A story of successful social interaction!
Generally speaking, I am an introvert. I do have a handful friends and I do not have social anxiety but I get very antsy and stressed when I spontaneously have to change plans, especially when these plans involve people. Cooking pasta instead of soup? No problem! Having two people invite themselves to a pre-planned event SUCH AS NYE when the original plan was 5 people, all family, AT MY PLACE and thus increasing the adult number of guests by 50% and me not being able to get away from people whenever I want because I am hosting? MELTDOWN.
Well, not quite. However, I sucessfully put my big girl pants on and dealt with it
CapriciaMAN and I celebrated NYE for the first time at our new(ish) place together with his sister, her husband, their son and the aforementioned other two friends. This was the first time we actually had both his sister and her husband + kid as guests (my boyfriend's BIL helped with our move and his sister brought some food afterwards, it was nice and the family is always very involved in these things - more on that later) and the second time we had overnight guests at our place. The original plan was to visit capriciaMAN's sister + BIL for NYE and stay there but we just switched it around because the fireworks in town are nicer (they live in a suburb of our city). Obviously, this was also going to be a biiiiig excitement for my boyfriend's nephew (who is also capriciaMAN's godchild, may be slightly relevant later), who is 5 and has not had many sleepovers so far.
We had to carry our tiny kitchen table into our living room because the entire party (WITH THE ADDED GUESTS) could not all fit at our tiny dining table but we all managed nicely, space-wise. There was more than enough food and everybody was complimentary and happy. OMG the relief.. I was super nervous about all of this because I did not know the extra guests very well (one of my boyfriend's friends I had only seen a handful times + his girlfriend whom I had never met before) and I obviously also did not want to mess up in front of my boyfriend's family and having them think that I am totally lame.
BUT! everything went really well. After dinner most of the people retired to the living room and boyfriend's sister (BS), kiddo and I stayed at the dining table to play some board games together. My boyfriend's nephew (BN) is a really smart kid - he picks up information really quickly, has a huge vocab and is generally pleasant to be around. Sure, he occasionally wants to monopolize your time and can be a bit bossy but he really is charming and not bratty at all. So BS and BN and I were playing a board game we had given BN for his birthday some weeks earlier and BS and I got talking. Now BS and I have always gotten along rather well as we are similar in age and we just clicked that way.
Anyway, she suddenly started talking about how glad she was that my boyfriend and I were together and he is so much more relaxed, happier and open since we started dating - to clarify, she said this in a genuinely warm and encouraging and not patronising way. She told me that she really likes me as a person, that I am just so drama-free and easy-going and that when I interact with her son it is so friendly and natural and not in a way to gain anything with her and that her son absolutely adores me :D (this is huge because prior to dating my boyfriend I had exactly ZERO personal experience with small children and would not exactly call myself a child-person) We talked a bit about my feelings for le bf and how things are going for us and I told her how happy I am since we started going out. Now for me, this means a lot, I cannot even say how much. His family is very involved and they have really accepted me with open arms. We have been together for a bit over two years now but this was the first time that somebody out of the family has actually told me something like this. I am usually rather private with my feelings about my boyfriend - I have talked about family issues with some members of my boyfriend's family before but never any of the ~romantic~ stuff.
I have some issues when dealing with emotions but since I started dating capriciaMAN I have been more able and comfortable to express myself and relax. He gives me strength and makes me a better person. I am the happiest I have ever been and I am still giddy about the fact that we go to bed together and wake up together every day. We have talked about the future but no direct talks about marriage.. yet, mwahaha. However, I hope we will start talking about it this year - the sweetest thing was when during all the ~womanly talk~ and games BN suddenly said "I am really looking forward to when you will be my auntie soon"
This made me so happy, I almost cried although I only managed an awkward smile and "yes, that would be nice" because I am an awkward turtle but AWWWWWWWWWW.
The rest of our celebrations were fun, same goes for the breakfast and walk the next day. I really, really enjoyed hosting guests (wait, WHAT) and BS and BN's words still warm my heart. 2014 is going to be good. :)