Most Likely to Become a Hermit

I’m allergic to people. Also, black mold, lilies, and possibly sulfites, but I’m going to keep drinking wine anyway. The rest I can do without.

People allergies are not as socially acceptable as shellfish or gluten. Shellfish is ugly, so no one really gets offended by it. Gluten is trendy, like the iPhone that’s soon to be obsolete. But you can’t easily go into a restaurant and tell the hostess, “Umm, I have a special request. Can I sit in the furthest corner booth away from all other humans? Or perhaps you have a coatroom? Can I eat in there?” You get strange looks.

It’s not social anxiety, so I don’t think there’s a pill for it. And if there is, I’m sure insurance won’t cover it and it costs $844 a month. That would seriously cut into my wine and stripper budget. I think my issue is that I’m an introvert on steroids, but the kind of steroids that make you fat, not ripped.

My office picnic is coming up, and I’m trying to decide between giving myself some sort of rash or eating a vat of spoiled mayonnaise the night before. Are Jehovah’s Witnesses against company picnics? Can I start pretending? “Hey, have you been saved? Can you save me from this forced social event?” This picnic is like a perfect storm of things I try to avoid: the sun, swimming pools, children, lawyers, small talk, wearing shorts in public, and carbs. Throw in free booze (there’d better be) and I’m doomed to get sloshed, toss someone’s kid off the ladder and go down the slip & slide in my clothes. It will not end well. I pat myself on the back for being so self-aware to want to avoid this inevitable episode to be nostalgically discussed at all future firm events. I’d rather be the only one working that day, even though it would essentially be paying me to drink. If I’m the only one in the office, I can still get paid to drink.

The same feeling of dread goes for my 25th high school reunion next month. Now I haven’t been to a reunion in 25 years, mostly because they have not been well organized or publicized. I wasn’t sociable in high school. I never even went to my prom. Instead I sat home pining for my crush who was going with someone else. I still haven’t gotten over it and don’t like taking trips down memory lane to remind me of my awkwardness. Isn’t it enough I’m friends with a lot of classmates on Facebook? Do I have to physically see them and make small talk? This year it is going to be a picnic at the beach. So all the same perfect storm components I listed above, except minus the kids and lawyers but adding in the possibility of sharks and sand fleas. Or stepping on a hypodermic needle. I don’t live in Hawaii you know.

It is also a BYOB reunion, which I think is wrong. We all made it through high school drinking whatever we could swipe from our parents’ liquor cabinets, and now we’re essentially still having to smuggle in booze to the beach. I can’t fit a box of wine in my cleavage, but I would try if my $20 ticket also bought me an Uber ride home. Hell, I’d pay $25 for that. Or more if it was a Swedish Uber driver.

I think the concept of class reunions was created by catty women to give them an opportunity to feel better about themselves. Surely there is someone in your class that is fatter/married to a polygamist/hooked on crystal meth/out on parole/joined Scientology/is on the terrorist watch list/was held captive as a sex slave/works for Donald Trump. Surely out of the 187 in my class still living, the odds are that someone has it worse than I do. I just married a closeted gay man who drove me into bankruptcy, then I became a lawyer and then quit being a lawyer and now I’m celibate, fat and turning into a crazy alcoholic dog lady trying to get a green card from a Canadian hockey player. Then again, judging from that list, I might be a contender for the biggest loser.

So I’m not going this year. I’ll send my regrets though. “Sorry I can’t make it this year. I’m filming the Bourne Identity 28 with Matt Damon in Chile and can’t get a flight back in time. Have fun without me. Ben says hi!”

2 thoughts on “Most Likely to Become a Hermit

  1. as time goes on i find we have so much more in common than I realized…I have yet to attend a reunion. And I didn’t attend prom either (I wasn’t asked, and the when the third guy I asked literally laughed in my face, I gave up). Good luck at the picnic if you decide to go…i’ll be thinking of you!

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  2. I didn’t attend my prom nor ever been to a reunion. Couldn’t handle the small talk and I never socialize with co-workers. I must be an introvert too…..:)

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