Recently I attended a nearby party with a bunch of married couples with kids–friends of a friend. It was good for me to get out of the house but about what I expected. It was difficult to find common ground for small talk, and I left without speaking much to anyone outside of my friend.
This weekend I was invited to a party by another friend where I might have had more in common with the folks (although they might also have all been paired off), but it was over thirty miles away, and, although I was intrigued, I couldn’t bring myself to make the drive, especially at night. I’d like to get out and mingle but don’t want to spend that kind of time and energy when there isn’t much that results from it except the chance to get out of my head for a little while.
More or less the only thing to do at night in my new surroundings is go to bars or restaurants, which I am not inclined to do alone. There was a tiny music/art/literary space around the corner, but it has already closed up shop and moved on.
All during my thirties and early forties I would throw parties, including during my first stint in L.A. But the guests in L.A. were a real hodgepodge– an acquaintance from a temp job, a guy or two I met through online dating, current coworkers of various ages and backgrounds, an acquaintance from my undergrad days, a woman or two from dance class. Many were un-or-under employed and/or in transitional states. People would seem palpably relieved to be at a party where 95% of the guests were single, as opposed to the other way around, but only scattered and short-term connections between the guests ever resulted.
I was located centrally before, so my friends only had to drive anywhere from, say, five to forty-five minutes to get to my place. Now they’d have to drive forty-five minutes to an hour-and-a-half.
I just can’t see the point in throwing another shindig and trying to get that mishmash of people back together. I don’t mind seeing them individually when I’m up in L.A., but I feel like I said goodbye to all that when I left town.
I’m in my own little version of Key West now, you could say.