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.
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!