I went to my first cookie exchange yesterday. Not sure what to expect, I went with a huge question mark over my head. I heard rumors of possibly dinner and games after the exchange. Due to schedules, I had my son with me, and he wasn’t excited about spending any more time there than necessary. I told him we could duck out after the exchange and skip dinner and games, which he seemed to like.
I thought we’d get in, do the exchange, get a few hugs from friends, and then leave.
That wasn’t what happened.
What did happen was a pre-holiday party, full of love, laughter, and support. Dinner was served first, forcing us to hang around and socialize.
Being an introvert, going to parties is always difficult for me. I’m afraid that I won’t know anyone and won’t have anyone to talk to. I sit there, wondering how long I have to stay before I can ditch without seeming too lame. I paste on a fake smile, try desperately to not appear like the social reject that I am, and finally breathe once I am able to get by myself. I try to make myself fit in and not seem like the massive sore thumb that I am.
That wasn’t how last night went. Last night, I knew almost every single person who was there (much to my relief) and many of them, I consider a friend. Some of them, I even specifically wanted to talk to about certain things. I enjoyed seeing almost all of them and never once had to use my fake smile. I laughed a lot, got lots of hugs and support, and felt uplifted when I left. I was secretly glad that we had been forced to be there during the meal.
Plus, I brought home a massive dish of treats. Yum!
I think I might be getting the hang of this socializing stuff. At least with this group. I’m still struggling with meeting new people, but I am working on it. One step at a time.
First cookie exchange – a huge success. Yay!
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