Party Socks

My aunties in their party socks circa 1990 something

Tis the season for all the Christmas events. There are the family gatherings, the company parties, the well-meaning friend get-togethers, school Christmas programs, Pray For Snow events, the lighting of the Christmas tree, various Christmas bazaars and fairs, and many many more. Which for me, as a long-standing single person who loves the holidays, means I end up attending a lot of these events alone. This is mostly no problem for me. It even has its perks. I can show up when I want, leave when I am ready, and I do not have to spend the entirety of an event worrying about whether my second person is having an ok time.

The only bothersome thing is that it often feels to me like I am the only one attending these events without a partner. And even though I am content with my singleness, sometimes being the solo person flying solo makes me wonder what on earth I am doing wrong.

A few days ago, I was a guest at a networking group I was unfamiliar with. Usually when I go to these events, I go in knowing most of the networkers are married or attached. Late into the meeting, a very handsome and well-dressed young man zoomed in and sat right next to me. I did the thing many of us single people do, and quickly glanced at his left hand. No ring. I spent the rest of the meeting mostly listening but a little bit trying to play it cool. We got to chatting after the meeting, and I learned he was from out of state. I asked what brought him to Idaho and he said, “Oh my wife is from here!” Ok yeah, I was a little embarrassed, thinking maybe he sat by me for some other reason than I was closest to the door… and that I was sitting next to the only empty seat in the room. But I brushed it off. I don’t come to these things in hopes of meeting a partner… right?

I attended a holiday party recently, in which I knew I would be the only unattached person there. I arrived in a bustle, casserole in arms, wearing my most confident outfit. Which was made only greater by my super cool, super confident knee-high black boots. After making introductions, the very lovely hostess kindly asked me if I would take my shoes off. This was a completely reasonable request. But I forget a lot of people have a no shoes in the house policy. It’s a good policy. I should have that policy. I don’t. I wear shoes almost all the time. And because I wear shoes almost all the time, I pay very little attention to my socks.

Matching and folding socks is something I gave up on years ago. As a result, we have a communal family sock basket. It is every man for himself in the mornings. Most of the time my socks don’t match. Sometimes they are inside-out. USUALLY they are clean, but in a pinch… The night of this party, I was NOT wearing my party socks. In fact, until I took off my power boots, I wasn’t sure what socks I was wearing. I was pretty sure they were clean. That was the best I could hope for. Turns out they were boy’s athletic socks. one calf height. One just above the ankle. And one was inside-out. They definitely did not go with my super confident skirt. I briefly considered removing the socks as well. But while I may be a shoe-wearing person, I am definitely not a pedicure person. I don’t have much extra time or money, and since my feet are usually covered, they become an out of sight, out of mind sort of thing. Add on years of running and other abuse, and I can safely say my feet are not my most attractive feature.

I started the party off feeling a little less confident than I did when I left the house. But once I got my groove and joined in a couple of conversations, it was fine. Better than fine. I was with a group of people I genuinely liked, who seemed to like me in return. And while I may have been the only single person there, I certainly was not the only person who came alone. I doubt anyone noticed my socks, and if they did, I doubt they used them as pillow talk after the party was over. We ate, we chatted, and we got to know each other better. I strengthened the bonds I already had, and created some new ones. Which after all, is the point of all these gatherings.

I imagine I will be single for some time to come. I am busy raising kids and running a business. And that’s about all I have brain space for at the moment. But I find the amount of quality people I am connected to gratifying. And sometimes overwhelming. They live in every corner of my life. Family, extended family, co-workers and close friends. I have an abundance of people I love, and who love me in return. I may attend all the parties alone, but in nearly all aspects of my life, I truly never feel lonely.

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