I recently attended a work friend’s birthday party. It was the old dilemma of wanting to go to affirm your friendship with the birthday girl, but also being aware that you’re not likely to know many other people there. My one hope was that the birthday girl was friends with a girl at her church who used to go school with my housemate. I figured I could manage at least five minutes of conversation with her before we ran out of things to say. Unfortunately she was sick and couldn’t come.

To make matters worse, the party had a forties theme. I had no idea what level of creativity or effort to expect as the norm, and no way of knowing if I was going to be able to blend in or not. Okay, that’s a lie. It’s fairly unlikely I’m going to blend in to any crowd at the best of times, much less at a themed birthday party. The point is I had no established standard of expected effort to work off. I was seriously considering piking altogether, rather than getting all dressed up to head out and talk to no-one.

Fortunately I had what is fast becoming my trademark hat to fall back on, which in combination with just about anything roughly smart looks suitably forties (not to mention devilishly attractive (if I may say so myself (and I do say so myself, whether I may or not (so there)))).

And there I was, standing in an unfamiliar hall with no guarantee of having anyone except the rather pre-occupied hostess to chat with. Thankfully a few other workmates had come along, though none of them looked remotely forties. We were chatting away for a while when the hostess came and introduced one of her friends from bible college. We looked at each other suspiciously before I broke the expectant silence with “wait… don’t I know you?” It turned out she had left St. John’s the year before I got there, and we had actually met fleetingly a couple of times before (I submit this as further evidence to the claim in my previous post that my college is stalking me.)

To make an already strange evening even more bizarre, our hostess, who is quite an avid swing dancer, had invited her instructor along to give us all a free lesson. So, after heading out to a party fearing I would be standing alone in some corner of the church hall all night, I ended up spending most of the night dancing the Charleston with another old jabba, and walking home singing songs by the Ws, which I hadn’t heard for years. And I have my hat to thank for all of this. Okay… and also the birthday girl.

I can’t wait to see what I can pull out of the hat next weekend.

Far from home


Garry with 2 Rs

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