Winthrop is a beautiful, pastoral town in northern Washington. My boyfriend and his best friends (and their families) have an annual tradition of staying together in one big house over Memorial Day weekend. I went for the first time this past weekend. Here's what I learned from my time with 20 strangers.
  1. Problem: Social fatigue. I'm not someone who can easily be "on". Constantly having to remind people of my name, talking about my hopes and dreams, trying to gauge where our senses of humor and political views intersect, and measure the appropriate level of profanity in a conversation are all super draining for me.
    Solution: Take a nap. Multiple times.
  2. Problem: I don't really like to drink or do drugs. No judgment. It's just not my thing.
    Solution: Find the one other sober person and cling to them like your life depends on it. Or indulge a little right before bed time so you can sleep through the deafening cover of Semi-Charmed Life blaring from downstairs at 4am.
  3. Problem: I don't play sports. We played bocce ball alldayeveryday, which I'd never heard of before (it's not a thing in Hawaii). I literally threw the ball opposite of where it was supposed to go and knocked over two margaritas.
    Solution: Take a "nap". Or just be bad enough so you don't make the championship round.
  4. Problem: Dogs. 4 huge sheep-like dogs. They were cute, but so gd hyper! Also they shedded and drooled everywhere. Plus, I'm mildly allergic. @emjuko please back me up on this point.
    Solution: Tell people about your allergy and maybe exaggerate just a wee bit. If you say you're allergic AND that you don't care for dogs, then you're just high matinence.
  5. Overall, everyone was super nice and welcoming, even though I was having a silent, internal meltdown. I'm grateful for that.