(I had to look up how to spell the title. I’m not as big a Star Trek fan as I am a Doctor Who fan.)
My sister and her fiancé had their engagement party today. I went. It was very difficult. I hadn’t been to a big party for a number of years. There were lots of people and lots of noise, which makes me feel anxious. Almost everyone seemed coupled up (even the babies and children were in pairs). I was initially too nervous to talk to even the people I did know, let alone those I didn’t. I was introduced to some of my sister’s future in-law family and probably made an awkward impression. I was too nervous to take any photos, which was supposed to be my job. I was just too nervous to mingle, let alone talk to people to take their photo. I spoke to a couple of my sister’s friends who are my friends too, but they soon went off to talk to other people, or strangers came up and started talking to them. I either hovered at the edge of the crowd or stood at the buffet table eating far too many carbs. I wasn’t that hungry, it was just something to do to stay occupied, distract myself and try not to attract attention. The food was strictly kosher, but the setting was a non-Orthodox synagogue hall, which set my OCD off, even though there was no logical reason to worry. I didn’t get a sugar rush, but after two hours or so I crashed (this is the story of my life: I miss the fun bit, but I pay the price as if I hadn’t. All hangover and no drink, that’s me). I texted a friend for moral support; she tried to convince me to take photos, but that just made me feel worse. Eventually I gave up and slipped away into the main synagogue and read Kafka’s Aphorisms. Not the best thing to read by any means; I only took it with because it’s basically a small pamphlet of about fifty pages that I could slip into my trouser pocket without anyone noticing.
I hate parties. The one advantage of being single and having (almost) no friends is that I don’t have to go to them often. Now I am terrified about my sister’s wedding in December. I don’t know how to get through it. I want to get married one day, but the thought of having a wedding party terrifies me.
You can hold yourself back from the sufferings of the world, that is something you are free to do and it accords with your nature, but perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering that you could avoid. Franz Kafka, Aphorisms