Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby

I have had a load of social engagements/obligations lately and it’s definitely adding to my anxiety of late. It’s not even so much the social aspect (kind of a lie) but it starts with the drive there. If I’ve never been there before, I study the map so as to burn the directions into my brain (no nav in this girl’s car) and will sometimes even draw out a mini-map for me to take with me. I check and re-check the address about a zillion and one times until I’ve almost blown it time-wise and am way overdue to get ready. Once I go through everything in my closet and I’ve got proof of the clothing war all over the floor, I get in the car and go. My heart usually pounds until I get there.

Yesterday’s big worry was parking. I am a horrible parker and knew that where I was going there would only be rarely found street spots. Good god. Parallel parking. So I typically sweat like a pig until I get the car parked. Then I start to wonder if I’ll know anyone at a particular place and if not, how can I overcome my ridiculous shyness to at least stand in a group and nod my head. And return to sweating like said pig until I’m actually at the door.

The event yesterday was a women’s group tied to a professional organization that I belong to. So, basically, we’re talking about a room full of successful and also budding physicians. No pressure, right? (Ok, I know this is internal pressure here but I still feel it). There were about 40 of us in our little spring dresses milling about a freaking spectacular home in Santa Monica waiting for the High Tea to begin. Fancy, I know.

My High Tea

High Tea goodies

The cookies in the back with white glaze and a nib of some kind of jelly-like substance on top were the best, though if I had to choose some kind of sweet to eat, it probably wouldn’t be anything on that platter. But I dealt.

We were told to choose seats next to someone we didn’t know (not hard considering I didn’t really know anyone, though I’d been introduced to a few in the past). I made a bee-line for the heat lamp as we were outside and it was damp and on the cool side. We had some tea (mine was black with a touch of cream) and various biscuits and finger sandwiches. I have to admit: I find those tea sandwiches to be rather disgusting. I’m one of those freaks who actually likes crust on their bread. And I’ve never been much of a cream cheese kind of gal.

After some nibbling and chatting, we were invited to take a seat in the living room for the speakers. The topic: Women and Sexuality. The first speaker had us do this pretty cool guided imagery thingy to get us to relax. I’d say it worked. The second speaker talked about women, hormones and why we bond in a different way to each other, partners, and children compared with men (apparently men deal in testosterone first (duh) and vasopressin second (their bonding hormone). We women have only a smig of testosterone and tons of oxytocin that floods our brains when we simply touch someone to say hello. Oxytocin makes us feel connected and pretty darn happy.

So if you made it through that pseudo-scientific rant, good for you!

Then they raffled off some prizes that were mostly bath products that I’d never use anyway so I wasn’t too upset when my name was not called, served us some more food (strawberries and a trifle), let us mingle for a few and then we called it an afternoon.

All in all, I’m glad I went (which is what usually happens) but I’m always left to wonder: why the hell is small talk so damn hard for me? I mean, I’m just not good in those situations. I’m the kind of person who will say something when I have something to say but I’m not one to pipe up just for the sake of hearing my own voice. It does seem to come so easy for some people. I’m getting used to the fact that this is not natural for me and I’m working on being ok with that.

Are you a talker or listener? Or mabye you’re good at both. Tell me your secret to this skill!

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby

  1. I’m good at small talk but i’m definitely more of a listener. In a group of people I smile and crack a joke but really don’t like interacting that much.

    I’m the same way when i’m going places. It happened today. Mike and I were on our way to his girl bball ceremony then I find out we’re going to be late and he wasn’t sure what it entailed ARG!! Of course he new better than to tell until we got all the way there.

  2. I worked at a retirement home as a nurses aid one summer in college and got crazy good at small talk. Because giving someone a shower is awkward, but it’s even more awkward when it’s silent. So I had to!
    I think small talk is a lot easier when you’re just with one person than in a big group though-big groups I tend to be much more quiet.

    • That is one tough job. I was trained to do that job for a summer but had to quit after only a few shifts because I threw my back out trying to transfer a woman from the bed to her w/c.

      I’m definitely much better in a smaller group or just one on one.

  3. I soooo don’t appreciate you getting that song in my head!! 🙂

    Definitely a listener! I’m not good with the social ‘things’ and will find every excuse in the book for not going. So GOOD for you for following through with it!

    When I do manage to get stuck going to these social gatherings, it’s really hard for me to ‘put myself out there’ and socialize. It’s just so awkward for me! The whole time I’m wondering if its the same for them as well. When I’m not talking to someone I try to do something so that I appear ‘busy.’ Whether it’s fumbling around in my purse every once in a while, multiple trips to the bathroom, walking way over here and way over there as if there is a purpose to it, etc. What’s strange is I used to not be so bad. I dono, weird how that happens.

    • Sorry about the song. It was stuck in my head all day long and I couldn’t help but pass the pleasantness along 🙂

      Once again I am amazed at our similarities. I, too, have done the let me rummage around in my purse/multiple bathroom trips to feel less awkward at a party. That’s the worst feeling!

  4. I’m both a talker and a listener. There are times when I just like to be silent and think deeply, and I hate it when people yak your ear off. I like to talk, but not loudly or all the time.

    I do enjoy social gatherings…as long as it’s not over 2 hours long. I have a very limited patience for such things. I’m okay at small talk though. I chatted with my driving instructor for 2 hours today, hee hee.

  5. I’m really great a little buzzed. I mean….

    No seriously, when I’m sober I’m awkward but when I’m a little drunk, I’m charming (or so I’m told)

    Maybe its that I feel less self conscious or maybe that its people around me don’t realize I’m saying the wrong things because I’m smiling? Either way, I totally get what you are saying. Next time, spike your tea. It might help 🙂

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