A Quare Attitude to Parties ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 335

I’m kinda curious to find out if m/any people share my attitude to parties. Maybe, I should just say my attitude to party invitations.

I’ve had an absolute, and I mean ABSOLUTE, aversion to parties since I was a child. I have no idea how or why it all started but the mere sighting of a  party invitation with my name on it has sent me into paroxysms of panic for as long as I can remember.

My poor mother did her best to iron out this ‘quirk’  with a whole combination of approaches: listening, cajoling, accompanying, finding a perfect party-piece that didn’t involve singing, buying me lovely party outfits, letting me wear whatever I wanted …..

Our debacles came to a head just before the Christmas when I was eleven. A colourful party invitation fell in the door along with the millions of Christmas cards that did the rounds in those days.  I went into immediate ‘flight’ mode and saw to my amazement that the ‘fight’ had gone out of Mother. She just knew that this had the makings of ruining Christmas for everyone and agreed that it was okay for me not to go. I still remember the relief  and being able to breathe and live again after that heart-stopping moment.

I always loved lying on Mother’s bed ‘helping’ her to get ready for parties; trying on her shimmery necklace that seemed to go with everything and zipping up her silky dress.  I’ve also spent decades adoring novels where parties abound ~ The Great Gatsby; Pride and Prejudice ….. Mills and Boon, you name it, I’ve partied with them!

But, absolutely nothing has changed. I’d still face having to address the Nation rather than go to a party or anything that had the makings of turning into one.

I was looking at party invitations and this one jumped out at me:

I wonder if the time has come to ‘wear purple’ and make up for lost time?

So is the world divided between ‘Party Animals’ and ‘Others?’  Where do you fit in? Did you always fit in where you fit in now?

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

20 thoughts on “A Quare Attitude to Parties ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 335”

  1. I’m with you Jean. I avoid social occasions whenever possible. Yesterday I had a bit of a head cold but dragged myself to the office to ‘prove’ I couldn’t go to the office dinner last night 🙂

  2. You’re definitely not alone in this! I think you’ll find that the entirety of the world’s introverted population will relate to your aversion. I personally think there’s something deeply unappealing in the expectation that everyone will have fun. Because hey, it’s a party, why wouldn’t you have a good time?! And if you don’t, the reaction to that is – you’re obviously the one who’s doing something wrong! Another issue is the stress of dealing with so many different social interactions at once. One on one conversation is just so much more appealing and rewarding.

  3. I think, on the introvert/extrovert scale I rate as an ambivert. That means I`ll go to the party but watch from the periphery. For me, the periphery is the very best place.

    1. Hi RH, ‘ambiversion’ is certainly an interesting one! I’d be a bit wary of ‘periphery’ in the party context, though, lest it harked back to those horrors of being a wallflower! Otherwise, I kinda like periphery, too. It makes me think of ‘rim of the world’ which is so exhillerating!

      1. Check out ” Quiet” by Susan Cain – it’s where I came across the term ambivert first, and her book is all about valuing introverts as, it seems, ye are a much maligned lot!;-)

  4. Oh Jean! Thank you – I’m with you, absolutely hate them. Much prefer a small dinner party with a group of friends sitting at a round table where we can have a laugh and a decent conversation.

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