A Letter From the Editor…
The open bar is flowing and scrumptious passed hors d’oeuvres are flying out of the kitchen from every direction. The band is playing just the right music, keeping things lively for a guest list peppered with all the right names from all of city’s major industries… and then some.
It seems everybody is there. On paper this party is hot, hot, hot. But in reality, it’s just not.
DC’s social outings of late have been planned to perfection, yet strangely unsatisfying. I’m blaming it on the social awkwardness of the scene.
You know exactly what I mean.
There’s the feeling that the person you’re trying to talk to is staring through you, looking to see if there’s someone better with whom she should be seen. She is. You’re standing in that high school-esque small circle watching everyone down G&T’s in silence, waiting for someone to strike up a conversation. They can’t. You imagine that guy (who should be your best friend considering you see him out four nights a week) would have something more witty to say than “How have you been since I last saw you?” (Yesterday!) He doesn’t.
Interaction is essential. And DC just doesn’t know how to do it.
Other cities can poke fun at our fashion, become frustrated with our smaller town ways, and wonder about our obsession with Marion Barry, but we’re good with all of that. We know who we are. But if this Capital City wants to continue to pride itself on its powerful (and philanthropic!) party scene, a primer is needed.
Because what makes an event memorable – and magnificent – isn’t the champagne and crudites. It isn’t even the glitter decor and giftbags. It is absolutely the quality of the connections made.
Now I’m not alluding to DC’s ever popular self serving (What can s/he do for me?) kind of connections. A perfect party — a social spectacular — needs instead those honest-to-goodness, I had a real discussion… and learned something about someone… and loved it!… kind.
If religion and politics are regrettably off the table (though it’s DC in 2013!) then current events and life happenings need to step up to the banter buffet. But the city’s socials don’t have a ready knowledge of other topics to pull from even for polite cocktail conversation. A quick hug and an “It’s sooo good to see you” and your “friend” is circling the room again, looking for more cheeks to kiss and photos to bomb.
Don’t be that soiree shrew.
Remember that a social gathering is not just about seeing and being seen (and photographed) — it’s about being SOCIAL!
Engage. Actively enjoy time spent with each other. Be in the moment with the one you’re meeting. Have an interest in hearing about someone else — as well as about sharing some of yourself with them. Remember something about your friends and acquaintances that you can bring up to spark a meaningful conversation. And most of all, LIVE LIFE outside of the nightly fun and festivities so that you actually have something to say.
It’s worth it. I promise that actually enjoying yourself at a gathering — and that means going for something more than a hope to land in some glossy mag photos — is probably the best “giftbag” you can get. Now go BE SOCIAL!