For anyone who is navigating the holiday party circuit alone this year, below is a list of what you might expect, so prepare ahead. If you’re in a relationship, this will make you feel grateful for your significant other.
1. Scope out the situation without looking lost.
You arrive at the party alone and there are no friends in sight yet, so instinct tells you to go straight to the bar, phone clutched tightly in hand. As long as you have a destination, you don’t look completely misplaced and, you figure, you’re bound to run into someone on the way. After all, this is New Orleans.
2. Make a pit stop at the bar.
The bar is always an excellent distraction when you’re flying solo. It’s much better than wandering around the party alone exposed and vulnerable. Safely at the bar, you can peruse the scene and text your friends while you’re waiting for your drink.
3. Stalk friends.
While you now feel a sense of purpose with your drink in hand, you text your friends to ask for their coordinates. Then, you call. Text again. Rinse and repeat until you finally bump into an acquaintance. It will eventually happen.
4. Prolong small talk.
You eventually run into an acquaintance. Probably your best friend’s cousin’s boyfriend or someone you haven’t seen since high school, but at least you know them well enough to ask them about work and their cat Frank’s surgery. Still no friends in sight; you delay the small talk as much as possible. At this point, a very detailed explanation of feline liver disease is better than loneliness.
5. Move on before wearing out your welcome.
Eventually, excuse yourself from the conversation. There is only so much you can say to your acquaintance before it gets completely awkward (and before you start tearing up from the mental montage of sick cats).
6. Check the bathroom line for your friends.
Use the restroom while there.
7. Run into a crush, or even more awkward, an ex.
Again, it is New Orleans, so you always run into someone who you’re not prepared to see. Even though you’re alone, be confident and make sure to graciously excuse yourself before you start awkwardly telling him about the marathon of a meal you just had or the symptoms of feline liver disease.
8. Locate a safe place.
Go back to the bar, grab another glass of liquid courage, and humor the random intoxicated party attendee for a moment. However, walk away when “mumbles” spills red wine all over you.
9. Become one with the food table.
For a moment, you might even forget that you’re looking for your friends because the finger sandwiches are your new friends now.
10. Friends find you.
After your friends find you at the food table, the excitement of finally being reunited with them is short lived because, at this point, they are stumbling drunk. You’re only on drink number two, so this is slightly annoying. You can now smoothly sneak out since you’ve fulfilled your commitment of making a cameo appearance and make your way to the next party.
Happy holidays, single friends!
UPDATE: Due to posts like this one, I have now had two friends suggest I try eHarmony.
UPDATE: My friends who tried it had some success. Blair was reunited with an old fling, and Serena was matched with roommates. After toying with the idea of giving eHarmony a shot, I realized that I didn’t want to be reunited with any exes, nor do I want to date roommates. Again.
UPDATE: Yes, Blair and Serena are the names of two characters from Gossip Girl. My friends are real, however.
Pookie Lola writes Crescent City (Mis)Connections weekly for NolaVie.