Obviously, no one is ever going to confuse me with Elsa Maxwell. People don’t leave my home raving about my lavish and animated parties. This is largely because I live in a very small apartment—and I don’t let anyone inside.
However, on very rare occasions, I will venture outside the fortress of solitude and do something that involves socialization. This is particularly true during the holidays when office parties and friend get togethers are more frequent. Like any warrior going into battle, I am girding my loins and preparing to enter the social fray.
In my preparation, which includes watching many episodes of Sex and The City and Samantha Who?, I’ve noticed that there are two extreme types in most social situations: “The Off Girl” and “The On Girl”.
I am clearly “The Off Girl”. My social switch has not been flicked in a very, very long time. There isn’t a ficus I don’t love. My instincts are to hide, even if that means that I have to physically create a barrier with my back to anyone attempting to breach the inner circle. Even though I do acknowledge anyone who does try to talk to me, I’m unlikely to engage on my own. I’m content to chat with my friends—which means that even if I go to a party where I could meet a ton of new people, I tend to stand in the corner and talk to the one other person I already know. Luckily, after watching last week’s Samantha Who?, I’ve got the outward swivel and smile move down (swivel, smile, beckon, repeat; swivel, smile, beckon, repeat; swivel, smile, beckon, repeat). I’m working on actually caring if someone approaches me. I have a feeling that one will take more time than the beckoning hair toss.
Alas, while I think I can adapt and engage with the rest of the average party goers, I’m afraid my opposite makes me want to commit murder. Oh, you’re right, that would require effort. Fine. My opposite makes me want to wall up my apartment door and just commit to never leaving once and for all.
My opposite is “The On Girl”. This girl can actually be a lovely person. She can be smart. She can even be, in the right circumstances, fun. She can also be the most annoying person on the planet. Get one drink in this girl, and everyone around her is suddenly an extra in “The On Girl” Show (swivel, smile, beckon, I will not kill “The On Girl”, I will not kill “The On Girl”). If you are actually talking to a guy (or a girl, or the wall), she will step up and monopolize the conversation. Volume levels are raised. Giggles do not stop. She will yell across a crowded room “Did you say Oklahoma?! OMG. That’s so funny because I went to school in Utah!” She’ll take whatever topic is out there and continue with “I did that too, only when I did it, it was snowing, and I ran in heels, uphill, both ways.” She might as well be tap dancing and singing “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better” (swivel, smile, beckon, I will not kill “The On Girl”, I will not kill “The On Girl”).
Perhaps I just wish I was more like “The On Girl”. Maybe I just wish my switch would be flicked. I could look upon these situations as valuable learning experiences. Rather than resenting her gift for insinuating herself into every conceivable conversation, I should watch her technique and strap on the tap shoes myself (swivel, smile, beckon).
Ugh. But then I’d just be annoyed with myself, and according to my Entertainment Weekly, self-loathing is so 5 minutes ago. And you know how trend conscious I am.