Friday, March 28, 2014

Masked Dance with Strangers

The nap was seriously necessary. After getting back up I spent the better part of the next twenty minutes deciding for sure what to wear, before heading back out into the snow for dinner and then for a cab. And (of course) there was the mask. The thing about the maskand I was trying to be specificwas that I wanted to find something pretty and interesting and something I might want to wear again for who knows what reason. I spent a long time searching and eventually found the prefect thing. Although it did end up being a touch more expensive than perhaps I wanted, I decided it was worth the little bit of extra cost.

It was also made of metal.

The only problem with it being made of metal is that 1) it might be too heavy to wear all evening and 2) it might be too cold. And yet, I was committed, so I packed my mask into a bag for dinner and decided to worry about it once I got to the event. The dinner choice that evening was Mexican, and after my experiment with not eating for a week, I enjoyed the food.

The cab ride was uneventful, aside from the fact that it was snowing (yet again) on the first of March. I managed to find the location of the venue for the Mardi Gras party, grabbed my stuff, and went inside. After spending a few minutes playing a game of “Are you on the guest list?” I finally managed to get in, found a quiet corner to tie the mask on, and then checked the coat.

For the evening's event, I was hanging out with a slightly different circle of people. (Basically a circle I have never hung out in before.) I knew exactly no one there. I decided not to let that bother me. Of course, perhaps I should have considered that I'd be meeting people in masks all night at a new social event. How the hell was I going to remember anyone later? Ah well.

The place for the party was well laid out, with an extremely hot bartender, good selection of drinks, reasonably decent music, and nice people. I stood in the middle and just sort of waited.


“Hello,” I replied.

“Is this your first time here?”

“Yep. You?”

“Yeah. I just moved here from Iowa.”

This was to be the rather familiar conversation that I had about a dozen times that night. There were more than a few people attending that were coming for the first time, and  more than a few that were new to Chicago. This ended up making for a very relaxing situation and one, where even though I hate socializing with strangers sometimes, I was able to navigate fairly well.

I made a few new friends, got half a dozen compliments on my mask and went back to sleep at a reasonably decent hour.

Perhaps a non-event, really, but what struck me was that I was, in spite of myself, making some headway on the friend-making thing. Not just false “I won’t shiv you friends” but potentially actual friends. We shall see. I am still trying, in-between being terribly wistful about Korea.



In the meantime, I hope to go to the Prom they do in May, if nothing else in between. My social calendar does seem to be at least filling out.

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