It is early on a Sunday morning. I am sitting in the family room of my house while the rest of my family sleep. I have made myself a cup of tea and am enjoying a slice of hot buttered toast – such simple pleasures suit me well. Outside it is snowing and I am worrying about my daughter who is away camping this weekend. I am also mulling over the party I went to last night, the last of a run of social events that I have been looking forward to for some time. I am wondering why I behave as I do.
Increasingly I am finding large social events a challenge. I feel as though I am acting a part and not very well. Of course, this is not an original observation. It was Shakespeare who wrote: ‘All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players’. I think that I would feel more comfortable if I could be in the audience for the performance.
The party was to celebrate the fortieth birthday of a friend. It was held in a swish cocktail bar and had obviously taken some planning. A bus had been arranged to get attendees too and from the venue where an area had been cordoned off for the sole use of her guests. There were plenty of people there and I knew a reasonable number of them. As I hadn’t seen them in some time it was a good chance to catch up and I have a rather raw throat this morning from trying to talk over the music.
The morning after the night before is perhaps not the best time to judge how I feel. Having arrived home late I have not had as much sleep as I would like. My feet are tired from standing in heeled shoes that I am not used to. My head is tired from the mixture of wine and small talk. I wonder why I feel so empty inside. I wanted to attend to celebrate this friend’s special day and she had invited a lovely group of people to a venue that worked well. When all the boxes can be ticked I can only conclude that such partying is no longer for me.
I wonder if I am trying to act in a way that I feel is expected or if this is just another aspect of my character that has changed. I seem to remember enjoying parties but cannot be sure if this was because I felt that I should. So much of what we do is influenced by what we observe around us. I wonder if I have seen others apparent enjoyment and felt that I was missing out. Was my anticipation more about fitting in than about the reality of how I am in these situations. Will I learn from how I feel this morning.
I will not try to read too much into a morning after feeling about one event. I will, however, file away the fact that in reality I am happy to spend my weekends at home with a good book or a DVD. It is fun to have an excuse to don make up and a party dress but I enjoy a walk with a friend more than a drink. I should know by now that I will not feel good about myself if I try to pretend that I am something that I am not. It would seem that I am not a party animal.