Column: Wallflower blues

I just don’t do well at parties.

So, needless to say, I was a bit apprehensive about covering the 400-people strong New Orleans party at Blumen Gardens in Sycamore Saturday night.

My natural tendency is to find a corner and stick myself there, hoping that everyone in attendance will mistake me for a lamppost. Except for the dogs in attendance. Then I most certainly am not a lamppost that needs to be marked. Bad doggie!

While this is great for those hoping to make it big as a professional wallflower or fire hydrant (big money there), it’s not such a great idea for journalists.

But, like I’ve done every day for the past seven years as a journalist, I got over my fear and walked amongst the party-goers at Blumen Gardens, taking pictures and talking to people I’ve never met before. I even ate a crawfish, a creature that looks like it would love to crawl into your ear and invade your brain if given the chance.

You’d think I’d be comfortable with this big group stuff by now, t hat I wouldn’t be frightened of saying something stupid or sounding like a doofus or dancing like a Danza.

But no. I still have to rev up the old courage to talk to new people. And unfortunately, my courage is the equivalent of a 1990 Ford Escort with 250,000 miles on it.

It always starts eventually, though, and I get my job done and go home thinking, “Hey. That was easy. What was I worried about?”

I have the most wonderful job in the world. I talk to people for a living. And 99 times out of 100, the people I talk to are generous, nice and, most importantly, talkative. I’ve been yelled at maybe once or twice in 11 years. And one of those times was just a weird incident involving rival Buddhist monks (I wish I were making this up). So, yeah. I’ve got nothing to worry about. This party stuff is easy.

But then I go to the next party. And I find a corner. And I begin to wonder once again how much a professional fire hydrant makes.

I just don’t do well at parties.


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