I went to Paul’s birthday party at the Bodega Wine Bar on Sunset last night. It was one of those kinds of birthday parties I hate: the birthday boy (in this case Paul) sends out an evite to come to his birthday party at a bar. [singlepic id=183 w=320 h=240 float=right]The place isn’t rented out or anything. The bar doesn’t know they are the location for the party. Drinks are not on Paul’s tab. Essentially the “party” consists of telling everyone to go to some random bar at the same time and buy their own drinks.
In my view, that’s called “hanging out” or “meeting up” not a “party.” I get that not everyone can afford to throw a lavish party, rent out a room, or buy everyone’s drinks, but if that’s the case, I’d rather go to your apartment and play Pictionary. There are a lot of cheap/free parties that are a fun with a little thought. I guess that’s just my big complaint. It just seems lazy.
Anyway, I didn’t know anyone except Paul. Michelle had to work late and so there was that initial panic when I walked in and saw a room full of people I didn’t know. It is weird how you irrationally think people are looking at you. In reality, no one notices the new guy walking in.
I took a deep breath and tried to remember all my best opening lines. I walked up to a guy who was not talking to anyone and I said, “Hey. I’m Fletcher. How do you know Paul?”
Luis said they worked together and that led to 20 minutes of conversation. I was getting bored of this guy so I said, “Excuse me, I’ve got to go say hi to Paul.” And I left. (That’s the best way out of a conversation. Excuse me. Any reason will do. Leave.)
I didn’t go up to Paul and the thought did occur to me that Luis would watch to see if I was lying, but again, no one does this. You leave and they move on. No one follows you to check on your story.
So I tried a group. “Sorry to interrupt, how do you guys know Paul?” It doesn’t make any sense, but no one skipped a beat. They just started answering my question and I was instantly included.
I was really rocking the “How do you know Paul” all night. I talked to easily a dozen strangers. One misstep though. I went up to a cute girl and with a big smile I said, “How do you know Paul?”
She said, “Paul’s my brother, Fletcher. You and I went to junior prom together, asshole.”
Paul’s younger sister Erin had flown out from Pennsylvania to visit him and we had in fact gone to the junior prom together. Oops.