I consider myself an Associate Adult, an adult in training, lacking the full expertise required for the prestigious title of Functional Adult but making progress toward that end. However, in every self-help book I’ve ever read which details how to lead a successful, mature, grown-up life, making friends is a must. Whenever you move somewhere new, you must establish a base group of people upon which you can depend to jump start your car in the dead of winter or to show up at your door on a Friday night to drink your extra beer and have a few laughs. All the life advice books declare hosting a friendly gathering to be a critical milestone on the way to a happy well rounded adult life.
Therefore, I made the terrifying decision to leave the safety of my comfort zone and invite some of these new friends of mine over for an evening of board games and my cooking, something I’ve become quite proud of over the last few months. Naturally, I spent the entire week leading up to this event in a total panic. Would there be enough food? Would they like it? Did any of them have dietary restrictions? Would they bring board games (my selection is very limited)? Would they talk to each other? Would I have enough time to dust my living room and do the dishes and clean the bathroom and vacuum the floor?
These questions and many more flashed through my brain from the moment I sent the invites. Suddenly, minor projects around my apartment which had gone by the wayside for weeks were now brought into sharp and immediate focus. I always talked about stringing up some twinkle lights on my balcony to make it look cozy and inviting but I just never could find the time to get around to it. Well… No time like the present and nothing like the motivation imminent company to get the ball rolling.
The evening arrived with much preparation, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning. But it came and brought with it the treat of friendly company in a cozy home. As with many things in my life, I drastically overprepared. The small army which I was ready to feed never showed up and I had about twice as much food as I needed but five of my fellow new hires came for dinner, all with their own board games. After dinner we sat down to play House on the Hill which was entirely new to me. We had a fantastic time riddling our way through several haunted house scenarios in a game where teamwork is essential. It was far more laid back than I’d anticipated despite the fact that not a single one of my house guests partook in a drop of alcohol all evening.
It wasn’t quite like what I’d imagined. My idea of a good time always involved baking cookies with my elementary school friends and having a Harry Potter marathon. Everyone seemed to be on their very best behavior but we had fun nevertheless. After we all had our fill of food and games, people gathered their coats and headed for home leaving me with an overstuffed refrigerator and a happy heart.