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?

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Middle-aged. Anti-social. Mom. Grandma. Town-raised farmer's wife. Iowan. Want more? Come read the blogs.

7 thoughts on “The One Where the Nightmare Comes True”

  1. I’d have hated to go to a wedding reception alone. Much less over or under-dressed. I’m shy also. My weekend? Preparing for a hurricane… sigh…

  2. Who would think to wear jeans to a wedding? I’ve been to a couple by myself and I absolutely despised it…but these were pretty good friends that I flew into town for and wouldn’t do it for just anyone.

  3. Awwwww…you poor soul, Sue! Thing is, you WOULD have looked like the knockout you are had you gone in…but if the timid part of you is kicking in, then it’s tough to carry it off, isn’t it. I’ve certainly been there too 🙂

  4. Are you and I long-lost sisters or something? Aside from the flat tire, my weekend experience was so similar, it’s amazing. A good friend I taught with died and rather than have a big funeral, decided to be cremated. Her family decided to have a visitation and memorial service because “D” had a million friends. She befriended everyone, was a prankster, and a party giver. She actually set up a party to be given at her neighborhood yacht club the evening after her memorial service.
    I just didn’t think I could go and mingle with all those people whom I hadn’t seen in years and tons of people I wouldn’t know. Many people said I had to go, it was what she wanted. So I dressed up (like you) drove myself following my mapquest directions and had to park on the grass blocks from the club. As I approached, like you, everyone was in “casual” clothes. If I hadn’t been seen by others already and walked so far, I wouldn’t have gone in. Thank goodness right by the entrance, the buffet had been set up so I just got in line, blah, blah. To finish this scenerio, it turned out great, after all. People recognized me, told me how good I looked, glad to see me, wasn’t this just like Diane to get us all together. We are talking about people who had left MO over 20-years ago that I had not seen in all that time. Diane did a good thing.
    Next time think about my story and go on in. Some people don’t know or care how they dress. I found that once I was inside, many others had “dressed up,” too, and since everyone was talking and eating and drinking, you really didn’t focus on what they were wearing anyway. You would have been a nice addition to the party and they probably missed you. Besides, a plate of food keeps you occupied until you can shake hands and leave!

  5. See, I’m so cocky, I’d have gone on in, and looked at everyone else as if to say “Don’t you people know how to dress? I’m the only one here properly attired.” It works too, to get one through that sort of situation. Of course, I’m not the least bit shy, so I don’t really understand how that feels. I don’t think I would have been bothered at all by going to a wedding by myself. In fact, I probably have and just don’t remember. Basically, I’ll pretty much talk to anyone about anything. Of course, when you come to think about it, that’s what I do. And that’s why I’m good at it. I can get people to tell me things they’ve never told anyone else. Happens all the time.

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