5 Ways to Cope When You Feel Awkward at a Party Tonight (posted on tumblr 12/31/2015)


Parties are hard. Maybe you feel uncomfortable socializing? Believe it or not, a lot of people do. Here are some handy tips for navigating a social situation when you’d rather just go home:

1. Introduce yourself to someone you’ve never met. Ask them what they do for a living.

2. Match your party outfit to that of someone in your favorite commercial currently running. Explain to people how you were able to hunt down all the necessary wardrobe pieces.

3. Find a coat room, dark hall, or empty corner somewhere in the house. Lay down. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Once you feel centered, imagine that you are Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. See yourself as Rey? Good. Focus on the idea that you’ve just been captured by the First Order and are on the Starkiller Base being interrogated by Kylo Ren. He has you in that futuristic-dentist chair and you are freaking the fuck out. You guys are currently in the scene where he’s trying to get the map out of your head and you are like “uh-uh.” You’re acting pretty tough, but you’re really scared shitless because you’ve never been in a situation like this, and hello, your life was so ordinary yesterday, and what in the world is happening right now?

This is all too much. But you know that, at all costs, you cannot give him that map-image from your brain. And, even though in the past you might have not been super confident about yourself, for some reason today you’re pretty sure you can handle this task of mental deflection. Especially because you know that he’s evil and you’re good and it’s all so very very clear. So you deliver that line where you tell him that of course you want to kill a “monster in a mask,” and he’s like “Oh me? I’m a monster in a mask?” and you nod and he takes off his helmet and he is beautiful and you are stunned.

OK. Live in this moment for a bit. He’s not a monster in a mask, but a handsome, conflicted man, and you see all of humanity’s failures and triumphs rolling out before you as you bear witness to a truly tortured being that seems to embody the truth that life is, ultimately, absolute solitude. After a very charged silence between the two of you, he says “I feels it too,” and instead of meaning the “Force” or the fact that you might be “first cousins,” in this scenario, he means he feels the hot base desire that has ignited your physical self as well.

Wow. When he confesses this, you’re like “Be cool, be cool, he is still super evil, don’t do anything stupid, Ashley,” but there is a small part of you that’s like “He must have some of the good-Force in him if I feel this way?”

Really allow yourself to be there and experience this straight up drama of conflicting emotions about good and evil and physical longing and human weakness. Got it? Great, so after this super electric moment, you guys go back to the whole trying to get the map out of you and using the Force to get in each other heads and it’s a struggle and he gets frustrated and you say that thing about his secret fear and he’s like “TOO FAR,” and leaves the interrogation room in a pissy huff.

Kylo marches down to his Dark-Side-Daddy, Supreme Leader Snoke, and explains that he is having trouble getting the map out of you because you’re so talented with the Force. Snoke is like “Bring her too me, I’ll get it out of that lil’ bitch,” and Kylo has this like deep, gut wrenching pain inside of him, where he’s like “Oh no, I can’t bring her to the Iron Throne, he’ll destroy her” and blooming inside of him is a longing to protect you, which really freaks him out. So, he tries to buy some time and he’s like “You know what? Let me work on her for a bit, I think I got this.” And Voldemort is like “OK, I trust you. You’re so talented and this will be a good test of your abilities.” And Kylo is like “Wow, I didn’t think he really believed in me like that,” and now he feels insanely conflicted.

He decides to go to his private quarters on the ship and really think about what is happening because his feelings have him confused to all hell. It’s a strange situation, you know? All he has ever wanted is control, over himself, the Force, and others, until this very moment. He’s feeling something that’s not about total control, but instead is about craving a shared experience with another human, and he’s like AHHH WHAT IS THIS.

Meanwhile, back in the interrogation room, you’re baffled as well! You decide it is paramount to convince yourself that the attraction you feel for Kylo is some sort of dark magic, because hello, he is truly a Class-A villain, and you’re not. No way. You’re a badass, taking down the man, fighting for the people, vigilante. Or at least that’s what you feel yourself becoming? I mean, sure you were just a regular gal yesterday, rooting around in the sand for scrap metal, but now you’re clearly fulfilling some sort of destiny you always secretly hoped was within you. And you’re not going to let ANY man derail this fate you’re running towards no matter how good looking or deep their voice.

You both try and sleep it off.

The next day, Kylo comes to see you and, once again, he is trying to pull that map out of your gd brain. This time, though, he knows not to take off his mask, and you’re like thank God, because you’re not sure you could handle the emotional rollercoaster that is unbridled eye contact. The next few days follow a similar pattern: You’re a prisoner, Kylo is constantly trying to brain wrestle you with the Force, you, somehow keep holding out—much to the amazement of yourself and him—and he keeps getting angry and leaving, feeling exhausted and frustrated.

