Saturday, August 27, 2011

Party envy

by Lorna Barrett / Lorraine Bartlett / L.L. Bartlett

I have always been a geek.

There, I said it.

I was never popular.  The one time I thought I had a shot at it, I was sitting there waiting to get asked to a school dance and the guy said, "Hey, Lori (I was known as Lori back then), do you want to go to the dance with me?"  I was about to protest (once) and say, "Aw, I don't think so," when my best friend at the time (also known as Lori) chripped up, "Yes!"

That's when I truly knew that I would never be popular.  I did go to the dance, and I danced with the above-mentioned guy's best friend.  (Mr. Liar.  He told me his father knew Gene Roddenberry because he had once lived in California ... but I never did ascertain if he ever even lived in LA.) 

Here I am at ... mumble-mumble age ... and I've yet to have a birthday party.  Okay, the birthday I have listed on Facebook is NOT my real natal day -- for any of my personae (if only to stave off identity theft).  I had an almost party when I was 12 ... but it wasn't quite real because the people I babysat for put it on out of pity and the only attendees were three women and the kids I babysat.  Not a friend in sight.

I have many wonderful acquaintances and several people online that I feel very close to, but nobody to come over on a Saturday night to chew the fat, have a couple of drinks, and share a pizza with.

Last week our summer neighbors had a small party.  Two other couples joined them on their porch.  They drank, had appetizer's, and then they jumped in their boat and headed off to the big marina and the fanciest restaurant within miles to have dinner.  It was probably a business dinner.  My neighbor is a well-known co-owner of a fairly large insurance agency and he often entertains clients.  They have a lot of fun next door.  They have parties, and bonfires, and toddies, and many good times that last far into the night.

We're very quiet.  We read.

I have never fit in at parties. In fact, Mr. L and I used to have an annual Christmas party but we gave it up when more than half the people we invited decided we weren't fun enough to come.  (Most of them family.)

We read.  That's the kind of people we are.  We aren't boisterous.  We don't hoot and holler. We're boring.

But just once, I'd like to have a birthday party with a big cake and tons of friends and family to sing happy birthday.

Instead, I'll spend my birthday with Mr. L and we will lift a glass and then we will read.

If nothing else, books have always saved me.
I don't mean this to be a pity party. You are what you are and if you don't fit in, you get used to a quiet life and you manage.  I have learned to manage.

Are you a wallflower, too?  (And is it any wonder my next book is called The Walled Flower?)