As I mentioned in my last post, I went to a wedding this past weekend. The wedding went off perfectly — everyone in the wedding looked stunning (none more so than the bride, of course). Seriously, this bride is the happiest person and is so unbelievably in love with her husband — it’s adorable. She also has one of the best laughs I’ve ever heard. Happiest person + finding the love of her life + her wedding day = lots of opportunities to hear her laugh.
Overall, I think weddings are fun: I love watching two people who are over-the-moon in love celebrate with their family/friends surrounding them. But with a wedding comes a reception, and I hate receptions.
“What?! Lindsey, how could you hate receptions?! It’s just a lot of dancing and having fun!” I’m imagining you asking.
That right there is why I hate receptions: Dancing and fun. Ha, OK, “fun” is a relative term, so it’s not that I hate fun, I just don’t associate dancing with fun. I guess the more accurate reason I hate receptions is just the dancing part. I am so unbelievably self-conscious about my dancing. I don’t know where this came from, but it’s always been a part of me. I don’t remember ever attempting to dance and make a complete fool out of myself (maybe I blocked it from my memory?). Clearly I don’t have a problem putting myself out there since I post photos of myself on this blog whether the outfit is flattering or not, and I write crazy-long posts that could be overly wordy and boring. So making a fool of myself in that way is something I’m open to. But there’s something about dancing that is positively terrifying.
To put it in perspective, I would rather give speeches in front of hundreds of people every day than to have to dance in front of anyone. (Maybe Toastmasters really is working?!)
My friends from college can certainly attest to my fear of dancing. When we went out on weekends, I was typically the one standing stiffer than a board on the dance floor while my friends enjoyed themselves to the fullest. I usually just told my friends to do their thing without me while I sat at a table. This of course would invite guys (total strangers, mind you) to my table to ask super helpful questions like, “What are you so boring and un-fun that you won’t dance?” and “Why do you have to be so uptight?” and a bunch of other things that make a self-conscious person even more self conscious. I’m sure, deep down, these people were trying to get me to understand that it doesn’t really matter if you look like a total idiot on the dance floor — no one really cares. But I totally judge people who are bad dancers, so why would I think that others aren’t doing the exact same thing?
With public speaking, I have full confidence in myself that I can eventually do really well with it. Dancing is something I’m fully confident that I’ll never be good at.
So at the wedding last night, one incredibly intoxicated guy kept trying to coerce me onto the dance floor. He definitely wasn’t hitting on me — I want to make that totally clear. I think he just wanted to help me look like I was having a good time. Unfortunately, even though his intentions may have been good, it just made me that much more defensive about not wanting to dance. Since I wasn’t drinking, I wasn’t holding anything in my hands, so I also had my arms crossed.
I totally get that crossing your arms is a major no-no when it comes to positive body language, but seriously, I didn’t know what else to do with my arms!
So my refusal to dance, coupled with my crossed arms, made me an even greater target for the drunkard.
“Why do you have to stand with you arms crossed? Why don’t you try to have a good time? Just come dance for awhile!”
Can’t we all just accept that some people hate dancing and they aren’t going to magically open up to it (at the age of 31 to someone who isn’t even a friend) if they hadn’t already opened up to it in their early 20s with super awesome and supportive friends? We all have our strengths, and being fun at a reception is just not one of mine. Making small talk at dinner? I’m your girl. Judging people about basically anything? Count me in. But receptions are just not my thing.
I should mention that Dan was never around when this guy was pestering me. I don’t think Dan would have done anything since I can clearly take care of myself (ha, in one totally defensive way after another). Dan knows the guy, and knows he was drunk out of his mind, so there wouldn’t have really been any need for Dan to step in. It was mostly a matter of coming up with anything I could say to make him leave me alone.
Oh, one girl was trying to get me to take off my cardigan and “show a little skin.” Here’s my apparently mega prude, uptight outfit (minus the snow on my shoes):
I’m assuming the anti-dancing, arms crossed, fully clothed thing was sending a pretty un-fun vibe in her opinion. I feel like I was everyone’s pet project. To get her to leave me the F alone, I eventually said, “Oh, have you ever done cupping at an acupuncturist’s office? Well, I just did on Friday (which is true!) and now my back has bruises all over it, so it would look totally disgusting if I took this sweater off.” I’m sure she was thinking, “Did this chick seriously just blurt out her cupping experience?!” It was one awkward thing after another. To top it off, I’m pretty sure I threw in a line about someone making a call to domestic services if they saw my back without the story.
I can’t emphasize enough how much better I am at dinner parties than I am at actual parties.
To any of my friends whose receptions I left almost immediately after the meal: It was solely to avoid awkward situations like this. I couldn’t possibly support you or love you more than I do, I just truly hate dancing and any situation where people are going to make me feel even less fun than I already do in situations like that.