How to Attend a Party Where You Don't Know A Soul

At a throw-down where I knew no one, I met a few interesting people. One person was maybe even REALLY interesting.


Ah, the weekend! Man, I had a wicked head cold that felled me on Friday. I managed to tip-toe out in search of human companionship with, like, a cold compress glued to my head and a Kleenex shoved up one nostril--although I only made it as far as my favorite bookstore, Unnameable. The Philip Glass they were playing sounded perfect on a feverish rainy New York night. I stayed mostly in the poetry section, where I found a few gems--including Nobel Prize winner Joseph Brodsky's memoir of Venice, Watermark. Anyway, it was a comfort to be there, among pretty words and lucid music and nice people with interesting eye-wear.

By Saturday, I was feeling the tiniest bit better; still achey and exhausted, but at least my nose had stopped running. When my friend Adrianna Spetlova*--who writes for a super-cool New York magazine--told me she was going to a party in Park Slope, I thought there was no way I'd make it. But after a three-hour nap, I felt much better. And wide-awake. So at 10:30pm, I trotted over to the shin-dig.

Adrianna said she'd be get there by 10 ... but as I was walking into the building, she texted to say she'd be another 20 minutes. Ugh! I considered going to The Tea Lounge, next door, and biding my time, rather than facing a roomful of people I didn't know on my own.

Instead, I took a deep breath and went up to the party. Immediately, I pushed through the small crowd near the door and made my way to the makeshift bar, where I poured myself a stiff O.J., and fell into conversation with a really interesting woman named Sylvia, who had a braid coiled around her head and a pretty beaded dress on her bod, and, yet, an appealingly tomboyish personality. Eventually, the conversation turned to what I did for a living, and I told her I was a Professional Flirter. "I'm terrible at my job, though!" I added. "I'm such a chicken."

Regardless, a few minutes later, after declining Sylvia's invitation to go outside for a smoke, I found myself heading towards the kitchen in the hopes of maybe meeting some dudes in there. (All the males in the living room were either clearly taken, clearly gay, or of ambiguous sexual orientation--i.e. graduates of Brown University. And it can often be embarrassing to flirt with someone who, as it turns out, is on the other team. At the same time, I did meet one of my very best buddies in the world that way.**)

In the kitchen, I marched over to say hello to a tall Brazilian guy I'd met at another party or two. We didn't have much to discuss ... but I did fall into conversation with the blonde dude who happened to be standing next to him. The blonde seemed quite interested in my life as a writer--and though I later excused myself, having spotted Adrianna, the blonde magically came over shortly afterwards to ask for my phone number.

The benefits of assertiveness!

Despite the wonderful compliment the blonde man had paid to me, by asking for my number, Adrianna was looking so particularly hot that night that my confidence had diminished. The nasty Low Self-Esteem Rats were gnashing at my brain, saying, Who would want to talk to you when they could talk to her?

But I managed to tell the Rats to GO AWAY. And though they didn't quite leave, they did quiet down.

Since it was late by then, and Adrianna was pooped from a week of traveling, we decided to leave. "Let's just make one last lap before we take off," I suggested. So we strolled back into the living room ... and fell into conversation with some peeps Adrianna knew. There was a circle of about seven of us, and as I was talking to a married couple on one side of the circle, I heard a guy on the other side say, "I write a blog for [NAME REDACTED]." ***

Hearing that, I paused and shouted over impulsively, "Hey! I'm a dating blogger! And I think I need to date other bloggers so they'll be cool with it when I write about them. So how about it--want to go out some time?"

"Yes!" he shouted back.


More on what happened after that tomorrow.



*Not her real name.

**Hello there, Zac Frank!

***The name of his publication is going to remain a secret.


also, dear commenters: Adi and Raye--I am glad you liked Friday's pointers! And Yumm: Going on a trip by yourself is the #1 THING the "Hot Chick" ladies recommend that single woman do. Also, Laura, I am hearing you loud and clear: I keep thinking I need to post something on a few inexpensive ways to treat yourself right. So ...