The Party Countdown

I have mucho introvert in me. I read. I get pissy when people ask me too many questions before 3:00 in the afternoon. I typically think through multiple sides of a situation, for hours if not days, before landing on an opinion. And you can always count on me to choose a one-on-one conversation in the corner over the beer-pong-and-feats-of-drunken-strength crowd.

But then there’s the part of me that hungers to be on stage, thrills to rock it out at a concert surrounded by a thousand strangers, and simply melts inside over a good social gathering filled with known and unknown people in equal measure.

In particular, the ones that I coordinate.

It touches the touch part of me that true introverts wouldn’t believe.

I never would have expected it — for most of my youth, I didn’t think I had what it took to be an effective party people gatherer. I grew up on movies like Sixteen Candles and Say Anything, and I just didn’t see myself being able to get through an evening like that without hiding behind someone else who would clearly be a much more affable and interesting host. Then came college, and married life, and I quickly learned that it’s actually a helluva lot of fun.

I’ve continued to cultivate my hosting hobby over the past decade, and it’s played a major part in my reinvented self post-divorce-financial-“Ahhhh!” period. Mulitple surprise birthday parties, occasional game nights, a recurring scene study supper club, a graduation party, and too many rehearsals in my basement to count — each with its own weird quirks and challenges, but the thrill of putting it all together easily outmatched any of the annoyances that come with the gig.

Which brings me to today, this moment in time in the middle of a cold, snowy, dreary February in Michigan.

I’ve been buried in a bit of introspect over the past few weeks, acknowledging things that I’ve lost during this pandemic — some of which I believe will return, other things that I am confident will not.

But today, I’m putting as much energy as I can muster into embracing the now, for all its highs and lows, and the next, for all its uncertainty.

Today, there’s a small glass on the edge of the bar, that I’m filling with hope.

Okay, it’s more than a small glass. Call it a pitcher.

Maybe even a keg.

And if the creek don’t rise, I hope to pour everyone a round real soon.

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