Parties & crowds

I am reacting to the Daily Prompt : INTJ ‘Do parties and crowds fill you with energy, or send you scurrying for peace and quiet?’

Parties and crowds gives me a picture of too many people in small surroundings, chaos, people getting high on drinks, talking loudly, loud music, smoke and people trying to dance.

Let me take you to a slightly larger party where the host is busy but attentive to his guests. ‘Now what would you like to drink?’ ‘A juice please’. ‘What? Are you alright?’ A pause. I keep the smile frozen with the hope that I get the juice. Now the guests around me are somewhat stirred. The host returns his gaze looking amused. ‘It’s ok to drink here friend, how about some wine.  You must have some wine’.  ‘I am well past the age of a teenager so the problem of age doesn’t arise, my friend’, I wanted to reply.  Someone shoves a glass of wine in my face as if to say, ‘Now drink and act grown up’.  The noise grows, all begin to shout at the top of their voices and I can hear the thuds of some techno music in the background.  Someone tries to start a conversation but I can hardly hear him.  We both begin to shout at each other.

My throat is parched and dry.  I yearn for a glass of water or juice or a coke – anything non-alcoholic.  I even had an idea of going to the loo to drink some tap water.  I look around to find a waiter heading towards us.  A savior.  I look in his tray to find a glass of coke that I pull unceremoniously.  Meanwhile I had already dumped my wine into a potted plant.  The host comes along.  ‘Now what are you drinking, dear?’ Why does he have to bounce back on me, I wonder.  There must be hoards of people who needed a refill right this minute.  ‘Oh some rum and coke’, I say lifting the glass to his eyes.  ‘Rum? I don’t have rum in the house.’  Someone pulls him away.

I look around me to see people getting louder and merrier.  The moods are high.  The conversation turn into statements, repeated statements, halted and broken at times. I wanted to say, ‘Hey you’ve already said that’, but listen quietly. Soon they are swaying while standing with glasses in hand.  They are losing their sense of balance while I am possibly having my fourth round of coke, getting high on sugar and becoming restless in the process.  I look around for hubby dear to find him talking to an excited group of people.  He is saying stuff that I’ve already heard so many times before.  Now I’m going to say what I always say, ‘Let’s go home’.

I have tried to drink alcoholic beverages to appear normal on some occasions. And my experiences haven’t been good.  I begin to get drowsy right away.  My eyes go blink, blink – I feel so lethargic that I must hit the bed soon.  Come to think of it, I have even snoozed on a sofa right in the middle of the party waiting for hubby and his friends to complete their impromptu monologues.

Coming from a family of casual drinkers I’ve seen beer and whisky on the house since I was young.  I have tried to sip some beer to find the taste like bitter gourd.  I have also tried whisky on the rocks and gin too.  Baileys is not too bad.  Wine is too strong for me.  Come to think of it, I seem to have never developed a taste for alcohol along the way, which must be absurd, by general standards. What is a party without alcohol, they say.  When I talk about a tea party or a lunch party, it is inappropriate timing because ‘what will the guests drink?’

Social drinking is customary in my community and liquor plays a significant part in social activities, more so when engagements for marriages take place. When a man along with his relatives come to ask for a girl’s hand, they offer a bottle of home brewed liquor to the head of the household, which is the father of the girl, of course.  After exchange of words and if the father is happy to go ahead with the marriage, he will accept the bottle and offer it to all around the room as a gesture of acceptance.   However, if he is unhappy with the boy or his family for some reason whatsoever he will have every right to reject the brew.  They will be sent marching home with the brew in tact.

I must admit that my marriage was solemnized according to traditions, over a bottle of homemade brew!  But come to think of it I’m not sure I got to taste it.

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