Melanie is giddy about the party tonight. In anticipation of the gathering she has been especially alert all week while surfing the net, seeking sparkling conversation starters.
She avidly watched Youtube, keeping an eye out for those videos receiving the most hits. She enjoys the ones about babies the best, like the talking twins. But that probably is not going to impress a guy. She cringes at the ones poking fun at the last few acceptable targets, like Christians and fat people. Many have a huge ick factor or are simply boring. But she did find a funny one about a dog watching television. She picked up some gossip about Justin Bieber and other Hollywood celebrities that she should be able to slip into a conversation lag.
By following her twitter account more closely than usual Melanie gleaned a handful of clever sound bytes she can use to feign a passable knowledge of the current political scene. She really does not enjoy politics but the white house twitter account is interesting enough. She could talk about the Christmas tree lighting with some enthusiasm.
She spent hours scrolling through her thousand plus facebook “friends” updates to get a good grasp on what people were talking about this week. Occupy Wall Street is a biggie, although her interest waned after clicking on two or three related links.
She spent most of last night instant messaging her closest circle of girlfriends, who seem so much more socially savvy than she is. Melanie loves conversations and meeting new people, but she is an introvert at heart, so she needs to stoke up on as much information as she can manage, to bolster her confidence and be able to engage in scintillating conversation.
She looks at her watch. It is 8:50 PM. She better hurry; the party is about to start.
“Good to meet you Josh. I’m Melanie… .”
“Hi Mel. So what do you do for a living?”
“I work for an accounting firm. But I’m also an artist.”
And thus the evening progresses. Melanie meets so many people she can’t remember all their names. She enjoys both lighthearted flirting and serious conversation, but much of it quickly dissolves into being hit on and dragged into lewd conversations, or dwindles into silence as partiers drift toward livelier targets. Melanie moves from group to group, but by midnight she is tired and disengaged.
At 1:00 AM Melanie shuts off her computer.
As she heads to her bathroom to get ready for bed, it occurs to her that these Friday night cyberspace parties are not working for her. She needs to find a better way to make friends, or at least a better use of her time. Maybe she will go back to church Sunday. It’s been awhile.
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