Sunday, May 6, 2012

Drinking Beer Alone in An Elevator

This past week my apartment building had a pre-Cinco de Mayo fiesta. It was really fun. Unless you were me or people I tried to talk to while I was there. Not only was I painfully awkward but I was so awkward that I made other people uncomfortable too. Good job, me.

Let me start from the beginning.

Last week, flyers went up in the elevators advertising a Cinco de Mayo party. Guacamole, sangria, margaritas - what's not to love? Normally, I steer clear of situations in which I don't know anyone. I'm a very unsocial, social person. I like meeting new people but I tend to stress about it. All that small talk? It's exhausting. And then, when does the small talk become just normal talk? And then when are you friends? It's so much easier just to hang out with you people online.

However, I decided that, since I have this new DC life that, as part of my new DC persona, I would become one of those people who is totally smooth in social situations. I'll be the one who can just walk up to strangers and make instant friends and then introduce other people and coordinate the social landscape.

Um, yeah, not so much.

I decided to check out the party on my way upstairs from the laundry room. (If this doesn't set it up as a exciting evening, then I don't know what will.) I was especially intrigued because, earlier there was an elderly gentleman, on a walker, dressed in his finest clothes, heading into the party.

I should explain that my fellow tenants fall into age ranges of around 25 - 35 and then 80+. There is no in the middle. The social psychology student in me is fascinated by this. Throw margaritas in there? Sign. me. up.

So I wander into the club room only to find hundreds of people. It was quite a boisterous crowd. This was it. My time to shine in the social scene. Hmm..where to start? There's no better place to bond than in the line for booze.

But, the margaritas were gone. (And, I later learned they bought machines to make 400 margaritas. FOUR HUNDRED.)

I turned to the sangria table. Gone. (I'm thinking we may need to reserve the Club Room for an AA meeting in the future).

Fortunately, my trusty Coronas were there. Hallelujah. Beer-in-hand, I was ready to meet some neighbors.

Unfortunately, they all seem to be really good friends and were laughing and telling stories in large groups. I saw a girl around my age standing awkwardly near the drink table pretending to be on her phone. I know she was pretending because that is my go-to move in social situations. She looked like she needed a friend. So I said, "Hi, I'm Lindsay I just moved in."

She was alarmed, unimpressed, and uncomfortable. I had successfully transferred my awkwardness onto someone else, fantastic. I'm a plague of social uneasiness.

She clearly didn't want to be my friend and I can take a hint so I migrated towards a group of guys and girls having a seemingly hilarious conversation around a cocktail table. It was now or never. Inserting yourself into a large group is ambitious. But, hey, this is the new me, right? Go big or go home.

I stood near them, waiting for a lull in which I could say, "Oh hi! I'm new. Be my friend!" Or something more eloquent and less desperate. But there was never a lull. So, instead I was the girl who stands uncomfortably close to other people. I waited about 20 minutes but the opportunity never presented itself and they didn't seem to notice (thankfully). Well, I most likely waited about 2 minutes, but it certainly felt like 20.

Neighbors, I'm just trying to make friends so that I can borrow laundry detergent when I run out. Or, borrow a cup of sugar when I'm making cookies. Actually, I don't really bake. So I guess I'm hoping that we can be neighborly friends so that when you make cookies, I can have one. Yep, that sounds more accurate.

I decided the Cinco de Mayo party was not going to be time to make neighbor friends. I took my beer and called it a night. But, I did take it as a good sign that everyone else  was friends, meaning, there is hope for meeting my neighbors.
My date to the apartment building party. We went home together.
That night I didn't make myself any friends but I did secure a reputation as the girl who comes to the party just get a beer and then drink it by herself in the elevator on her way back down to the laundry room. Awesome.

All that to say thank God for the people I do know. When Friday rolled in, I was definitely excited to hang out with Lauren, Ryan, and Kate. Kate was visiting from Charlotte - a true NC Meets DC moment. I was ready for a small-talk-free evening.

We met at my apartment to have drinks on the roof-deck. You should expect to see many more roof-deck pictures in the future because I plan to be there all summer. I have plastic picnic wine glasses and I'm ready to put them to good use.
Kate and I filling our picnic wine glasses. Right before I spilled wine all over the floor.

Cheers to the roof-deck. 
Per Ryan's suggestion, we made our way to the rooftop bar at Cleveland Park Bar and Grill. Despite have the word "bar" in its name which usually brings images of wings and chicken fingers to mind, the food was really good. We continued our theme of drinking wine from plastic cups on roofs and ordered a bottle of their finest (which means least expensive) white wine. I had a wood-fired pizza with spinach, broccoli, and sun-dried tomatoes which was delicious. It was a little crowded on the roof but, given the weather, that was expected. It was much more comfortable once the guy beside me left and I no longer had his hair in my eye every time he leaned back. We also gained solid table real estate as the night went on. We started at a tiny round table and, by the end of the evening, had acquired not one but two square tables, optimal for pizza-sharing.
Ryan and Kate on the roof at Clevaland Park Bar & Grill
After dinner, we walked back to my apartment - via Yogiberry, of course. What's a more perfect way to end an evening (or a morning or afternoon for that matter) than with frozen yogurt. I decided to, once again, try a new and scary topping. There were tiny little orange balls that I found intriguing. I asked the guy what they were. And he explained. But, I have no idea what he said because of his thick accent. So, I asked again. He explained. I got nothing. At this point, I felt somewhat racist for not being able to understand and thought I might offended him if I asked a third time. So I nodded, said, "mm...sounds good" and pile some on. The tiny orange balls tasted like tiny balls of orange. No surprises there. He was probably trying to tell me they are fish eggs or something. Joke's on me.

Kate won the award for prettiest frozen yogurt. Her use of color was impressive. Although, like most artists, she did suffer for her art - she claims the blackberry tasted like cough medicine.
Kate's award-winning frozen yogurt.
Roofdeck, wine, pizza, friends - yep, not a bad Friday night.

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