn't know anyone. I knew the host (A), and two or three other people I knew at least a little had RSVPd yes on Facebook, but most of the people who'd said yes were strangers to me. And I was low on social energy, and had lots of other things to do, and I almost didn't go.
But I had promised A that I would loan her my copy of Arcadia. And one of the other people who was going to be there (E) was someone who I keep running into at parties but not actually getting a chance to talk with. And the others were people I hadn't seen in a while. And it was a fairly short drive to get there.
So I went, but right up until I arrived at the door, I was on the verge of turning around and going home.
During the first ten or fifteen minutes after I arrived, it became clear that most of the few other people I knew who'd RSVPd weren't there; the only people I'd met before were A and E. I did get a chance to chat a bit with each of them, which was nice. But after that, it was just a crowd of people I didn't know, and despite having just discussed the benefits of walking up and introducing yourself to people, I wasn't quite up to that.
And I suspect I was the oldest person there by a fair bit—I could be wrong, but that's been happening sometimes lately, as I've been making new friends who are in their early 30s and who, of course, have social gatherings involving mostly other people who are in their early 30s. The age difference rarely comes up, but when it does, it can feel a little awkward to me.
So anyway, I decided to head home, so I went looking for A to say goodnight. I went upstairs, to a small room with a bunch of books and a ceiling fan, and there were two people I didn't know there, and I said hi, and they said hi, and I was on the verge of turning around and going downstairs when they explained that they were standing under the ceiling fan because it was cooler there.
They said that in a friendly sort of way, and so I joined them. And I introduced myself, and we started chatting, and they had recently been to an Eddie Izzard show in San José so they told me about that, and we had a great conversation for, I dunno, maybe half an hour or more. About books, and Seattle, and video games, and the '90s (it was a '90s-themed party, but it hadn't occurred to me to dress up as a phone booth or various other things we came up with), and Mountain View, and all sorts of stuff. And it was lovely, and they were fun and interesting, and it never would've happened if they hadn't half-invited me to come talk with them.
After that, I did head home. But I was in a much better mood than I'd been earlier, and for once I left a party cheerful and energized instead of anxious and vaguely unfulfilled.
So, thanks to A for the party, and E for the conversation, and the two new people for the further conversation.
And now it's getting on toward bedtime. I should decide whether I'm going to Pride in the morning—normally I don't go because crowds, but this year seems like a particularly good year to go, but if I want to go, I'll have to get moving earlier than usual. Earlier, I was kinda thinking I might skip it, but the positive social experience this evening leaves me thinking maybe a morning full of thousands of happy strangers might not be so bad after all.