I had nothing to do tonight so I went to to a dog costume Halloween party.
My boss often suggests that I attend networking events. The problem is that I’m busy most nights and, oh yeah, I don’t like networking events. Well, that’s not entirely true. Put me at a blogger convention and I’ll run around talking to everyone. If there was a Fresca roundtable group I’d run a smear campaign against my opponent to win the treasurer position.
The networking events that are in the industry I work are held at bars after work. I don’t drink. Plus, watching people get loaded is not a lot of fun for a sober guy. Even at the party tonight there was a guy getting moshed on red wine. He stood too close to me and kept spilling his drink talking about dog rescue. It’s pretty gross to see that red lips and teeth thing.
Look, if you need red wine because it brings out the flavor of meat or fish or bread or whatever, fine. But don’t get sloshed on it at a party. You look like you just made out with one of the Cirque du Soleil clowns that warms up the audience. Drink some white zin and call it a night.
Oh, and this guy kept touching me. He was a little tipsy, and I suspect more than a little gay. Lots of touching on the elbows, and some forceful arm holding. Also, he blew me in the storage closet. Toothy. Sorry – easy joke. But it was strange to be touched by a stranger. I’m sure he was just being friendly and possibly flirty.
The event had about fifteen participants. It was sort of a sad party. The DJ booth was manned, lots of food and free booze and just a handful of dog enthusiasts who brought costumes. I have to say, though. It wasn’t bad. Sure there wasn’t much going on, but the people there were genuine. Also, not weirdo dog people. The pug person only brought one pug, not three. That’s rare.
Since I didn’t know anyone I jumped into a circle of existing conversation. I’m not uncomfortable doing this, but at some point if nobody reaches out proactively, you have to select one person to choose as your leader. The leader gets the first introduction and your handshake, all while the others witness this selection. And I know they’re thinking, “Why is he not choosing me first? That guy is NOT our leader. He has red wine lips and is grabby.”
I always go right in the middle, pick the dude directly across from me, and introduce myself. This brings the energy in the circle to a halt and I now have to make another decision. Which way do I start introducing myself to everyone else? Clockwise or counter? The last person must feel like a real loser.
By the way, this is a facility that is strictly for people to have pet parties. Yes. You read that right. They have all sorts of events and the owner invited me to an all-chihuahua meetup in a few weeks. I’ll go. I suspect my dance card will be empty that night as well.
All in all, I am proud I didn’t sit around in my underwear tonight coming up with tweets that would get responses to make me feel less alone. I even miss red wine molester.