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The Balkans | Departure | USA | New Jersey

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Edgewater, NJ | “Not a fan, but…”

That title is not directed at New Jersey. In fact, Jersey was way fancier than I remember, and had much better Mexican food than NYC did 8 years ago. I originally started writing this blog entry by logging the day’s play-by-play of events for the two days I spent with my old NYC buddy Sarah and her husband Scottish John, but that post was a snooze fest and I’m pretty sure would not have kept your attention long enough to get to the good stuff: the party I was dragged to. To be fair, that’s pretty much the only way anyone can get me to a party: physical coercion or a major guilt trip laced with a hint of blackmail.

The reasons I hate parties: I hate mingling with strangers, forcing small talk, because I find small talk an utter waste of time. I’d much prefer big talk about the children trapped on a mountain top in Iraq, parched and starving, running from being beheaded for their religious beliefs, than fielding the inevitable questions about the water bottle in my hand, which always leads to probing about why I don’t drink. Everyone gets so defensive, even to the point of rationalizing certain drinks aren’t really alcohol;  they start saying I could try such-and-such and this-and-that because, “they are mostly sugar,” blah-blah. Or, as someone said at this party, “you should drink port. It’s not really alcohol. It’s wine and juice. A sweet wine really.” This is the logic of a drunk man.

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