Saturday, November 11, 2006

Ima Squarepeg

The other night, Cuppa dragged me and I went to a thank you reception for the volunteers at last August's Riverside Jam. You may recall that over three days the lady and I put in many hours as Security personnel at one of the entrance gates. Now, after a several month delay, the hundreds of volunteers were all invited to a little get-together as a gesture of appreciation. I appreciate the gesture, but, frankly, I'd rather receive a thank you note in the mail.

When Cuppa asked me if I wanted to go, of course I didn't, but I said yes anyway. Although I can pretty well predict the course of such events, I tend remain at least somewhat optimistic that this one will be different. It never is. In this event as in most, many people sat around many tables trying to have a good time (the people I mean, not the tables although the tables probably had a better time than most). Some folk did enjoy themselves, I suppose – no doubt those who, unlike us, went with and/or sat with friends.

We were to be served finger food. Sounds okay right: cheese balls, breaded zucchini sticks etc? But after we had sat around and stared at each other for about twenty minutes, we were told that the goodies would be served in an hour. Oh the pain of it all. So, Cuppa and I sat there for the allotted hour. Of course, the food was late, so we continued to sit. Eventually, it was ready: not tasty little hors d'oeuvres, however. No indeed: only *&^%$ carrot sticks and such. To make matters worse, you had to line up for these marvellous treats: one freaking table after another. Sorry, but sticking around in a contrived social event and eating carrot sticks that were late and that you then had to line up for is not this old boy's idea of fun. At that point, we beat a hasty retreat.

One the way home, I remarked to Cuppa that I continue to be a square peg in a round circle world. While I am generally comfortable in my own skin and with my life, I don't seem to fit in very well with society at large. Most social circumstances seem contrived and thin to me and not worth bothering about. Sometimes I force myself to go because hope springs eternal, but I can never seem to force myself to pretend to enjoy myself once I get there.

Oddly enough, I like people and like to be around folk but not usually very many at once. I like to exchange basic pleasantries and hear what people have to say about their lives, but I simply abhor sitting around in silly circles with people that I don't know or barely know who are all pretending (not very well, I might add) that they're overjoyed to be there. I can't seem to summon the hypocrisy required to enter into the vacuous banality of it all.

I'm not much of a drinker. Perhaps, if I were, it would help me to become the garrulous life of the party, but let's face it, I won't. The truth is that I'm a Square Peg in a round world. Just call me Ima for short.


Gina said...

Pleased to meet you, Ima!

I don't think there are many people who would have enjoyed that event, if it makes you feel any better.

Ginnie said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who feels like a square peg! I, too, like people but almost never in large, "organized" groups.
PS: thanks for the explanation about the "Halloween" face...almost time to put on your happy, holiday one! Hope you're feeling better.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you completely on that one! I enjoy people for the most part ~ but prefer small groups and no contrived "reason". Ugh!


Thailand Gal

Anonymous said...

"Contrived" is never good. Ick.

Next time, if I were going to a party with you, I'd bring my Scrabble game along, plop it on the table and say, "This is a crummy party, isn't it? Let's play. Two minute limit for each turn."

Or even better, Dutch Blitz. Have you ever played Dutch Blitz? No one has to take turns. No one has to line up for tables. And you don't even have a moment free to eat a carrot stick.

coll said...

I feel much the same way and rarely feel comfortable in large crowded gatherings where I know few of the people. My hubby, on the other hand, is just a social butterfly and makes friends with strangers in the blink of an eye. Therefore, I simply tend to cling to his coat tails.

Cathy said...

Ima! I think we're having a Vulcan mind-meld here! It's just so *&#@ frustrating. Unfortunately, this aversion of mine to thin social gruel is to avoid participating in worthy organizations. I'm going to attend a local naturalist society banquet on the 18th and I'm already gnashing my teeth. Like you, I don't drink much, but I'm reconsidering that disposition.

Valerie - Riding Solo said...

I don't think you are the exception, Anvil. Large, over organized events are never as much fun as cozy gatherings, over crowded in small homes of people who know each other. It's just a fact.

The mate never liked those huge events either. I do better as I tend to be out going enough to remove the bored feeling by getting a bunch telling jokes by telling a really bad one of my own or some other ice breaking device.

It's ok not to have fun and to have left because it was a farce of a thank you is just fine.

Don't worry so much, ami!

Anonymous said...

Hey, what's wrong with staying at home? NOTHING! Herds are for cows and lemmings.

Loner said...

I think that is what I like about you so much. I am not a round peg - though I used to look like one! People are always surprised when I say I am quiet at parties, especially if I don't know anyone - then I fade into the woodwork! And I like that you and Cuppa and your kids are allowed to be who they are - it is a beautiful thing!

Mel said...

I can totally relate.