I sucked at this kind of social situation when I was non-disabled; I suck at them now, even more. It's in part about the height differential; it's hard to go up to people and get into a conversation. It's also about the bulk of a chair; it's hard to move through crowds of people in small spaces. It's about people's fears about me. Disability makes people uncomfortable; they say stupid things. Its also about my fears. People say stupid things; I hate that; I feel and therefore am awkward. *I* say stupid things and that makes people uncomfortable. Then, they say stupid things. I almost spook them into it. I could just park in a corner and hope people came to me, but we all know how that would be. I'd be a wallflower. And people wouldn't come. So, I am stuck with it. If I want to have fun at a party, I have to be braver than I would be normally.
Parties, conferences, dinners and other kinds of gatherings mean I have to rely on the person I know well (I rarely go alone to these kinds of things). My partner or friend has to do double duty. They have to overcome their own shyness or awkwardness -- I mean, who isn't a little nervous at these kinds of things? -- and thry have to make physical, conversational, and emotional space for me. That's very hard work. And it is a lot to ask of anyone. I don't know any other way to do it, though. It is important to be in these spaces. To socialize. To participate in conversation. To present and be present. And I am most definitely socially awkward.