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images-1Tonight I am kindly invited to a birthday party for a fellow I hardly know. I love intimate gatherings but parties aren’t my strong suit. I have no good reason not to go and he’s a very nice fellow, it’s a surprising honor to be invited, so I decide to be brave and attend.  I bring with me a dozen apple hand pies freshly baked. If I am a social dud, I still have something to offer.

I decide to dress in my unflattering yet entirely hip tunic. To be honest, I know that any woman who is a D should not wear a circle neck empire waistline, yet I bought it. I saw it in the mirror. I paid good money for it. It’s designer. The fabric drops around my bosom like a cliff, creating a school bus silhouette. This is the hit I am going for? The “do not make a pass while flashing” look. My wardrobe gives me only two other options: bag lady or Sophia Loren. Apparently I don’t do anything in-between. So, school bus it is because it is friendly.

I drive to the house and open the door to a happy mingling room full of people I have never met in my entire life. My heart sinks. They all seem to know each other. What am I doing here? And where is the birthday boy; do I even have the right house? Is that…him?! To my shock, he is playing violin with a group of improvising musicians. He’s very good. I love it when people surprise me.

I listen for a while and then I know it’s time for me to either mingle or leave. I see a couple of women peeping out from their circle of friends looking at me with a bit of pity. I give myself a pep talk:

“Lucia, you know what to do in this scenario, just ask them all about themselves.”

So, I do. I meet a film maker, a computer programmer, a dancer, a carpenter, a tiny IT manager for a mining company, a Mom doing renos, a professional tarot card reader and a fabulous red headed Irish brew-mistress immediately easy to adore.

About an hour in, it comes up that I write plays. The birthday boy admits he admires those who can write dialogue. I toss out, “Ah, dialogue, I can do that in my sleep.” I am shocked by my statement. Why did I say that? It sounds arrogant. Though if I was a bread-maker and said, “Oh yes, I can make bread in my sleep” after doing it for twenty-five years, I would not blink an eye.

I head home, having greatly enjoyed the evening, and I wonder at this thing called modesty.

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