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3 Tips to Survive Awkward Parties

awkward party

The idea of a party can sound like fun. But you get there and feel like a sore thumb. Being charming and keen in social situations doesn’t come easily for many folks. Even just being in social situations can fill some with fear. Rather than hiding under the hors d’oeuvres table feeling awkward, use these three tips to sail through the fete.

Be of Service

No, you don’t have to go scrub toilets or dust the chandelier. But you can look around to see if there’s anything you can do to help someone else. Perhaps the host needs help bringing up extra chairs from the basement. Or the party guest with three toddlers needs a hand getting to the table without spilling all her guacamole on the carpet.

Any little thing you do to help someone else not only feels good, but it performs the magical achievement of focusing your attention on something other than your own whirling sore-thumb thoughts.

Find a Kindred Spirit

Scope out the room to find someone who appears to have something in common with you. Then head on over and bond. Choices can include someone who:

  • Has the same bright red hair color
  • Wears funky glasses
  • Is donning a shirt or hat from your favorite sports team
  • Looks even more uncomfortable than you are

The last choice is consistently a sure bet, especially if you kick off the conversation with the simple truth about how awkward or uncomfortable you feel. You may just make a new best friend for life.

Remember the Self-Absorption Rule

One of the reasons you may feel awkward is because you fear you may say or do something stupid that will haunt you for the rest of your adult life. Stop it right there. You can free yourself from the fear by recalling the self-absorption rule.

The self-absorption rule confirms that 87.3 percent of people are generally so self-absorbed and caught in their own spinning thoughts that they wouldn’t even notice if you said or did something stupid – or frankly, anything at all.

The other 12.7 percent? Well, they’re probably drinking and wouldn’t remember any stupid antics either. That leaves you totally clear and free to dance naked with that lampshade on your head!

Seriously, though, these three tips can help immensely when in an awkward social setting, even with your clothes on. I know because I use them myself. And if all else fails or the tips seem too tough, I have one more fallback that works to get through awkward parties every time. Just start playing with the dog, kids or cat.

Wondering how to deal with other situations, like encountering jerks? Get 12 terrific lifesaving tips from rynski’s Little Book of Big Jerks.

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Cranky Today? This May be Why

jiminy crankball cause of crankiness

You know those days. You wake up annoyed and cranky, ready to drop-kick anything that gets in your way. What the heck is going on? There’s a good chance you’ve been invaded by the Jiminy Crankball.

What’s the Jiminy Crankball?

The Jiminy Crankball is a small, fuzzy invasive species that makes people cranky. He usually crawls in through the left ear, first infiltrating the brain and then moving throughout the rest of the body.

How You Get It

The Crankball species is especially adept at pinpointing weaknesses and certain circumstances that are basically begging for members to invade. These include lack of sleep, being hungry, or getting a $290 parking ticket in Phoenix.

Any annoyance that disrupts your normal routine can invite the Crankballl, as can stepping in cat puke and listening to bad house music.

Oh yeah, you may as well set up lawn chairs for the Crankballs during the monthly womanly thing. That’s when they come around in swarms.

How You Get Rid of It

The only way to eradicate the Crankball is to address and resolve the weakness that let him enter in the first place. Get some sleep. Eat some treats. Deal with the parking ticket. Get back into your normal routine. Clean up the cat puke. Shut down that godawful music. Take a hot bath and a nap.

What Else You Need to Know

Crankballs are highly tenacious, breed quickly, and are extremely contagious. Let them fester in your body for days on end, and you’ll end up surrounded by people who are equally as cranky as you are. It’s like going to work when you have the flu only to infect the whole office.

If you’re not sure of the exact weak point that let the Crankball in, try extra sleep or a healthy meal anyway. You can also talk to others about your crankiness. Crankballs prefer to live just under the skin in the dark. When they’re subjected to attention, laughter or light, they tend to rapidly flee.

Need more helpful hints for dealing with difficult things? Check out the rynski guide for dealing with jerks.

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How to Instantly Lose $290 at the Local First AZ Fall Fest

beware of things that bite

This is an open letter to Local First Arizona after 19 of the Arizona businesses that attended the Fall Fest each ended up with $290 parking tickets after parking in a dirt lot as instructed by Local First AZ.

