Last night I didn’t do anything for New Year’s Eve.
I am sad about this. I actually had two offers that I both turned down. One was from friends who, ever year, go to this huge gala in Chicago. The week prior I had decided against it. I get dressed up each day for work – it’s enough. Ha. Sorry to laugh at my own moronic logic, but that’s actually how I thought about it. Also, it’s pretty expensive for someone who doesn’t drink. So, no to that one.
The other option was something that came up unexpectedly. Even though every fiber of my logic said to attend, I just couldn’t. Ladies and gentlemen (don’t you hate when writers or speakers throw that stupid phrase out there?), I simply chickened out.
Here’s what and why.
I hired someone last week whose fiance runs a bar. Actually, they now run two bars. This second one is brand new and they’re doing this big event for New Year’s Eve. In Chicago you’re hard-pressed to find a bar event that’s under $100. It’s just the normal cost of all-you-can-drink and eat stuff. I didn’t mind shelling out that money ten years ago when I was a boozebag. It was well-priced.
Her event at the new bar was only $50 for the whole night, including drinks. That’s a steal. So, even though I wouldn’t win on the spirits, I would stack as many Tostino Pizza Rolls as would fit on a mini paper plate. Now, she’s five month’s pregnant and I think she was going to run around selling shots all night. Which is a funny sight you’d have to admit. The point is, it’s not like we’re best pals (I’ve met her twice) nor will she have time to wax poetic to me. She’s going to be running around throwing Schnapps down throats.
Other than her I wouldn’t have known anyone else.
Now, in any other setting, I’m good. Invite me to a party where I don’t know anyone and I’ll go. I’ll make up a story about I how I used to bang the cousin of the host’s best friend’s sister. I basically interview people all day so I am constantly meeting new faces and talking. I’m good with people.
But the idea of going to a bar on New Year’s Eve where there would be nobody that I knew and walking around seemed odd. How do I explain that I just decided to go and spend $50 to hang out with nobody – no friends, etc. It’s sad, right? Also, imagine I came up to your table of single girls and introduced myself. How long before someone goes, “Where are you friends?” How do I respond? “Oh, I’m a loner. I roam at night in the shadows. No one can tie me down!” You’d think that was weird, yes? Yes. Yes you would.
Now, that’s the story I sold myself and, as a result, I didn’t go.
The TRUTH is that I could have attended and made it work. I would have gone, met people and simply said, “I didn’t have anything to do tonight – I know the owner and just thought I’d swing by. I’m D.J.” I’ve even extend my hand to shake, people! I’m good in public!
But I was afraid of doing it for some reason. I think it’s a control thing. I’d rather stay home where I can fully control my evening (albeit a lonely, sad evening) then go out and not have anyone to talk to. That was my big fear. Standing at the edge of the bar with nothing to do. But I could have always left had that happened.
I was beating myself up about this pretty good last night when I finally just said, “Well, I chickened out. It happens. I don’t need to shame myself. Maybe I’m just not at a place where I can do that on my own. Or maybe I needed someone to kick me in the butt. Either way I’m going to enjoy this time with myself. Next time I’m going to set up some event in advance so this doesn’t happen.”
Now, I’d love to say that I felt 100% better after that but I didn’t. But I felt 50% better. And that was a start.
I’m going to focus as much as I can on this self-judgment which never helps get me what I want. I hope all of you have a great start to 2013. Let’s all hit the gym tomorrow and stave off chocolates. Or, in my case lose 10 lbs before Saturday for the blog conference I’m attending in Las Vegas. I can do this. I know I can. Pray for me.