How I Dealt With Awkward Parties Before I Could Look at My Smart Phone


It’s 2018, and I am in the depths of a conversational lull at a house party. I can think of nothing to say, and my viscera are in torturous disarray. My palms are pools of salty sweat. My heart is a pulsating brick of blood.  My tear ducts are ripe, red, and ready to burst on this unbearable circle jerk of average conversation. I fish around in my jeans pocket for my everything, my saving grace, my beloved anxiety reducing robotic Xanax machine. I casually pull out my smart phone and discover that I have no missed texts, calls, or notifications. But I don’t care. As I swipe arbitrarily through nothingness, my heart slows down, my hands dry up, and my tears melt back into my brain. Thank God it’s socially appropriate to check your phone during conversations these days. Circa 2005, there were only so many strategies I had at my disposal to avoid awkward chit chat at parties. Here are some coping mechanisms I turned to in the before the invention of the smart phone.

  • Hiding for 12 minutes in closet while tearfully whispering Deepak Chopra affirmations
  • Writing haikus about depression on napkin; if anyone asks, say I’m compiling a bodega shopping list
  • Rediscovering the food table for the fourth time, gorging on crackers and hoarding Monterey Jack cubes
  • Building a secret mountain of rainbow cookies in the foyer
  • Taking a full on bubble bath with the door locked and blame absence on violent diarrhea
  • Masturbating behind living room curtain, if caught claim adult hide and seek abandonment
  • Suggesting a game of flip cup and insist on taking a 40 minute train ride to the nearest deli to purchase solo cups
  • Feigning extreme transfixion with the dining room’s abstract mantel painting of a lizard
  • Talking to clearly asleep Black Labrador for 45 minutes to display sensitivity
  • Trying on all the host’s clothes, hanging them back up so she doesn’t notice
  • Taking 30 minutes to pack ziplock bag with Tostitos, Doritos, and Fritos for alleged, local hungry hobo
  • Weeping publicly while draped on radiator, claiming facially centric hot flash
  • Performing impassioned fellatio on party host’s brother in attic stairwell
  • Vomiting in projectile fashion on grand piano in the middle of group Beatles singalong
  • Poisoning self with orally induced Jameson shots, needing ambulance gurney
  • Overdosing on privately ingested Mdma snorts, needing stomach pumped
  • Dying for a minute in the hallway while everyone watches, getting revived by paramedics

There you have it, my archaic, outdated social anxiety coping strategies. Sure, they’re extreme, but back in 2005, I’d do anything to avoid an awkward party moment, even if it meant dying a few seconds. So yeah, you wanna give me flack for being addicted to my phone? Go ahead! For a socially anxious person who physically cannot handle anything remotely awkward, my phone addiction is the best thing to ever happen to me! So yes, it’s 2018, and even if your party is a little uncomfortable, I would love to attend it. Thank you so much for inviting me!

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