I am beginning to dread the thought of tomorrow night as we have agreed to going to the pub for a few drinks after work. The purpose ostensibly is so everyone can relax after all the crap we've been going through recently. Personally I feel it'll more likely be an excuse for some people to get drunk. Not my idea of a fun way to spend an evening, watching my colleagues get themselves drunk. I've never particularly enjoyed drinking heavily, even less so in the company of others. I had a few experiences when I was at college when I'd had too much to drink and I don't hold my drink well. Alcohol inevitably makes me depressed and withdrawn and a rather pathetic creature all round I think. I often regret the things that I do or say when I've had a few too many. Most people probably think its fun to get drunk and do silly things, I don't. Maybe its because I am too self-controlled to ever let myself completely go. I always need to feel in control and I feel bitterly the shame of being stupid or pathetic.
Its not only the pressure to guzzle as many pints of alcohol that puts me off, its the laddish behaviour that goes with it and the depressing thought that most of the evening will probably be spent talking about work or football. I feel inadequate in such discussions and I am envious of men who can strike up lucid conversations on football or any sport, as I could barely string together two intelligent words to say on the subject.
The last two times I've been out on a work's event I've spent the latter part of the evening being lectured too by a well meaning colleague on how to find love! I hate these presumptuous and pretentious 'buddy' talks as much as anything. I don't need anyone's advice on matters of the heart, I'll find my own way thank you and if I want to be single maybe there is a reason for that and maybe, just maybe I don't want to talk about it. End of.
And then of course there are the confessions that come out when people have had a few. The things that I've learnt about the people I work with that I had no wish to know, that will forever colour the way I see them. I would be ashamed by such personal revelations. I've never felt comfortable about talking about what I consider my private life, because frankly it's private. It is my business and nobody else's and I don't want to hear about everyone else's sordid little secrets. Whatever happened to pride and dignity?
Normally at the end of these evenings I feel a vague sense of disappointment and emptiness. But to not go would invite its own cross-examination of why not and I believe would lead to a degree of ostracising from the team. Already my refusal to come to the pub on a Friday lunchtime is beginning to put up a barrier. Why is it so important anyway?
So I will go tomorrow, because to not be there as I say would warrant its own inquest. All I can hope is that I can extricate myself before I get to the point where boredom has given way to deep misgivings about why I am there and certainly before another well meaning 'buddy' talk.