The One Where the Nightmare Comes True

So… have I mentioned I get anxious in situations where I am expected to actually talk to people? You know, live ones? I usually leave the talking to my spouse, who is one of those chameleons who can talk to anyone. Occasionally I accuse him of “dummying down” to get along, and he admits it, but it is a very effective trick he’s perfected and it serves him quite well.

I’m shy. I’m painfully shy. I always have been. You’d never know it from my blog, or from my WoW friends, but I am. Deep within the bowels of a computer I can be a very chatty, out-going person, but in the real world? Not so much. At least until I get to know you. However do I get to know you if I’m shy and can’t get the words out of my mouth to ask you the questions and carry on the conversation necessary to get to know you? Ah… Now you see the dilemma.

Fast forward to Saturday night. Being as it is a saturday night, son is racing and Hubs is with him. That’s just the way it is. My husband and I both feel it isn’t just for enjoyment that my husband be there, but also it’s a safety factor. If someone must take son to the hospital, one of us must be there to fulfill that duty. I prefer it to be him… as he enjoys the racing, too. I am ‘on call’ however, to race to said hospital at a moments’ notice. I am not fully relaxed and in my jammies until I know the car is safely on the trailer and the race night is over for my son.

Saturday night we were invited to a wedding reception. Hubs told his friend, who’s reception it was, that he would not be there and why. I was going to go to “represent”. First you must know that this is said friends’ second marriage. He was reluctant to even get married again and they have been living “in sin” for about five years. They actually got married last week at the courthouse, so this has all been rather down-played. Nonetheless, it was a wedding reception. At a local country club.

I fight down my normal panic throughout the day. I imagine telling them I suddenly got sick. I tell myself that wouldn’t be nice and buck up and get through this. I keep telling myself it will be okay to drive home after dark, that the law of averages says I’ve hit my one deer for the year. It will be okay.

I do my nails, I lay out my clothes, I shower, put on my lovely new slinky skirt, blouse and blazer and even wear the dreaded panty hose. Only another woman can know what I mean when I say dreaded. Thank god I work in a job (now) that I don’t ever have to wear them. Thank all the stars in heaven I can wear jeans to work! I do know how to play dress-up, tho’, and can when I have to. I put on my face, spritz some of my trademark perfume on all the ‘hot spots’, and brace myself for smiling and small-talk.

The first clue should have been the flat tire.

I go out to the garage to get my vehicle and see the tire is flat. Okay, to be fair, not entirely flat, but low. Too low to drive out of town to the reception. Fine. Hubs has ridden with his mother to the races, his truck is sitting there. I call and see if I can borrow it. No problem… except it probably will need fuel. It’s a diesel truck and you can’t get diesel just anywhere. Do I really want to have to mess with getting fuel? Dressed the way I am? Em! Is home! I beg her to let me borrow her vehicle. She agrees. Whew!

I stop and wash her truck on the way out of town. (You can never ever be seen with a dirty vehicle…especially at some type of party. This is one of the small-town-silly-rules.) I take deep breaths and check my map. Again. I’ve not been to this country club before, but am pretty sure I know how to find it. Piece of cake.

Thirty minutes later I am pulling into the country club parking lot. According to the invite, the party started about 15 minutes ago, but I figure it is one of those where people are going to be coming and going all evening… I stop the car, gather up my purse and the card (no gifts, said the invite), and wait, there in the back row of the parking lot, watching the other people walking in. Watching the other people walking in with cards in their hands and c a s u a l clothing on their bodies. Wtf? Maybe it was just those two couples… no, wait, there comes another one… jeans, no less. Oh, shit. I look at the invite once more, scouring every single line of print to see if the word ‘casual’ appears. It doesn’t. Not once. Somehow word of mouth has gotten around and it is clear as mud that casual is the theme of this party. As I sit in my slinky dress and hose with my heart racing in my chest, I realize I can’t do this. I’m having an all-out panic attack. It’s bad enough having to walk into a.) somewhere I’ve never been, with b.) alone, c.) without knowing hardly anyone there, let alone to do it improperly dressed. Nothing like drawing attention!

This is where you can start cackling. Yes, I was a chicken. I called Hubs who told me I should just go in anyway and be the “best looking one there”. Me? I turned around and slunk out of the parking lot, thanking the gods that be that I had a vehicle no one would recognize and hoping the three other vehicles who were coming in as I was going out was no one I knew – but of course, I didn’t meet the drivers’ eyes to see if it was or not. I drove home, cursing the ball of self-conciousness that is me, and wishing I could just fall into a hole. Home never felt so good or so safe. So… how’s your weekend going?