Monday, June 11, 2012

I've had practice

At my new job I got invited to a bbq by this girl who's worked there for three years. Do you wear a business suit to that? After accepting the invitation, I promptly called Laurie (which Josh later told me, totally made her day). "Okay. The first think you need to know is, you can't sneak beers and run off to drink them while making out with a boy." Oh. Well. Guess we weren't fooling anybody. Laurie came over to look at my clothes the next night. I suggested wearing a denim skirt and polo shirt. She, Josh and Alex all said no. Just like I secretly have this blog, sometimes I wonder if at night while everyone's sleeping, Alex secretly has a whole other fancy life at night that none of us know about. She can't explain how she knows this stuff, but she has never been wrong once.

Alex and Laurie picked out a dress I normally wear to (Arnie's) work. It seems like something that Charlotte, from Sex and the City would wear. They agreed my goal should be to look as preppy as possible. I wish sending Alex for me was a viable option. I was told to bring flowers. To not drink any alcohol. To not curse. To not tell or laugh at any off-color jokes. But to not confront anyone who does either. I got invited so people could get to know me better, but was being told not to be myself?

When I was on my way, I texted the girl to ask if she needed anything. "More ice." Really? I have to lug 10 lb bags of ice in a dress, in the heat? Isn't there a corner store and a guy you could send out for that? At least ice is cheap. I found a corner store two blocks from her house (in Brooklyn), and talked the guy into having someone who works there carry two of the bags so I only had to carry two also. Then I tipped him because it seemed like something Josh would do.

So I didn't bring flowers. When I got there though, the girl screamed in happiness after she opened the door and saw me holding the ice. I wanted to pour some down my dress, I was so hot. There were other summer people there that I recognized. One girl was wearing a strapless dress and kept having to haul it up. I got a drink and then walked around talking to people. A guy who's also summering found me and whispered, "How do you know all these people?" I don't. Josh had used the word schmooze, so I was trying to.

After about two hours, I was done. Everyone seemed to just stand around making small talk. Nobody got drunk and did anything funny, nobody danced. The kitchen was a total wreck, so I cleaned it up, and then went to say goodbye. Today at work, a bunch of people I recognized from the party came over to talk with me. It's as if I have friends now.


Anonymous said...

You did great!
Welcome to the world of networking.
Those catalogs Alex has been pouring over for years are paying off. Does she also have magazine subscriptions?

Anonymous said...

I am really glad you made Laurie's day!

Lisa said...

Wow, great job! Schmoozing isn't easy for everyone; clearly you're good at it.

Monica said...

Two hours is about an hour past my normal limit :) Great job!

Sometimes these events will be fun, a chance to catch up with people you haven't seen in a while but when they're all new I find it more of a chore. The thing to remember is that it's a chore you're doing for yourself. The payoff as you've already seen is huge.