At least there’s unlimited juice.
It was our department’s night out on a buffet. The food is good, the grilling of raw meat on your dining table is cool.
Just no booze. But at least, juice and soft drinks are unlimited (you got the sarcasm?)…
Weeks earlier, we got to practice democracy when we’re asked to choose between buffet and the one with booze, live band, and singers on miniskirts. I thought the one with the booze will prevail because, first, who would want to engage in a boring eating spree? Second, it’s the only “good time” that I know.
The votes were casted and it was landslide. Having a lot of women in the office who might have exercised their might in their numbers ended us somewhere just filling our guts of every food we can get into it.
There were no other entertainment save from chit-chat, and the part of the raffle of gift cheque amounting to Php 1000, Php 2000, Php 5000, and Php 10000. I got my hopes too high wishing I could take the Php10000 worth cheque and give it to my wife. Tough luck. I’ve had a full gut anyway, so I presumed it’s still ok.
So how did I pass time while grilling, sipping, and eating? I’m not much of a talker so I used my talent of listening and note-taking. Thankfully, we had 3 old-timers on our table so you would have guessed what our conversations were about – White Castle Whisky models then and now, overloaded railway systems, Bible-whiz inmates, mini scooters for 500 dirham, jogging in Dubai and Qatar, water + sugar + yeast = improvised fermented drink, sold fruits at roadside, provincial main roads with 360-degree curves, broken car cooling system – most of which, we the younger generation could not even stay long in a topic. Yeah we pitched in every now and then hoping we would “connect” with the conversation and sound intelligent.
As the evening wears on, I felt my batteries almost out and I need to recharge, fast. I felt weariness slowly creeping in, taking over me. I am growing weary wearing a smile for the entire duration for fear of being labeled as the grouch or the party-pooper. I was getting bored and out-of-place in the ruckus. I wouldn’t be writing this if I had been comfortable with the chattering of department-mates.
I have always preferred solitude over company. But if I have a bunch of people around me, (I think) it wouldn’t matter at all. Although I must admit that there are times when I feel so lonely in the midst of a known company of people. I feel envious watching same group of people convoking with the same company, probably exchanging the same old stories over and over again. Well, this is a free country. Anybody gets to choose who he/she wants to be with, including the preference to keep out anyone who can’t strike the same string that they do. This is especially true during department night-outs, Christmas parties and company outings that it makes me dread the said affairs.
It makes me miss my friends during college. I just can’t seem to find a new set of them with new people.
I’m not the total outcast though. I have a few who are willing to be with me for company. It’s really good to laugh out loud once in a while with a good crowd.
And thankfully, it was soon over and I’m goin’ home. At least my tummy’s ok, I have a new story to tell, and the juice and soft drinks were unlimited…