Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A Crazy, Awkward Halloween Story

I have reason to believe I'm cursed when it comes to Halloween parties. Allow me to explain:

Three years ago, I went to a private party on the northwest side of Chicago. I arrived near the beginning of the event with a friend named Tracy. Maybe 90 minutes or so, after I arrived I saw a couple walk in; I don't remember what he wore, but she had Minnie Mouse ears. (For the purposes of this story, I'll refer to this woman as "Ellie.") After a few minutes, I worked up the courage to introduce myself and make small talk. She was an acquaintance of the party hosts, as was I. The conversation seemed polite and benign enough, and I went on to mingle with other people at the party. About a half-hour later, I took a dip in a hot tub (again, private party) and shortly after Ellie found a spot in the crowded tub. I don't know if it was the heat or something else, but I remember zoning out in the tub. When I came to, Ellie was gone. I looked around the party room, and it was apparent she and her plus-one left early. I drove Tracy home maybe an hour later.

I sent a friend request on Facebook shortly after I got home, and to be safe I messaged Ellie to let her know who I was. The request was rejected almost immediately; I messaged to apologize if I had offended her, and Ellie replied to say she had a corporate job and wanted to keep business and personal separate. It was an odd answer, but I accepted it and left her alone. I assumed I would never see her again.

Two years later, however I was in a similar situation with the same party hosts. This time, I arrived by myself. An hour later, Ellie walked in with three other women and a taller guy, all in matching costumes. I wasn't sure if it was her or not, so I made small talk with her friends, then I introduced myself again just to be safe. She gave her last name as her first name, and gave me a weird look. After talking for about five minutes, Ellie brought the conversation to a halt, saying something to the effect that she didn't want to talk. Taken aback, I stepped away and avoided her and her group for the duration of the party.

Then, this weekend I changed things up and went to a party hosted by some improv friends, mostly for improvisers. For the first part of the party, I watched game 4 of the World Series in one corner of the living room. After the game ended, I walked over to the refreshments table to get another beer. I saw two or three people dressed as Offred et al. from "The Handmaid's Tale." What caught me was that one of them was a burly, hirsute guy that stood about 6'1". I jokingly asked if he was "Ofdave," "Ofjose," etc. He didn't seem to find the joke amusing, but we more both momentarily distracted as the party raged on and the room grew more crowded.

Maybe an hour later, thinking I was talking to the other guy that dressed up as a handmaid. I made the same lame joke and he glared at me. Then I turned around to see the one woman in the group that wore a matching costume... and it was Ellie. I then realized that the guy recognized me from the second party. I mumbled "sorry," then made a beeline to the other side of the apartment. I was half-aware that Ellie is not a performer, but upon looking at the Facebook event, she had more mutual friends at the event than I did. I was more startled by the fact that I had run into this women unexpectedly on three different occasions, and all during the same holiday.

I think next year for Halloween, I'll stay home.


On a completely unrelated note... in some parts of the country, there are actual votes on Election Day.  Where New Jersey and New York state have scheduled elections, Alabama will have a special vote for Jeff Sessions' vacated U.S. Senate seat. If you live in those three states, or if you live in another part of the country with an election, make your voice heard on November 7th. If you don't like how things are being done, this is your opportunity to steer things back in the right path.


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