This weekend I was at a surprise wedding shower. I use the term “surprise” very loosely since the bride-to-be practically arrived in her veil & couldn’t even feign an ounce of surprise. She’s lucky that I really love her because surprise parties are really intense for me, as most parties are already. I always just feel like I’m being bossed around when I go to a surprise party: “Oh, could you park your car 4 blocks away so she doesn’t see?” Or when you are suddenly shushed from your mindless small talk with someone’s 2nd cousin because of a false alarm that the GUEST of HONOR has arrived. Do not shush me until you have 100 % confirmation and also just don’t say, “Shhh!” to me, ever.
Anyway, so on this lovely Sunday at one of LA’s finest establishments, I was not exactly feeling my finest. I knew this wasn’t my crowd (beautiful, fashionable, married ladies).
Always know your demographic. This is not just for performers – it really comes in handy for small talk. Small talk is easy to bomb and I do it basically every time I leave the cave of my home. I get along with parents or kids but seldom those in between. I walked into the restaurant alone, shifting my tights and taking a deep breath as I tried to overcome the fear of assigned seating. That is everyone’s fear at a party, admit it.
I realized I was sitting across from the bride-to-be’s future mother-in-law and I just knew all was going to be okay. I got this! A 50-something year old woman is my jam! They are very supportive and just have this ease about them. They have lived a full life of taking care of their kids and now are ready to take care of themselves. I can just get down with that.
This kind mother, we’ll call her Jackie (I felt like she could have been a Jackie), started talking to me about her lifestyle. She is an avid outdoorsy person who rides horseback everyday, gardens and farms. She was getting real Green Acres on me. I was suddenly transfixed by this woman’s life. She started telling me about how she works really hard for her family in order to be able to take time off and enjoy life.
The idea of anyone having a hobby outside of their profession just fascinates me. I will go as far as to say it is beautiful. I live in LA where hardly anyone has hobbies and if they do it’s something that will soon be posted to their IMDB page. I want to know the brilliant Jonathan Frazen author-types who study birds on the side. I want someone to tell me about real life.
Jackie opened her heart to me and told me things about her past. She invited me to her summer house. She let me in and made me feel safe in a room full of insecurities. I of course took her up on her offer and immediately started fantasying about my life as the French version of Reese Witherspoon in Sweet Home Alabama. I’m just ready for change.
Here is when things start to take a turn. Jackie and I are just gabbing away having a blast and then suddenly my two childhood friends decide they have had enough of my new friendship. I would go as far as to say that they seemed jealous of the connection that was happening. They both proceeded to tell Jackie (aka my new soul sister) how I would never ever go on that kind of trip, basically insulting my character to this woman’s face. In their defense, they have known me for 10 plus years and have never seen me be outdoorsy, but let a woman live a little.
Then it hit me and I got really upset. These friends of mine who I love and admire were diminishing the thought of change in my life. I got angry. They don’t know me. They don’t know what I am capable of!
As I was spiraling in my head about how no one really gets me and that I will never break from the cocoon of their thoughts of me, Jackie did something astonishing. She defended me. Jackie was not having it. This suddenly powerful woman looked at them and said “Maybe you don’t know Sophia that well and the life she wants is really in her heart. Let her experience life.”
All I have to say is: TAKE THAT. I almost got teary-eyed because I was floored. This woman was understanding me the way my friends just weren’t willing to do.
What I took from this and I want everyone to know is that you are allowed to change. You just are.
I’m sorry that I grew up with certain people who only ever want to see me in a certain way and who are easily disturbed when I challenge them. You know what disturbs me? The idea that people I grew up with just might not want me to change.
Please be prepared for more adventures between Jackie and I because I am an adult and I can do as I please.
I will also note that I had a really good time at the shower and the ladies who threw the party actually made me feel really welcome. All my insecurities are just insane thoughts in my brain.
I also want to note that most of the guests were blonde, and I am not, and I often get really intimated by that. I’m not perfect, guys.