The violation? Parking on Non-Dust-Free Lot or Area. 

Talk about having a teed-off, 117-mile ride back to Phoenix that evening!

Please Note: The headings were not part of the letter sent, but added to make it easier to read.

Here Comes the Letter

Hi Thomas,

I am one of the 19 Local First Arizona vendors who received a $290 parking ticket from the City of Phoenix after parking in the lot at 1102 N. Third Street as specifically instructed by Local First representatives. As you know, this ticket was issued on Nov. 4, 2017, to a number of vendors attending the Arizona Fall Festival.

The ticket was accompanied by a note from your organization instructing me NOT to pay the ticket and to instead request a hearing.

Since the note stated that Local First AZ would help us businesses fight the ticket, I am confident your organization will indeed provide assistance since this fiasco is in no way the fault of the vendors who were following your precise parking instructions.

Double Woe for Tucsonans

Because I run my writing and art business out of my Tucson home and making the 4-hour round-trip drive to Phoenix would result in loss of full day’s loss of wages, the assistance I require includes:

  • Requesting a court hearing on my behalf
  • Showing up for the hearing on my behalf as a representative as I cannot sacrifice yet another day to drive to Phoenix and back
  • Successfully fighting the ticket at the hearing, explaining how Local First AZ is responsible for the parking violation since the group instructor vendors to park in the aforementioned lot
  • Payment of the $290 fine by Local First AZ if the hearing is not successful on behalf of the vendors

Triple Woe for One-Woman Show

I am a small, single-person operation. Attending the fair required a lot of time, effort, energy, resources and money. While the overall experience was satisfactory, that satisfaction was quickly annihilated upon finding a $290 ticket jammed beneath my windshield wiper after the event.

While Local First AZ is an organization aimed at helping local Arizona businesses, this parking ticket fiasco hurts them dearly. I do hope your organization steps forward to correct the problem on behalf of the handful of local businesses that were merely following your instructions.

All the Blah Blah Enclosures

Attached please find a copy of my vehicle registration and the parking ticket. I am NOT mailing back a request for a hearing, as the ticket indicates this action should be taken ONLY by registered vehicle owners who can show up in court (or risk a default judgement being taken against them).

For Local First to request a court hearing on behalf of the registered owner of the vehicle, the ticket says to:

  • Call 602-262-6785, press 3, then 2

Please confirm you’ve received this letter and that the actions outlined are part of the Local First strategy for helping the businesses to which you’ve promised assistance.

Thank you,

Ryn Gargulinski | Ryndustries

Booth W40: Books, Art and Wheels

local first az fall fest
Rynski at the fall fest in happier times before the $290 parking ticket
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SEASHELLS BY THE TURBULENT SHORE (rynski poetry)

dazed clam seashell

Stacy Blair was

groovy and keen and

the coolest kid

on the block.

 

If she was your friend,

your life had meaning. If not,

you may as well die.

 

One day she gave me

a drawing she had

carefully colored

herself.

 

I cherished the

thing, hung it on

my wall – the next day

she asked for it back.

 

She came to the door with

Shauna O’Conner to give

the prized drawing to

her.

 

I handed it back –

straight-faced with grace – then

cried on the couch

for a week.

 

And that’s why I

threw a tantrum – some 40 years

later – when mom told 6-year-old

Aiden he could take what he wished

from a big box of shells Mom had

previously

promised

to me.

 

-ryn.09.18.17

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ONE DUNKED DOG (rynski poetry)

there’s a dangling

apology out there one

i would not accept from a

man at the beach after

his dog attacked

my dog and dunked him

under water the man

grabbed off his dog and then

called him two swear words, the man said

 

he was sorry but I merely

frowned. now the man’s

apology

dangles –

 

twists

in the wind flaps

in the breeze hangs low

and unplucked like

rotten fruit – what happens

 

to dangling apologies?  do they

finally waft down to be

absorbed by

the earth – or do they

continue to float and float for

all eternity – like those times

you say “I love you” and

no one answers?

 

-ryn.09.05.17

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