Monday, March 8, 2010
Cheez Doodle Fingertips
I bet you know someone like her…or maybe YOU are her. The woman who can walk into a room full of strangers and not immediately head for the punchbowl in the corner. Of course, now that we’re growunups instead of eighth graders, there really isn’t a punchbowl in the corner, along with potato chips and onion dip. Instead if you’re lucky, there’s a bar so that at least you can get some liquid fortification to help you during the dreaded cocktail hour (I miss the onion dip).
I just signed up for a mystery writers reception. Amongst the 200+ people in attendance will be editors and agents, as well as fellow authors. Should be a fascinating and fun evening except I never know what to do at these occasions. Put me at a table with a person to my right and a person to my left, and I can figure out how to make conversation that lasts through dessert. But a reception? Everyone seems to already know everybody else and are engaged in meaningful conversation that seems rude to interrupt. Sure I want to meet Mary Higgins Clark, but she’s undoubtedly chatting with Carolyn Reidy, President of Simon and Schuster, her long-time publisher. Do I break in to simultaneously gush about the longevity of Ms. Clark’s career and to beg Ms. Reidy to check out the newest manuscript of Evelyn David?
If I had any guts, I would do just that.
If I had to classify myself as an extrovert or introvert, I’d probably check “none of the above.” With friends and family, I can be the life of the party. But in a large social gathering, whether it’s a professional meeting or even a wedding, I am at sea, looking around for a lifeline of someone to talk to -- but not wanting to be a leech.
I was recounting my worries to fellow writer and Huffington Post contributor, Kate Kelly. She commiserated, but pointed out that she had recently met a well-connected New Yorker at a major event in the city. This lady also confessed that “sometimes I go to these things and know everybody; and sometimes I know no one.” And under those circumstances, she too gets the jitters.
So I ask faithful Stiletto Gang readers: what kind of parties do you prefer? And do you still get the eighth-grade flashbacks of fear that no one will ask you to dance and you’ll be left with Cheez Doodle dust on your hands and a Hawaiian Punch mustache at the end of the evening?
Marian aka the Northern half of Evelyn David
Murder Takes the Cake by Evelyn David
Murder Off the Books by Evelyn David