Aug 14, 2006

open invitational

You can't save anyone. So don't even try. Really, who do you think you are, anyway, looking out on the world thinking your know what safety and happiness and salvation is. Check your ego, at the door ma'am. Check your conscience in the conveniently located booth while you are at it.

No, see, it doesn't work like that. And if it's that complicated, you are overcomplicating it.
Here is what I think. Here is what I believe.
You can't save anyone. You aren't there to perform a public service. You aren't here for their convenience. You aren't the hired help. You were invited to this party. Take that damn apron off and stop following people aren't, cleaning up spills, hovering under them with a towel and a dish to catch the food before it even hits the floor. You look ridiculous.

But here is the thing. You can help. Just by being there. Just by listening. For most people it comes by instinct. Not sure if it'll harm more than help, this thought you are having? Take a breath, take ten, and think again. Think about how bad you want the last hors d'ouvre. Whether that cocktail will stain when you throw the glass against the wall in protest. Whether you want to tear your clothes off and head for the hot tub while grandma is still at the party.Whether you should leave that glass teetering on the edge of the balcony banister.

Do you get it yet? You DO have a responsibility. You are part of this shin dig. An integral participant in this soiree. Even if you didn't know you were coming and your friend told you that you were actually headed to 7-11 for ho-ho's and then brought you here instead. You walked in the door. Take some responsibility. And when you shook hands with the host you signed a contract. When you made the mistake of asking little billy, casually, about his bruise, at the desert table, you knew what you were doing. Sometimes take on a little bit of responsiblity and get to care a bit in return. Thats the bargain. And when you felt up the bartender it was nice of you to ask if he slept alone. Good move. It's a trade and a trade off. See? You already got invited to another party because of that tender look on your face at just the right moment. And that joke you cracked, holy hell, that was a shoo in!

It's not all or nothing, You walk in, you grab a beer, you meet some people, you don't shit on the floor and punch the hostess on the way out. You also don't hover in the corner policing the guests. Have your fun. Live and leanr. Learn and live. Learn and love. But there is a trade, and maybe the golden rule isn't "do unto others". Or even, "first do no harm". Maybe it's something more manageable. Like, have fun and try to be the kind of person who you'd want to invite back. Even if you end up being one of those guests who stay the night.


ps. I have a right to change my mind

2 comments:

cordelia said...

You know, it's nice to see you. It's nice, right this instant.

hudi said...

I am so not getting your metaphor.