Let these scenarios play out however you see fit. Maybe in different rooms, on a holodeck, or over a game of Tri-Dimensional Chess. Whatever strikes your fancy.

After a few days pass, you start to realize you are getting treated pretty well for a prisoner of the First Order. For starters, Kylo hasn’t done that thing to you where he chokes people with his mind. And why hasn’t he handed you over to Snoke? That’s odd, right? Especially because every moment that passes the Rebellion gets closer to finding Luke. And another thing! Isn’t it kind of weird that he hasn’t ordered a Stormtrooper to physically torture the information out of you? Like, clearly this hypnotism thing isn’t working, what about a good old-fashioned beat down? It doesn’t make sense to you. You begin to wonder: is he protecting me?

Let this pattern of days go on however long you see fit in order to build sufficient tension.

Then one morning, he arrives to brain wrestle for the map, but you somehow have a lightsaber. (I’m not quite sure how you got it, but you can figure this detail out on your own. Maybe a Rebellion sympathizer slips it to you? IDK. I can’t think of everything).

Now armed, you begin an epic lightsaber battle with Kylo. Sort of like the scene in the snowy woods, but this fight is in a big warehouse inside the Starkiller Base. This shit is intense. He is enraged that you are attacking him with a lightsaber. He doesn’t fully understand why, but you attempting to fight him with a deadly weapon makes him feel straight up deceived. Like, sure he’s kept you prisoner, but he hasn’t actually tried to physically hurt you. And now you’re coming at him with this?

Anyway, this becomes an insane sword fight. You guys are at each other’s throats, while also appearing to dance because the fight choreography is so tight. And Kylo, impressed by your skills, is like “you need a teacher!” and in his moment of weakness you manage to strike him with your lightsaber, but it does nothing but knock off his helmet, which goes flying across the room, out of his reach. Stunned by the sight of his face, you stumble. He sees you falter and lunges towards you, prepared to end it all. Quickly you attempt to get up and regain control, but it’s too late, he’s over you and his light saber is flying down, about to strike the base of your neck. In one last hurrah you’re able to raise your light saber to protect yourself, momentarily blocking his deadly swing. Within seconds you realize it is useless: the leverage he has from his position over you will eventually crush your defense. Knowing you are about to die, you turn your head up and look into his eyes. That’s when you see it: the deep longing for connection from before.

OK. This is a good place for a break so you can really take it all in. Live in this moment for a sec. A few long breaths should do the trick. 1, 2, 3. Great, back to the warehouse:

There is no sound but the crackle and pop of your light sabers smashing against each other. Staring into each other’s eyes, him pressing down with his lightsaber, you desperately pushing up with yours, you both exhale and in a moment of full awareness and unity, simultaneously turn off your weapons.

You collapse into a pile of kisses.

You make love.

This can play out however you see fit. I would suggest, however, that it be similar in tenderness and passion to the love scene in the Titanic and at one point Kylo whispers “I love you” into your ear and everything feels so good and right and just with the universe.

After your epic love making, wrapped in a nest of robes in a shipping crate tucked in the corner of the warehouse, the two of you silently trace your fingers over each other’s skin, bodies still humming from the physical connection. You exhale, push a damp lock of hair off his forehead, and ask “How are we going to get out of here?” He sighs, looks away and says with a heavy heart, “We’re…we’re not.” Confused, you roll onto your side in order to look at him directly and ask, “What?” He shakes his head, eyes half-closed, he looks tired, defeated. “I’m going to get you off the ship, but I have to stay, it’s the only way that…”


Oh. The host is asking why you’re on the floor of their guest room? Get up, dust yourself off. Explain that you are engaging in a very important coping method which helps you to socialize.

You already did that?


OK. Change of plans: tell them we’re a little busy right now, and ask if you can get, like, 30 more mins in here by yourself.

Oh, everyone has left? Really? Even Todd, who passed out next to the potted Fiddleleaf Fig plant hours ago?


Now they’re saying they don’t actually know who you are? How rude! Well, explain to them how you two know each other.

Oh. You’re a friend, of a friend, of friend who didn’t come to the party? Oh dear.

OK, maybe we should just take a break for now and check in later when you’re at home. Sounds good? Great. Don’t forget party tip #5.

7. Make sure to thank your host for their wonderful hospitality and discretion.

8. Happy New Year!


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