Tonight, I'm going to a retirement party for my favorite professor from law school, a tweed-coat-with-elbow patches type of gentleman who signed all of his emails with "Ciao!" even though he's not Italian and truly enjoyed engaging with his students, both in and outside the classroom.
I'm happy to go and raise a glass to him, but this situation brings one of my personal phobias to the fore: approaching strangers at cocktail parties! I have friends who are wonderful at this kind of thing, and once I'm actually in a conversation with someone, I'm fine, but for some reason, I am absolutely terrified of trying to break in on the edge of a ring of people who are all chatting away at a party. And then I worry that my lingering makes me look even more awkward than the fact that I'm already standing there alone . . . and even though I know that it's silly, it's my nightmare!
|Image by Roland Bello|
|image via here|