“You look nice.”
“Thanks,” I said stepping into the car. “Since I don’t have anything else going for me thought I’d at least try to look nice.” Settling into the bucket seat I carefully held my homemade berry bundt cake above the silk party skirt. The cake was supposed to be topped with citrus whipped cream, but it hadn’t whipped properly which was fortunate, really, since the summer’s 100 degree heat would have melted it long before the bus arrived to take me part of the way to the reunion party before I met the car. This also meant that the skirt — which was supposed to be supported by the cake — would have to stand on its own.
This was all years ago. At the time it felt like the whole of me was made up of successes I hadn’t achieved. In the years since last seeing everyone they’d gone off to do great things…probably. And I didn’t know these people anymore. Which were all reasons creating these social nerves that the cake and the skirt were supposed to calm.
Not that the reunion was horrible or even bad. It was fun. People complimented the cake. Never again, would these nerves make me feel worse about myself.
Ahh, I do make myself laugh.
At present day if you were to walk into my apartment the day of some social event you could witness the same sort of scene. All my nerves funneling into picking out an outfit and cooking. A cake to keep me busy to stop feelings of dread from making me sick. Cookies to give me the hope of being popular. Ice Cream to give me something to talk about.
It doesn’t always work. I’ve skipped networking events and begged off invites due to other commitments. This past memorial day, pepped over the success of recent ice cream batches, I decided to bring chocolate sorbet sandwiched with grandma’s sugar cookies. Something went wrong. The sorbet refused to freeze. Several times I scooped out a bit, put it between two cookies and watched it melt. Back into the freezer the sandwich would go only to become a puddle of chocolate sorbet turning sugar cookies to mush.
My security blanket was melting and I didn’t want to go to this party. Except they were the friends I see everyday combined with acquaintances I see often enough. There isn’t always much of a reason why making it out of my apartment and into the world is stressful. I put on my cute, new shorts, packed up the melting sorbet and bag of cookies, got the dog and went to the party.
The days of not showing up don’t happen much anymore. These days I’m more likely to force myself and then leave early.
For work and this blog socializing has been all online lately. I look forward to going home, having alone time, recharging from the all day socializing. All of social media seems to be for those who are already extroverts and I haven’t found out how to give baked goods virtually. It’s a whole new social world to manage and I haven’t conquered the old one yet.
Not that any of this is the always. I enjoy baking and sharing with friends. Have I ever shared the story of my first day at a real job? Yeah, no where near as shy. I even enjoy being known as a regular at a local watering hole. Lots of times, there aren’t any preceding nerves.
Oh, and also, the cookies and sorbet weren’t eaten by anyone that night. Which is the night I started this post. That night I thought about making the chocolate sorbet again, just for this post, just to prove that I could. Instead I decided to try the Banana Sorbet you can see pictured in this post.
Recently, I didn’t make anything for a friend’s party. I bought bread and lots of deep breaths. For a bit I considered bringing ice cream.