I fear that I have left people on a cliffhanger off a curb. “It’s not that deep,” as my daughter would say. But it does feel like a Ground Hog’s Day kind of thing. Here are the posts on the topic of the Dinner Party, from the oldest (2013) to the most recent (February 2023):
You Don’t Have To Bring A Date, Come Alone! Come Alone! COME ALONE!
I Went To A Dinner Party Alone
I Went to a Dinner Party Alone, Parts 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6
I Went To A Dinner Party Alone — Update
Basically, I get invited to this thing every year and have never had a date. Now you’re caught up.
So here I was days from the event, without a date. Again. Now I had made a vow to you people and myself that I would not go alone. If you are new here, just know that this ain’t my first single ticket to the rodeo. I Went To A Wedding Alone, The New Walk of Shame For The Single Woman — Going Out Alone, Pissed: Parking and Dining Alone. Oh, I am soooooo comfortable going places alone: dinner, concerts, bars, etc. Even when I was married I went out alone a lot, which should have been a red flag, but I digress. So I do go places alone. I’m just sick of it.
And this event is heavily couple oriented. There are always a few — like three — stray single women but those women are generally closer friends of the hostess and the other guests. For them, they are going out alone to meet up with old friends. I’m a long time friend of the hostess, but a fringe friend. We’ve never vacationed together, gone shopping together, never had dinner together or anything like that.
For me, I would be approaching clumps of people and introducing myself. Again.
I consulted with three single girlfriends. Two younger, one older. One never married, two divorced. The consensus was — drum roll — just say no. The chances of my having a good time were very, very small. The last year I’d gone was not fun for me. It made be feel like crap, actually.
I told the hostess the truth, that my date was suddenly unavailable. I didn’t tell her that my date was as far from a traditional romantic date as could be. (See previous post). She of course said I could come alone! She has said that before. (See above) But I held strong, and declined. I think that she understood. I really do. And I felt an immense sense of relief. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
The weather was perfect on the evening of the party and not gonna lie, I was a little sad. I even drove by the house. But yet at the same time I was truly content with my decision. As you know it has been a source of stress for — yeah — years. And I didn’t break my vow to you. I vowed not to go alone, so I didn’t. I just didn’t go.
I know it must be killing you to know what happened last year, Fall, 2022.
Truthfully, I didn’t even try to find a date last year. I wasn’t dating anyone, hadn’t really been trying to date either. Post Covid inertia plus a lot of other stuff. And I’d broken the seal, I’d RSVP-ed no last year. You see, I’d gotten comfortable with saying no — to a lot of things, but I digress. I replied no via email — saying something about I can’t believe I’m declining again, but hope to see you next year. So there it was.
But wait, there’s more.
As the party day approached I began to have second thoughts. Unarticulated rumblings. Just bubbling under. But it kept me up at night. I remember lying in bed, unable to sleep, thinking I should go to this party.
Next year is not promised, I thought. I felt that I needed to go. I really needed to go. Date, or not.
I didn’t consult my girlfriends about it. I just decided. I listened to the little man (woman) inside me, as Kramer from Seinfeld advised. A couple days before the party, I got up in the morning and I texted hostess. I asked if it was too late to come. She, being the sweetheart she is, said, “Nope, not too late, I can’t wait to see you. I always tell the caterer to add a buffer for last minute guests.” And once again, I felt great relief.
And wouldn’t you know I had the perfect dress that matched the party theme. Second hand? Well, yes. But with the tags still on? You know it, baby. No one had ever worn this dress, not even me.
I boldly went where I said I’ve never go again, to this event, all by myself. But I did so in a great (free) dress that even matched the party invitations – a fact that was included in more than one compliment thrown my way.
It was a lovely event.
But wait, there’s still more.
In her annual welcome and thank you speech before dinner, our hostess officially revealed that she and her husband were moving, putting their beautiful home on the market after the first of the year and have already purchased a new home in a warmer climate. This would be the last of this event — ever.
Now, some of the guests, those close friends I spoke about above, already knew this.
This much must be understood, I had no way of knowing. I had completely removed myself from Zuckerbergland. I have a dislike/hate relationship with Facebook. See: Facebook Mutual Friend with the Ex’s Girlfriend? – Part One. Facebook Mutual Friend with the Ex’s Girlfriend — Part Two So I finally deleted my account last year. And I felt great relief with that decision, too, by the way.
But something told me, ate at me to rescind my “no” RSVP, ignore my vow to myself and you fine people, and just go to the damn party.
Thank goodness I did.
If I hadn’t gone, and found out later that it was the very last one? I would have been absolutely devastated. I listened to the little man(woman). And it worked out. Not only did I go, but I had a great time. I sat with the hosts’ church friends who were very friendly and welcoming, and brought me to their table. One of the women even did the girl thing of inviting me to go to the bathroom with her. I was one of the last guests to leave. And I went back two days later with my mom so that she could see the gardens — for the last time.
For almost a decade I have lamented about going to this event alone, but this time I happily did so for the very last time. I’m going to miss it. I’m going to miss her. Though we didn’t spend much time together outside of the party, it was a comfort that she was nearby and that she included me in her special event every year. I am happy for her, though; it’s time for a change.
Perhaps for all of us.
Just Me With … a post about this dinner party for the very very last time.
Another time when a received a message from — somewhere. I Went For Coffee and Took A Turn Into “The Twilight Zone”