October 11, 2020 – Don’t invite me to your party.

Gonna throw a party? Don’t invite me. If it’s a costume party, it’s a pretty sure bet that I won’t wear one and I also won’t drink, won’t smoke, won’t mingle and I sure as heck won’t dance. I may make a trip or two to the ‘snack bar’ and enjoy your food, but then I will retreat to a chair or a couch in a dimly lit corner and pretend to be invisible. I am a dyed-in-the-wool party-pooper. We party-poopers can really dampen the energy of a party but don’t let us. Go ahead and have your fun! We really don’t mind. Just don’t ask us to partake. Beer pong? No thanks. Share a blunt? I’ll pass. Oh, you want to dance? Hmmmm. Well, as much as I’d LOVE to shake my groove thing in your garage amongst all of your friends and neighbors, maybe another time? “What the heck is wrong with you?” I just heard you ask. “I mean, who would turn down a party?” Well, I would for one. “But what could have possibly happened that was so traumatic that you will no longer entertain the idea of even going to one?” you then inquire. “What’s not to love? You get to ‘let your hair down’, listen to some jammin’ music, eat some hor d’oeuvres, sip on a nice, cool beverage and mingle.”

Alright, let me tell you. Get ready, this is a doozy. So it’s around 1983 or thereabouts and my cousin calls and invites our mom to her birthday party that’s scheduled for the following weekend. It sounds like a lot of fun so she readily agrees. My mom then asks if my sister and I could come along as well and my cousin says, “Sure! Why not?” So Saturday rolls around and we all hop in the car and head over. The birthday girl (our cousin) answers the door and invites us to come inside, grab something to eat and/or drink and then join her on the couch. We visit with her for a bit. The conversation is nice. We exchange pleasantries and then suddenly I notice something a bit unusual out of the corner of my eye. Did I just see what I thought I just saw? I shrug it off, I must be imagining things. Then it happens again. I’m starting to notice a lot of ‘flesh tones’. People have begun casually disrobing throughout the house. What the heck is going on? I know this is a birthday party but why are people walking around in their birthday suits? Then my cousin’s husband strolls by wearing essentially a dishcloth around his waist.

Listen, at first the whole thing was a bit entertaining, but then it became extremely awkward and uncomfortable and I knew I had to get the heck out of there and fast. I hadn’t realized my cousin and her husband were actually nudists and the majority of the attendees were part of their ‘colony’. It would have been nice to know that before we made the trip over. Nonetheless, I was ready to go at that point but for some odd reason, my mom didn’t seem to be in any hurry. I asked my cousin if she had a phone I could use and she gestured toward the kitchen. Ack! The sliding door to the backyard where the hot tub was located was right beside the kitchen, along with a lot of people milling about in absolutely nothing at all. I made a run for it, grabbing the phone and pressing myself into the corner of the base of the kitchen cabinets, all the while trying to avert my eyes. I needed a ride so I called my best friend at the time. “Hey, I’m at a party and it’s pretty lame. Do you mind picking me up?” I said. I knew that if I told her the truth, she wouldn’t come at all so I told a little white lie.

Twenty minutes later, the doorbell rang. I didn’t want to assume it was her so I hung back. It could be another guest, you never know. Anyway, at about that time, my cousin’s husband starts towards the door but this time he is no longer wearing a dishcloth. He is clearly, unashamedly, topless, bottomless, full-on NAKED! I watch as he opens the door and then I hear the most hair-raising, soul-piercing scream that is loud enough to wake the dead. There is no longer any doubt that my friend has arrived to give me a ride. My cousin is still standing near the door, which is slightly ajar, with a puzzled expression on his face. I’m only paying attention to his face, folks. I don’t dare look down to see what’s going on below the navel. Needless to say, since the door was ajar, I blasted out of there like a heat-sinking missile. My friend had apparently run to her car and was getting ready to drive off. She thought she went to the wrong house. When I climbed into the passenger side, I think I actually startled her. “What the heck?!” she stammered. “Sorry,” I said. “I knew if I had told you there were a bunch of naked people in there, you wouldn’t have come”. She was pretty ticked off but in time she forgave me.

Ok. So now I’ve told my story and I’d love to say that’s the reason I don’t enjoy parties, because that event back in 1983 scarred me for life. But that wouldn’t be true, even though it was the stuff of nightmares (for me, anyway). Some of you are probably into that type of ‘scene’ and if that’s the case, good for you. Who am I to judge? Live and let live. But the truth is, I really believe my aversion to parties boils down to the fact that I’m an introvert, and I’m old. A hot cup of tea and a book is all I really need for a good time. I know. Pretty boring, but what do you expect? I told you I’m a party-pooper. Look, it’s all for the best anyway. If I came to your party and ‘shook my my groove thing’, all of the other attendees would probably develop temporary blindness as well as PTSD and require many, many years of therapy. There’d be lawsuits. You’d probably lose all of your friends, your home, and your job. Think of it this way, I’m doing you a favor. And, yes, you’re welcome. I just saved you a lot of money. Lawyers aren’t cheap, you know?

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