Thanks to the Hip and Knee doctor for editing assistance.
"You have to remember, John, that I will be preoccupied most of the night. There will be plenty of people there to talk to, and I am expecting you to mingle and be sociable."
Tonight was the first night in two years that I agreed to go with my wife Darcy, to one of her monthly social gatherings. I am not a gregarious person and usually avoid social functions whenever I can. Darcy was bubbly and outgoing: just my opposite. I knew about her monthly get-togethers before we were married, and she made it perfectly clear that she would marry me only if she could continue seeing her friends. She always made sure that I was welcomed to come along, but I always declined. To be honest, I didn't have a clue what these people could talk about for four hours every month. I wasn't into sports, culture, politics or the arts. Darcy assured me that everything would be all right as longed as I relaxed and went with the flow.
"Things will be very casual for the first hour, John. They will have wine and mixed drinks if you need to relax. I will be preoccupied with my friends most of the night, so you will be on your own."
There was that word again: 'preoccupied.' What happens after the first hour?
"I will be okay, Darcy. I promise to stay out of your way. I should be able to find someone to talk to."
"Oh, I can guarantee that. Since you are new to the group, you should have no trouble making friends."
I wasn't sure what she meant by that.
It was a big house: a mansion. Thank goodness there were plenty of places to park. There were at least thirty cars there when we arrived.Darcy was dressed in a sexy manner, but casual. Tonight, she spent more time dressing me for my debut than she did for herself. I was a lucky man to have found such a delightful spouse.
After we entered, she turned to me one more time. "Remember John, I am expecting you to take care of yourself tonight. Try and act as if I am not even here. I am leaving you alone now until we are ready to go. If I can't find you, I will call you on your cell phone when it is time for us to leave. Okay?"
I nodded as I watched her walk across the room through the crowd. There were at least fifty people busy chatting away. It looked like a scene out of a Hollywood movie. I spotted the bar and tried to look as if I belonged. A few moments later, I was sipping a cold long neck as I watched Darcy talking to a David Beckham want-to-be. I didn't mind the talking, but she seemed to be a little touchy-feely also. A gorgeous little creature interrupted me before I got to finish my beer.
"Hi my name is Carla and you must be John."
Here was where my social ineptness would come into play. Rather than answer her, I just nodded.
"Darcy said she was going to try and convince you to come along and she asked me to make you feel comfortable."
"Please, don't feel obligated. I don't want to keep you from having a good time."
"Relax, John. I enjoy meeting new people and you are the only newbie here tonight. You are all mine."