I couldn't cling to the hosts the whole time, and quickly learned I'm terrible at cocktail party chatter. I stood there uselessly next to my cousin's friends in the travel business. I'm not only not in the travel business, but I don't even like to travel. I then stood by the bar drinking water and eating hors d'oeuvres (only managed to get 1 Brie puff), and wondered if I should leave.
Then rescue came, as my cousin brought over his classmate and wife, who had seen and loved "Wordplay" (and had recognized me immediately). They read the Rex Parker blog, but had not heard of "IOUSA." Talking to them and a few others took care of the rest of the night. Whew.
I've been invited to a friend of a friend's book party where I'll know maybe 2-3 people. I'd like to see the 2-3 people without sticking to them like glue, but could fail miserably. I must have been absent when they taught Basic Mingling.