About a month ago, I wrote a piece on my personal blog lamenting that I could use a friend or two. I explained that I’m pretty picky about my friends and I’m no Mary Poppins, so it can be hard to find someone to shoot the breeze with over dinner. I made a little list of attributes I’d like to see in a friend and I ended the post with “Anyone else feel this way too?” Boy did they!
I got an overwhelming response in the comments section. After a couple of hours of reading comments like, “I feel the same way, I’m in Birmingham if anyone wants to go for a drink, let me know!” and “I could use a friend in Denver! Let’s meet.” I decided I needed to plan something.
I looked at my calendar and I randomly picked Thursday, June 21 as a good date to have a nationwide People I Want to Punch in the Throat Friend’s Party. I created several events around the country on my blog’s Facebook page and asked for volunteers to take charge – pick a time and a place and act as a hostess. People started signing up and it was on!
Then I started to panic.
Yes, I had picked a night that I was available, but would I really go? Did I really want to go and meet a bunch of strangers who think I’m funny? I was terrified. Sometimes I thought, “I’ll go, but I’ll introduce myself as Mary. I won’t say my real name and I’ll just pretend I’m a fan too.” Sometimes I thought, “I’ll fake an illness an hour before the party starts and bow out gracefully.”
What was wrong with me? Why was I thinking about lying? Isn’t this what I wanted? I thought I wanted a friend? I was going to have to leave the house in order to make that happen.
I screwed up my courage and put on my nicest cargo pants (I skipped wearing my signature Crocs that night since they tend to “fart” in the summer) and opted for flip flops instead and hopped in the minivan and I was off.
I don’t know what I was worried about. I had a great time. We had about 16 women show up and we all sat together at a big table. We made the rounds and met one another and asked one another questions to see who might be our new BFF. It was like speed dating – but for a bestie.
Finding friends can be hard, no doubt, but it’s even harder if I won’t leave my house. I know how hard it was for some of those women to come out that night and I’m so glad they did. I saw emails and tweets from other women who were sitting at home wishing they’d chosen to come. I will definitely plan more of these and next time I hope you find the one in your city and go too.
Be sure to read my daily rants at People I Want to Punch in the Throat where you’re sure to laugh and/or might be offended (it’s where you can find my R-rated rants).
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