Sunday, February 25, 2007

random weekend post

I was invited to a housewarming party thrown by these 4 guys from my company. I knew them through a mutual acquaintance. They lived in an apartment on the waterfront with a gorgeous view of the pacific ocean in downtown Seattle. They are in all respects the perfect example of young successful people in a sophisticated urban living. They had a professional bartender friend come to do the drinks and played club music on their giant lcd tv using windows media center. The party started at 9 and didn't end til 3 am where all the drunken people left. Now I must confess I don't have much experience with these "social" parties as they call them. Mine more gravitate towards the "chainsaw that monster" type of parties (:)) so this is a very interesting experience for me. I did not know most of the people there, nor they each other so it is my duty to mingle and get to know people as my friend told me. I had a great deal of fun trying to talk to people, of course the whole evening is littered with awkward silences as my very small social skills failed to keep the conversation going. This is a very hard thing for me as I am not used to such surroundings, standing around and having to come up with suitable topics of conversation in extremely loud music. Incidentally this reminds me alot of those period movies where people go to a ball and having to make conversation and appear sociable, minus the hiphop and booze. So I guess society really hasn't changed all that much except for the disturbing trend of binge drinking that seems to be prevalent at all such parties. I of course declined to drink but that caused everyone to look at me like some sort of alien. They seem to think it is some sort of affront to not partake in this "ritual". Now I have nothing against drinking or drinking people. If I did that means I would have to hate like 90% of the world. Of course I have never been drunk so I might indeed be missing something profoundly awesome. but I have to say people really did seem to have more fun without their inhibitions. They danced and yelled and in general made very sociable and happy people. Lots of friends were made and experiences shared. So the dual purpose of making friends and having a good time was served. I did find it amusing that almost everyone seem to think that I must not be having any fun since I don't have some alcohol in me. When did this relationship start to develop? Alcohol = fun or rather Alcohol -> fun. I can't decide if I am just too "conservative" for this modern American world where social scene is inevitably linked to alcohol or rather this trend is an anomaly only in youth society. I just haven't been to enough parties to form a informed opinion. Should I try to integrate myself more into this seeing how obviously I need more social skills? stuff to ponder about..

ETA: on a totally different note, I also received mail to pick up that free thong from Victoria Secret as Bunky did. As I am unable to resist free stuff I had to go pick it up. I had the same thought as Kolaap did in his post but since I read his post first I was not as surprised. Having seen it in person I have serious doubt about the practicality of such things as it seems to position one for a permanent wedgie. And since I cannot imagine any woman will wear that of her own volition I can safely say "this is all the men's fault!" ;)


Kungfucius said...

I can relate to your story about going to a party and feeling like you're weirding out others by not drinking. For me, the taste of most alcoholic drinks doesn't work with me, which is why I stay away most of the time. Ultimately, it's your choice, and at least no one seemed to give you too much of a hard time about it (maybe they thought you felt left out when they were asking you about not drinking). But as you noticed, drinking loosens people up quite a bit, and I think it actually makes for easier conversations. Just talk about anything random, and they'll most likely follow along.

On the other hand, while I was at Karaoke at Taiwan, I tried some Taiwan Beer and found it to not be too bad, so I had 2 glasses of it. It loosened me up and I felt like I had fun singing along with my brother on a Backstreet Boys song :P But in this situation, the key is moderation as I felt like 2 drinks was enough for me to loosen up but not feel like I'll lose control (one of the girls there lost her dinner for a bit after drinking a tad bit much).

Just remember, go in, be safe, have fun, and don't overthink things too much :) The people at the party aren't there to criticize why you aren't drinking; they're there to have a good time as well :) You'll always run into those people that drink too much, but I believe those are thankfully in the minority.

Velius said...

I totally agree with what kung said about alcohol loosening people up. That's probably why people drink in the first place, I doubt it is because of the wonderful taste. I find it interesting that drinking is almost a requirement these days in order to get some kinda intelligible conversation started. I don't know if it's just people being overly protective of themselves or if it's some influence society has had. Why is it so hard to just speak whatever is on your mind and not have to worry about "looking bad" in front of others.

Kabitzin said...

I'm glad my warning helped someone else out!

As for drinking, there are some tasty drinks out there, but for some reason alcohol makes me really sleepy. I don't think I've ever been drunk because I basically get so tired that it is hard to continue drinking =\. I'm not really a fan of beer since I don't like carbonated drinks.

You can always tell someone that you have to drive afterwards or that you have a meeting the next day to get out of drinking without much in the way of weird looks.

Kungfucius, are you sure it was the drinks and not your singing that caused the girl to lose her dinner =D?

Kungfucius said...

Yeah...I'm sure it was the drinking -_- Tochi, Catnipped, and Ender's heads didn't explode when I sang down in Houston...

Tochi said...

Kung, you have no idea the internal trauma your “singing” caused me. I am just starting to recover. ;)

In terms of the “I-don't-drink” conundrum, there is a very simple solution for ladies. Just get a gentleman friend to get a non-alcoholic drink from the bar. How can a guy refuse? As long as you have a drink, people will think it's alcoholic. Trust me, it works like a charm. :)

One of the other benefits of having a drink is that it gives your hands something to do. If u don't have a drink, grab a little tidbit to hold. When the conversations becomes a little awkward, you can just take a sip or bite.