Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a social gathering and, faced with explaining your presence, traced your connection through more than two friends/relationships?
- Q: Hey, how do you know Billy?
A: Oh! Well, I went to college with his roommate from last year, George, who convinced me to join a bocce league that Billy’s current roommate, Seamus, is in. Seamus is right over there. (gesture emphatically at Seamus)
Inevitably, you have a moment where you question yourself. Why ARE you there? Fear not. You are not just an awkward addition to the party; you’re the Kevin Bacon of the situation!
Who is this Kevin Bacon and what does this have to do with parties? You may ask. Well, there’s a trivia game where you connect anyone in Hollywood to Kevin Bacon in 6 steps or fewer. Kevin Bacon is an actor. He was great in the animated feature Balto as the voice of Balto, which my cousin made me watch twice in a row in the theater when we were 11-ish. He is perhaps better known for his work in Footloose, Apollo 13, and Mystic River.
Ok, back to the party. Sure, you’re on the fringe of the group, but without you it would just be another night of the same people! It’s also not totally your fault that this happened.
Back in the day you would have run into our hypothetical friend George on the street on your way to get a bag of hangover curing Hint of Lime tortilla chips, and after enduring the usual post-college random run-in pleasantries, you would have gone back to your couch to watch House Hunters in private. But not in today’s world, oh no, instead you come home and see that George has friended you on Facebook. Facebook complicates everything.
This interconnected online world of ours can put us in some pretty limber real world social situations. I’ve found that when this happens, it’s best to embrace it. Call it out – you’re the Kevin Bacon. You’re there to spice up the convo a little with a new perspective and maybe even accidentally (?) spark a few conflicts. Enjoy it!
So get out there, Kevins. And maybe add another layer into your connection at the next party. I’m going to try to get a real reference to a bocce league into my next one.