It is at this time of year that I come out from behind my computer screen and emerge from the cyber world I call work. For the majority of the year my social life takes place on-line amongst fellow cyber workers, bloggers, tweeters and Facebook pals. I did venture out a couple of times this year and at one outing someone even said “Oh wow look, its Sally Todd off the internet!” I clearly need to get out more.
So as I open the diary to plan some tweet ups (yes they actually happen and I go to them) and drinks gatherings to catch up with pals over the festive period, I do so with a little bit of apprehension. Socializing on line is one thing but IRL (in real life, for those who don’t do twitter) it involves a whole different set of rules. What I actually mean of course is alcohol! It is easy to be careful on line in how I act and watch what I say and check my behaviour. I have the opportunity and wits about me to think before I tweet. Add a room of excited friends and a few cocktails and the end of the night will often end up with a very different conclusion.
Don’t get me wrong I love to meet up with friends and I do quite a lot, not just at Christmas, it’s just it never really turns out quite how I imagine it to. It all starts off with good intention…and then the snacks come out. I am sorry but I just can’t help myself. Without fail I dive in, always the first at the table and always the first with a handful of peanuts forced into my mouth as if my stomach has assumed my throat has been cut. Of course I grab too many and a good few fall down my front into my bra and on the floor! Well that’s a classy start to an evening isn’t it? I don’t stop, I sweep across the table and try everything, there is no pause for conversation, and I hoover up snacks like a Dyson on warp speed. It’s embarrassing.
This of course creates the raging thirst, which can only be relieved with a vat of wine. Instead of sipping this elegantly and enjoying the fresh aroma of underlying honey tones I knock it back like lemonade. And now of course the tongue has been unleashed and I have a case of the verbal runs! I talk non-stop at a rate so fast Vicky Pollard would be proud (from little Britain in case you were wondering).
By now I have the attention of the room and people are laughing at my tales and antics. I drink a bit more and I carry on. I have a stage all of my own and I am doing what I do best, drinking wine and talking… gossiping. Why is gossip so much more exciting and intriguing after a few glasses of wine? If you were sober you might not even think it gossip but more a piece of fairly uninteresting information. But after wine and amongst equally inebriated friends it becomes the biggest and most outrageous snippet of gossip – ever.
As you can see from above, I am the biggest drinker, the one at the front of ludicrous party games, the idiot who plays with the microphone but not to sing, the one who points as she speaks, the knob who acts like a kid at the table, the joker on the dance floor and quite unashamedly the one who just doesn’t mind making a fool of herself!!
Like all great nights out, they come to an end and I make my way home, usually driven by my long suffering husband who has by now learned he will never have a drink if he goes out with me. And that’s when it happens. I sit and reflect on the evening’s events. Did I really finish off that bowl of houmous by running my finger round the edge of the dish? Did I really snatch that last cheese straw as I saw someone else eyeing it up? Did I really drink that whole bottle of Sauvignon Blanc to myself? And then the worst feeling of all…gossips remorse. Did I really say all that?
This is all normally followed by a restless night worrying about who I have upset, who have I offended and will anyone remember?
So this year I have set myself some rules. Keep away from the buffet table, drink spritzers instead of straight wine and bite my tongue. Failing that I will be attending events via Skype!
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