I’m checking my phone and the little email notification icon pops up. I spot the all caps and exclamation points and my heart immediately fills with fear. It’s another holiday party season, but my reaction is always the same:
The minute I get an invitation I panic. I think outfit. But how? I own nothing. I have nothing. I’m practically naked right now. And that’s the way it’s gonna be if I don’t kill a bison and bring my mother the hide to chew and tan and sew together because this might as well be the dawn of mankind and clothes as I know it since finding something to wear will be that much struggle. I’ll need the whole 2 week lead up just to figure this shit out.
A week later when reality slowly starts to set in and my opinion of my style and closet have evolved a little, I call my best friend on speaker and start rummaging through every rod, bag, and bin. There will inevitably be a couple key pieces missing that I didn’t notice ’til now and I go full on Old Testament God flooding the bed, chairs and floor with clothes in a panic for 2.5 minutes. But I figure they must be in storage and make a mental note to rescue them before the party. (I don’t.) I’m less Samantha Jones and more Craig Jones so I “never got two things that match.”
It’s 3 days before and reality is setting in. I decide it’ll be way more fun (read less awkward) attending with a friend. These invitations never explicitly encourage a plus one, if they’re industry, but fashionable friends are always welcome. (It takes an east village to raise a toast.) But who should I drag with me? Sho is cool to hang solo if I have schmooze for a few but she always finds hair in her food. KP will make like 3 connections in the first hour but I can already hear the, “Thats your thing. I don’t understand any of that shit” speech, which is a set up to let me know she’s not down. Hunter? No. She’s anti-social, anti-people, and anti-commuting. On the upside she’s pro-drinking. Too bad she’s probably not available. I bet her family is having some baby-shower-birthday-bar mitzvah that same day. I’ll just put out feelers to everyone I know and see who bites.
The day before and I’m in a great repression of how much I’m really dreading dressing my body, riding that ratchet train into the city, and navigating a room full of impenetrable threesomes smudging lipstick on their glasses in between investigating which overlapping friendships they have in common. I know the anxiety has nothing to do with the outfit at all, but I still make one last attempt to find something to wear before I eventually give up about when I start to look like the guy who sells roses on the freeway wearing all the clothes he owns.
The event date is finally here. I have no +1 and zero fucks to give. I think about canceling, if it’s a personal invite, but I don’t have a good excuse. Physically fusing with my couch is a meme, not an excuse. “I would prefer to sit at home alone on the computer instead of socializing” doesn’t have the same charm when you say it out loud. On the plus side, going will earn me cancelation credits for the next two events.
I decide to wear my hair messy because no one can tell the difference and pick an outfit from the rotation of favorite pieces I constantly mix and match. Most importantly, I stock my party survival utility belt: I won’t check Instagram or Twitter for a few hours to build scrolling material, get at least one trivial text message convo going that doesn’t require a rapid response time, and decide on what kind of drink I’m in the mood for so I can busy my eyes and hands as opposed to all 4 awkwardly hanging from my body whenever I’m not talking. I feel in control and very prepared until I check the invitation and realize the event actually passed…about a week ago…
*I celebrate with the Shmoney dance*