I was alone at one of those parties where I only knew my friend but not anyone else so I was struggling to make small talk with people. I am a small talk struggler. My brain goes blank and I think, is it me? Why is this person not small talking/talking small/talking about anything. Then suddenly I don’t know what to do with my hands because it’s weird to stick both of them in my purse like I’m always scavenging for gum and I mostly wear dresses and they never have pockets. Also: people don’t take kindly to someone who is doing jazz hands outside of a kid’s recital, especially if that person is a grown woman who is two drinks away from drooling and locking eyes with anyone who even turns her way and saying, “FRIEND ME?” I don’t go out much.
I could answer the “What do you do?” question with, “I’m a comedian!” but no one wants to hear that I’m a comedian, because it makes me sound like a crazy person. Then it gives people a reason to say, “Oh I watch comedy on Netflix!” or someone will do something like say to my human-with-feelings-not Facebook profile-face, “I’m funnier.” Which actually did happen with a woman FROM SAIPAN I met in person who was very beautiful but let’s be real, not on my level of funny. Not even. Stick to your baking and crafts, bonita. (Wow Mona, totally mature way to process something that happened months ago, especially since she doesn’t even read your blog. Nor does anyone who was at this party. Will you continue writing this inane post? Spoiler alert: YES!)
So when I saw this woman wearing a gorgeous coral dress (and coral dresses have been MY THANG this summer), I touched her on the shoulder and I said, “I really love your dress. It’s so pretty! Where did you get it?” Talking about clothes is something so innately female even if it has some anti-feminist smacks, but I had nothing. I was wearing stockings in a room full of gorgeous shiny, non-hosiery wearing beauties feeling like the Cryptkeeper.
I didn’t think I startled her but it was loud and maybe feeling a stranger’s hand on her was a bit rattling. she stepped back and then probably realizing that I wasn’t pushing my worldly possessions in Target cart that was missing one wheel, she softly replied, “Oh, it’s BCBG.” And that was the end of the conversation, no follow-up, “That’s so nice of you to say, what’s your name?” Just a shrug before she turned back to her boyfriend.
Then I heard her boyfriend say, “OOOOH! She just loooooves your dress! She loves it!” like I was some weirdo with compliments who just stops women to tell them nice things. The best kind of weirdo!
I tried not to look at her the rest of the evening, even when she sat with her other friends, probably talking about the weirdo who dress-gushes and paws at strangers in pretty chiffon. I don’t like feeling like a weirdo and maybe that’s why I love comedy so much. It’s okay to feel weird, it’s okay to talk about these things on stage in front of strangers, a totally weird thing to do but only done by the best people. The people who confess stories that send me cry-laughing, these are slaves to the stage who only serve to make people laugh and who would love it if anyone complimented anything about them, coral dress, octopus hoodie, awesome punchlines.
And even if someone did roll into a party with a Target cart missing one wheel, I would be the person kind of enough to say, “Yo, you rolling with the three-wheel motion!” You would talk to me at a party, wouldn’t you, friend?