So this past Saturday evening was the “Bjorlin Bash.” The guys I stayed with (in their dining room) this past fall hadn’t really asked me for any rent or payment, but I decided to give them a little money (nothing even close to what I would have normally paid) when I left to do with what they wanted. Anyway, after discussing it, they decided to use the money to throw a party, and the facebook listing (well, at least one of them) was named for me, so I decided it would have been irresponsible if I didn’t go, so that’s how I spent about 4 hours Saturday evening.
Now I wasn’t expecting to know anyone there, really, and I surely didn’t. The only person I really knew was my friend from college Jason who I had connected with in the first place to stay there. Then I knew his two housemates from living there, and I also lucked out by knowing this other couple I had met in the fall when they came over for a small Indian food party. But I’m guessing there were possibly 50 people there (it was happening, I must say — I was impressed), and I didn’t really want to follow Jason around all evening, so I had to get extroverted. And as surprising as it is to me and to you, I actually did!
Well, not at first. I did find Jason, and he was was the couple I knew and 3 other co-workers, so I hung around with them for a while, but I knew I couldn’t last the whole party that way. But luckily I had a few other things going for me. First, my picture being attached to facebook invite helped a few random people come up to me and say hello, and they also just introduced me to others, saying, “Do you know who this is? It’s eric bjorn (I corrected them eventually), the dude who got this party going.” So, as is good for me, I was introduced to others, which made it easier for me to talk with them.
Secondly, I wore my “Ohio Love Me” shirt — now for some people this shirt has been played out, but in this group, it was new and definitely a hit. A great conversation starter and reason for someone to strike up a conversation. And, as someone said, “I bet you’re happy you wore that shirt — you’ve probably had all kinds of girls touching your chest all night, right?” Which is probably true, and more apt to happy the longer the night goes on. So that was fun to have, and an interesting way to connect with people.
But — but — I also actually just went out and started random conversations with people! I figured there was nothing to lose, and it surely beat being bored for the whole night, so I started chatting up people, asking who they knew that invited them, and just that initial “get to know you” kind of thing that has never been my forte — and not that it is now, but I definitely surprised myself. And after meeting some fun people to chat with, I continued to mingle, but this way I had other people I could return to throughout the night that I could reconnect with if desired. And it was nice, too, as I had some people to walk to the Metro station with when I left, and I even got connected to some people who might be having a party themselves in the near future, so that would be a fun, thing, too. So is this how people do it?
I remember parties in college and even one this past September where there were maybe a few people I knew, so I hung with them and didn’t really meet anyone new, but it was actually kind of nice to not have that safety net this time. I think a lot of the people I did end up talking with were largely talking to people there they knew before the night began, but it was really fun meeting new people, which I’ve come more and more to realize I enjoy, a lot. I may not be extroverted, so it’s more of a challenge, but I think this was a good step for me in branching out and taking the next step of meeting new people in new ways. Who knows what the future may bring!