Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sometimes you should just go home early

Friday night I had a work do, a professional mixer thrown by a big client, at which I intended to drink one glass of wine and then leave early.

For some reason, I always seem to think that this plan will work. By now, you'd think I'd know what was actually going to happen, and which did. We turn up, a phalanx of black-suited lawyers, and head to the bar. Now, I say bar. This is a low-key sort of arrangement, so the bar is just a trestle table manned by volunteers. It's less than half an hour into the party, but the girl before me gets the last of the plastic wine glasses. So my champagne? Comes in a tumbler.

After two of those, the speeches start. My boss uses his (lack of) stature to sidle unnoticed through the crowd and obtain us a beer each whilst everyone's listening. Some time after that, there's a glass of red wine in my hand.

They finally kick us out, almost an hour after the official finish time. It's still early, 7pm, and a lawyer friend and I decide to go on to a bar. She's meeting a girlfriend who isn't due for an hour, so I ring the husband - shouting over the other people in the lift - and tell him I'll be late.

I don't eat at parties. It's just too awkward, trying to establish whether the little quiche things have meat in them, trying to balance a drink and a plate of vegetables, being introduced to potentially important clients with a mouthful of food. So by the time we get to the bar, I'm sort of drunk.

And the girlfriend turns up, and she's beautiful. Really, genuinely, heartbreakingly beautiful. My lawyer friend is also very striking, blonde and tall and thin. So when a couple of men come in and come over, I'm invisible. I mean, they don't even look in my direction, sort of invisible. It's not like I expect male attention as some sort of birthright, but it's a little galling not to even have them bother to introduce themselves to me.

Lawyer friend tells me it's always like this with the Beautiful One, men just materialise. She's quick to add that she herself commands enough attention, I should understand, as well. And I nod, and say something like yes, I can imagine that neither of you have any trouble, you're both very attractive.

And do you know what she says to me? In a tone of genuine warmth and good humour, she looks at me and she says "Oh, but don't worry. You've got the most wicked personality."

Miss Congeniality 2006, ladies and gentleman.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

With friends like that...

20 November, 2006  

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