Don't let the door hit you: The Sequel
Last year on my husband's birthday I opted to go to an industry party in LA and ended up feeling lousy about it. This morning I woke up in NY, but I'll be home by celebratory dinnertime, learning from history instead of repeating it.
My post-party thoughts last year:
As a writer by profession and a hermit by nature, I've come to accept the fact that I am socially retarded. I try to mitigate by not drinking alcohol at parties or lunches. (So much healthier to drink alone late at night with only dogs to witness my pathetique.) I don't try to fake a more Midwestern accent or try to fake anything, in fact. I lack the organizational skills and short term memory to be successfully full of crap. I have to be myself, for better or worse, and then I have to go home, taking comfort in the simple fact that no one cares about me.
Truly, they don't. It's liberating. My presence in that office, restaurant, or professionally lit pool area has nothing to do with amusing anecdotes about my kids and everything to do with the market value of my skill. As long as I don't fall in the pool or set a parking valet on fire, I'll be remembered only by those who asked for my card -- and only a few of those will remember why they asked for it. And only a few of those will feel the need to follow up. (My follow up consists of "thank yous" only. It's important to me to avoid any whiff of hanger on; I let them come to me.) One lesson I'm still learning: when to go and when to stay home.
I've learned a lot this year, but the balancing act continues. Bottom line, as clients, agents, editors, taxis, airplanes, and books have come and gone over the years, my family has remained rock steady and they'll always be my top priority. Sometimes that means going, sometimes that means coming home.
And now, here's Topo Gigio...