Category Archives: Parties

The Antidote to Small Talk

One of my favorite things about my One Month Wisdom project has been how it’s changed even my most surface conversations at social events.

You know, those moment when you see someone you haven’t seen for a while and they ask you, “What’s new?”

These moments are the land minds of mingling, and I used to hate them.  Why?  Because I’ve learned the following:

  1. People don’t want to hear how great your life is, even if it’s true.
  2. I don’t like to talk about the weather.  It is raining.  Or it’s not.  Get over it.
  3. I don’t have kids, which is fine.  But let’s admit it, kids and their adorable and silly antics often make good conversation.
  4. It’s often inappropriate to launch into what’s really new in your life.  I mean – saying “well you know, I might be pregnant” or “I’m looking for a job” or “I just had the best sex yesterday” is just not OK for most social settings.
  5. I really try hard not to gossip.  This is often what people want, or at least what they like, but it’s not healthy or good or anything I want to be, so I try to avoid it.
The reality is, often, there really isn’t very much new.  I walked my dog today.  I ate a turkey and brie sandwich for lunch.  I went to work.  I noticed a gorgeous sunrise.  It’s a wonderful life, but my routine often doesn’t make for scintillating conversation.  Since I can’t talk about the weather, or my health, or who is (scandal!) sleeping with whom, WHAT DO I DO?
In the past, I’ve usually mentioned something about a movie I’ve seen recently, or a book I’m reading, but often that falls flat.
Now, though, thanks to One Month Wisdom, I always have something to offer.
Tales about my monthly resolution and how I am (or am not) being successful make people laugh, ask questions, and best of all, start telling me their own interesting stories.  It’s a great conversation starter and I’ve learned more interesting things about people this way than I ever expected.  In fact, some times the telling of these tales actually helps me to write a future blog post.  It’s a win-win!

Hopefully.

Unless I’m actually boring everyone in my home town and my friends are just being kind.

If that’s the case, I’m sorry (and someone, PLEASE let me know).

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Filed under Community, Life, Parties, Resolutions

Hold the Hurricane

Until this weekend, my alcohol free month has been fairly simple.  I have been in a terrific mood.  Work, school, and life have been running smoothly.  While January brought some real sadness (the sudden death of a colleague) I was grieving by becoming more involved in LGBT causes which were her life’s mission.  I felt good about how I was honoring her memory so even the sadness was ok.

And then came Friday.

Enter one terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day.

For those who are confused, here is a visual for you.

Quality of Day Bar Chart

After my work responsibilities were done on Friday, around 7:30 PM, I made dinner with a friend and desperately tried to relax. Usually cooking is a soothing activity for me, but I was completely out of sorts.  My craving for a cocktail was loud and strong.  I didn’t want to Drink-with-a-Capital-D, but I DEFINITELY wanted to take the edge off.  The conference room inside my brain was working overtime and I wanted to shut them up.

Saturday arrived and I had a full work day plus a memorial service to attend.  The service was incredible, possibly the most moving tribute to a person’s life I have ever witnessed.  It was hard, though, and not just because I was sad about this loss.  Sitting in that church and listening to my friend’s partner talk about their love triggered some grief of my own.  I thought I had a partner like that and it turns out I didn’t.   Well fuck.

Enter terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day number two.

Saturday night I was to attend a Mardi Gras charity event at my local non-profit theater.  Music!  Dancing!  Masks!  Beads!  Hurricanes!

Oh wait.  NO HURRICANES FOR ME.

It was one thing to go out and about last weekend, in a great mood, enjoying my friends and family while I sipped at my seltzer with lime.  But I was in NO MOOD for a party.

I had less than two hours to get ready.  I had to change my mood and quick.

Step 1: Initiate Party Hair.
For those of you who haven’t witnessed it, I have awesome party hair.  Curly and fabulous, it takes about an hour to make it happen but it’s totally worth it.

Step 2: Cocktail
Oh wait.  I can’t do that.

What could alcohol do for me that I couldn’t do for myself?  Is it terribly unhealthy that I wanted to prepare for my night out with a pre-event drink?  What does this say about who I am and how I use alcohol?

As I debated the possibility of breaking my resolution – and believe me the pro-side of this debate team was very strong – I remembered a line from a movie I saw recently.

“Don’t drink to feel better, drink to feel even better.”

I can’t remember the movie, but I think this line is a perfect motto for me.  I don’t want to use alcohol to self-medicate, to cope with a stressful situation, or to ignore a problem in my life.   I want to use it to enhance an already fun evening, to bring out the flavor of a perfect Beef Bourguignon, or to celebrate a friend’s achievement.

And so, out I went.

I recovered nicely, though not completely, and if I do say so myself, my hair was fantastic.

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Filed under Alcohol, Parties, Resolutions