Sunday, February 12, 2012
I think I've mentioned many times in this blog that I'm not a very social person. I highly value my alone time, and I'm not much of a party person. In fact, if I show up at one of your parties, it's a sure sign that I like you very much. The only parties I ever find immensely enjoyable are ones where I know people really well and with people with whom I have a long-standing and close relationship. I also find that if it's a nice manageable number of people (maybe 6-8), I have a better time. Larger groups of people tend to overwhelm me, and I find the noise immensely draining.
Attending parties is one thing. I usually make an appearance, stay about a half hour or so (depending on how fun the party is for me), and leave. I'm sure people probably view me as a party-pooper. I don't mean to be. I just find parties and large crowds overwhelming, especially if the majority of people attending are strangers to me. I'm not particularly good with small talk, I often feel awkward and shy, and I'm very much a wallflower and usually subdue my nervousness with food and drink (non-alcoholic). But at least I can leave when I get too uncomfortable.
Hosting parties is a different matter altogether. I generally do not not host very many parties, and were I not with Jonah, I probably wouldn't host more than one a year. Jonah is more of a social person and one of the reasons he was even interested in getting a larger house was that it would be a welcoming place for large groups of people and for hosting social events.
I find hosting parties quite a chore. First of all, there's all the cleaning and preparing and decorating and cooking, none of which I particularly enjoy. Then as a host, I always feel like I have to be "on." I feel like I have to be entertaining and sociable and make sure everything is being taken care of (food being refilled, garbage being thrown away, dishes being clean, etc.). Since I am not naturally a very social person, I find this quite challenging.
Secondly, I feel like I can't "turn off" until the last person leaves the house, and if the party happens to be long, that's a long time for me, personally, to be "on". It's very emotionally draining for me.
Yesterday Jonah's niece's husband had a birthday, and we had agreed to host it. Well, Jonah agreed to host it, and I conceded. (lol) Anyway, I had known about the event for a while and had been gearing up for it. Jonah also wanted to use the event as a way for me to get to know his family members better. While it's still kind of "don't ask, don't tell" with his family, it's pretty clear that everyone pretty much knows about our relationship, and so it's important that we all continue to cultivate a relationship.
To their credit, everyone in Jonah's family has been very kind to me and have treated me like family, and I appreciate that greatly. I picked up Jonah's parents and we had a very nice conversation on the way to our house.
To my great relief, we didn't have as many attendees as we had prepared for, and about half of the attendees were people I feel relatively comfortable with, so I didn't feel as awkward and uncomfortable as I might have.
Jonah's mom is kind of a "take-charge" gal and is accustomed to getting things prepared and ready on her own, so I didn't have as much responsibility, so that was nice, too. Jonah's mom (Jonah is Hispanic, you may recall) would call me "mijo," which is a term of endearment like "dear," but is actually created by the words "mi" and "hijo" meaning "my son," so that really makes me feel like a part of the family.
I mostly chatted with Jonah's sister and her boyfriend, with whom I've become closer with, and that was nice. Jonah's other sister and I talked, too, and she asked me how long Jonah and I had been together, and I said "six years," and she said when she would see a picture of me, she would say, "That's my brother-in-law," but that she hadn't ever talked openly about Jonah and me with any of her family members. Be she said she liked all of her brothers-in-law, including me. It was a nice conversation, and I felt she was honestly trying to make a connection with me.
There were some games and stuff, too, which I mostly watched, but it was fun to watch. Jonah had to leave just as the party was getting started because he had to work, so I had to take over hosting duties, which wasn't preferred, but was necessary.
I really sincerely appreciated the opportunity to get to know Jonah's family better and to develop a relationship with them, and the party was enjoyable, but I'd be lying if I didn't say I was happy when it ended. Jonah's mom and dad were the last to leave. They caught a ride back to their home with Jonah's sister and her boyfriend, so I was left alone, and it's such a relief for me when the last of a big group of people have left the house.
I was so emotionally exhausted, and I was so thankful for the silence that permeated the house. I enjoyed the party more than I thought I would and I enjoyed getting to spend time with Jonah's family, but was grateful that I could go quietly to bed until Jonah came home from work.