So I am turning 50 next month. And I want to celebrate my birthday. Should be easy, right? Invite some people to a bar, a pub, a restaurant and there you go. Well, there you go, me? I am sitting in the corner debating who to invite who will actually say yes and show up.
When I was young (or younger as the case may be), I didn’t understand the basic social rules or niceties. I was odd and all my classmates knew it. I was not invited to a single birthday party during elementary school and my mother finally threw me one and two kids showed up. I wasn’t mean, or nasty, I just didn’t know what to talk about to them. They talked about kid stuff, I was interested in science and space and weather. Kinda like Mr Spock at a disco…
I made friends in college and have made friends wherever I work. I have two close friends, one local and one in Oregon. I know people from my hobbies. But the people that you invite to a party and expect to show up, not so much.
And here’s a secret. Many of us who didn’t get invited to parties, wanted to go. We even wanted a party of our own. We wanted to be normal just for a while. We wanted to be special, for something besides getting 100% on the test. We wanted to be the center of attention, even the attention of the ‘popular’ kids. And since we never had that as kids or teens, often it is still a dream of ours in adulthood, no matter how much we try to disregard it.
So I created a Facebook Event and invited people I know from there. Some from old jobs, some from hobbies, some people I knew back in Kindergarten. (I get along better with them now as an adult than when I was young. None of them want to talk about science stuff these days either, darn the luck). I don’t know how many will respond, let alone who will show up. But I will be there and its going to be fun. And if I want to talk science, well, it’s my party and I will talk science if I want to….