She said “Get out there and mingle”. What a laugh. I mingle with the food. The people, well now that’s a different story. In the midst of all these smiling people, I stand. Gazing off into nowhere I shift positions but feel the earth’s muck holding my feet fast in the grassy way of the yard. People give welcoming smiles but I can’t respond. I hold myself fast. I nod, smile, and walk on.
Finally, the food comes. This I can do only too well. I grab a seat and listen to others talk, occasionally offering a verbal tidbit. I try, really I do. But I am so very uncomfortable among people. They seem to have so little in common with me, although I realize if I gave them a chance, there are those who would be interesting and I would have something in common with. Finding them in the cacophony of voices is quite more than I can manage. I have been alone too long.
So I stay the requisite hour and a half and give my goodbye to the hostess. She worked so hard preparing house, food and yard for this. I spent three hours the day before to help prepare. But I have fulfilled my obligatory time and hasten to the car, driving directly home where my cat and I have quiet for the rest of the evening.