Tonight I worked the registration desk for the Butler’s Own Cocktail Competition, the second instance of an event we started last year as part of Butler Downtown. We’ve been working on it for months, and it was fun to have everything come together.

I had planned to start out at the registration desk then wander about the room, as I did last year. But I ended up staying at the front, with my buddy Sue, for the duration. In part this was because we hadn’t made any type of schedule for who would man the door, but also, given the setup at our venue, The Art Center in Butler, it was both necessary to have someone keeping an eye on the entrance and easy to feel part of the event without feeling overwhelmed by the people attending and the action.

I may seem like a social and sociable person, but noise and crowded spaces make me anxious. Packed bars with loud music scare me to bits, for example. Standing door at an event, on the other hand, allowed me to feel that I was contributing to the success of the evening, and that I was part of the evening, without actually having to dive too deeply into the activity of the evening.

Meanwhile though, I was able to taste samples of the delightful drinks from the restaurants who were competing, hear the music and catch the energy from the room, and keep track of how the event was going, attendance-wise.

A bonus of working the door was that I had the chance to say hello to folks I knew. I didn’t think much of it, but my fellow volunteer Sue commented that I seemed to know everyone. I didn’t, really — I knew maybe a quarter to a third of the people who were there — but it was enough that I was very cheered by the experience. You can tell you’re home when everybody — or maybe a third of everybody — knows your name.