I am not a party person. This does not mean I don't enjoy spending time at gatherings with friends--but I like to hand-select those friends. I've been known to contact people and say, "I'll be in your area soon and I'd like to see you--would you meet me at..." and then we'll arrange to meet at a restaurant or mutual friend's home, and usually there are a number of other mutual friends invited, as well, and I love this, but my favorite times are spent one on one with people I love. Small groups where we can talk quietly or laugh at inside jokes with no need to explain them, or take walks, or just be--this is where I thrive.
I don't love conversations which rise in volume as more people arrive or more alcohol is absorbed into the systems of the party people. I like people who remain in control of their impulses and inhibitions and don't make me afraid. And if I answer a question, I prefer it to be heard by someone who will actually remember it the next day.
I also detest church parties.
I understand this makes me a heathen. I'm okay with that.
Reasons for my church party anathema:
1. The food is either really awful or awfully bad for me to eat. This is because high sodium foods rank high on the list of preferred group offerings, accompanied by large dry rolls, baked potatoes (which I can eat, but don't necessarily enjoy), and packaged ice burg lettuce far past it's prime which is called "salad". Often, just for color and tradition, Jello is found on the table, as well, and the dessert is usually some mysterious pudding based creation with a creative, semi-familiar name which ends with the word "Surprise". I do not trust foods that are supposed to surprise me. Other main dish options include Hawaiian Haystacks (I know--everyone loves these, but I think they're foul, and besides the sauce is canned soup based with so much sodium I'm in agony for a week), taco bar (I don't understand this--chili is not taco meat), or a pot luck brimming with mysterious casseroles, all of which frighten me. Yes. I'm very picky about what I eat, and the less processing, the more likely I am to deem it delicious.
2. I'm very good at making conversation--when I feel like it. For some reason, that desire turns off completely when I find myself plunged into the middle of people I see each Sunday, many of whom have children I teach or have taught. I've never been able to figure out why this happens. I can attend parties for other wards and not feel the same way--in fact, I go out of my way to meet people and talk with them. I think this is probably because it's likely I'll never see them again. However, I need to figure out how to enjoy social time with members of my own ward--because I can't remember the last time I attended a church social function with them. Sigh...I know this is just me being obstinate and wanting to hoard my spare time. Spending that time with people I didn't choose or invite does not make me happy. I know. I'm evil.
3. Programs. I hate them. I always have. I find myself waiting for the next mistake, or musical number which should never have been performed in the first place, or correcting the MC's grammar, or being astounded that something so lame is actually being performed in public...yes...I'm disgusting. And I know I'm more critical than I should be, and that I should appreciate the talents of my peers, and that I'm exactly the sort of person no one wants in the audience--so I say nothing. But I'm very glad to get home and I run before someone tries to strike up a conversation about how wonderful/touching/beautiful the program was, because it's more than a little bit likely that I'll say something I should keep to myself, which probably is more scathing than accurate.
For these reasons, I stay home. I'm a church party Scrooge. Darrin has given up on trying to get me to go. However, in the next two years I plan to repent because I know he wants to go. I have to figure out some sort of bargaining tool--I'll attend the party if he'll...sigh...there's nothing I want to trade...
Ah, well, I have two years to think about it, to learn how to stop being disgusting (wrinkling my nose, furrowing my brow--not excited about this, but still determined to overcome my nastiness).
In the meantime, I intend to get in as much quiet, intimate visiting time with people I love so I can hoard those memories while I'm at large parties (church or otherwise) if the noise level increases beyond my tolerance, or if the food makes me want to retch.
Just makes you want to throw a party and invite me, right?
(hums quietly to self: "Every party has a pooper...")