I went to Paul’s birthday party at the Bodega Wine Bar on Sunset last night. It was one of those kinds of birthday parties I hate: the birthday boy (in this case Paul) sends out an evite to come to his birthday party at a bar.
In my view, that’s called “hanging out” or “meeting up” not a “party.” I get that not everyone can afford to throw a lavish party, rent out a room, or buy everyone’s drinks, but if that’s the case, I’d rather go to your apartment and play Pictionary. There are a lot of cheap/free parties that are a fun with a little thought. I guess that’s just my big complaint. It just seems lazy.
Anyway, I didn’t know anyone except Paul. Michelle had to work late and so there was that initial panic when I walked in and saw a room full of people I didn’t know. It is weird how you irrationally think people are looking at you. In reality, no one notices the new guy walking in.
I took a deep breath and tried to remember all my best opening lines. I walked up to a guy who was not talking to anyone and I said, “Hey. I’m Fletcher. How do you know Paul?”
Luis said they worked together and that led to 20 minutes of conversation. I was getting bored of this guy so I said, “Excuse me, I’ve got to go say hi to Paul.” And I left. (That’s the best way out of a conversation. Excuse me. Any reason will do. Leave.)
I didn’t go up to Paul and the thought did occur to me that Luis would watch to see if I was lying, but again, no one does this. You leave and they move on. No one follows you to check on your story.
So I tried a group. “Sorry to interrupt, how do you guys know Paul?” It doesn’t make any sense, but no one skipped a beat. They just started answering my question and I was instantly included.
I was really rocking the “How do you know Paul” all night. I talked to easily a dozen strangers. One misstep though. I went up to a cute girl and with a big smile I said, “How do you know Paul?”
She said, “Paul’s my brother, Fletcher. You and I went to junior prom together, asshole.”
Paul’s younger sister Erin had flown out from Pennsylvania to visit him and we had in fact gone to the junior prom together. Oops.