I scanned the familiar room looking for someone with whom I could converse. While I’d been with the good folks in the room before, I was still new enough I didn’t yet know everyone. As my eyes swept from one end of the room to the other, I noticed everyone huddled in pairs or trios, talking intently with one another. So I plopped down in the seat nearest me and placed my purse beside my chair.
I scanned again, looking for a comfortable break in a cluster where I could easily and nonchalantly saunter in and say hello. Coming up empty, I wrung my hands, one over the other, like I was washing them without soap and water.
Like I’m trying to wash out that nervous feeling creeping up in my soul.
After some time, no conversation appeared approachable, so I became overly invested in the contents of my purse. Every whipstitch, I glanced up to see if I could make eye contact with anyone, but I couldn’t.
I’ve been here before — more than once.
Most times I handle being a wallflower just fine, but this time it got to me. So, I stood up and walked calmly but purposely out of the meeting room to the bathroom. I darted into a stall and slammed the door. And because I’m particularly lady-like, I proceeded to kick the door. Twice.
Crossing my arms and breathing heavily, I looked toward heaven and said, “Why can’t I just enjoy myself here and not feel like the loser at the party?”
I cried like a woman who was heart-weary from the work that getting to know people entails.