07 May 2005

How to Drink to the Wolf

"If you happen to be unencumbered by childhood's scruples and maturity's sage ponderings, you will have gone to a great many cocktail parties in your time and will have decided, along with almost every other human being left alive, that they are anathema. They are expensive. They are dull. They are good for a time, like a dry Martini, and like that all-demanding drink they can lift you high and then drop you hideously into a slough of boredom, morbidity, and indigestion."
-- M.F.K. Fisher, "How to Cook a Wolf," 1942

I love M.F.K. Fisher. Best. Food writer. Ever.

And I love this quote because it reminds me of a revelation that I had some time in my late 20's. Yes, it took until I was almost 30 before I realized that I wasn't actually missing something crucial by staying home on a Friday or Saturday night.

Now, as I enter my mid-30's, this is still something of which I am occasionally forced to remind myself-- that a quiet drink at home with a very small number of friends and loved ones (or even just with my cat) is infinitely more enjoyable than some crowded, overly-raucous party full of forced joviality and false comradeship.

That's not to say that I hate parties in and of themselves, it's more that I have become substantialy more choosy when deciding which I will attend. And, more often than not, the answer is "not that one."

There's a certain irony, I suppose, in the fact that it is indeed Saturday night, and I am indeed staying-- well, not "home," precisely, since I'm trapped in suburban corporate-housing purgatory for another few months while I finish a freelance job.

But still.

I have, in fact, this very evening turned down an invitation to go out drinking with my new coworkers. If you'd met my new coworkers, you'd understand. Alright, that's not entirely fair, as several of them are as pleasant as one could hope for, but it seems there is a substantially larger number of them who are not quite...how to say it politely...the kind of people with whom I generally choose to spend my time.

Let's leave it at that, shall we?

But the important thing is that, unlike a decade ago, I no longer feel as though I might be passing up (or be passed up by) an incredible opportunity to-- to what, exactly?

And that is my point.


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