updogged = when you chip in to keep a conversation trend going
fit = gorgeous
buje = unexplainable glamor
football minute = a minute, that with time-outs, lasts a half an hour.
crute = cute but cringy
women's-rights = a really funny joke
In the subscribed course of science - and eventually medicine - night hours seem multiplied by the rough enforcement of study, but this tale is not about that, fair reader.
It’s about a reception, last Friday night. It hardly matters what it was for, there are so many. This one was first class - so please, have some decorum ladies. Our cast is Lisa, Leong, Sunny and I (4 roommates). We stay clumped together, on nights out, like conjoined quadruplets because there’s safety in numbers.
There were about sixty people there, mostly students. Lisa and I had gotten invitations, Leong and Sunny are our plus-ones. After making the rounds, doing our meeting and greeting due diligence, we’d captured one corner of a long table and began enjoying some actual drink-drinks. We’re usually studying, trying to prove ourselves like rats in a maze, so we go a little crazy when they let us out and about.
Is it me, or are free drinks just better than other flavors? There was a long line of ‘Tom Collins-ses,’ on the bar which one could freely walk up and take. I think they’re made with lemon juice, sprite, gin and the tears of fallen angels.
These were quite good, each featuring both a lemon slice AND a cherry. Like I said, first class. We were taking turns getting them, two of us going up, each returning with 2 drinks. That way we didn’t look like 4 hookers hanging on the bar like horses at a trough (decorum).
Socials, receptions, fundraisers - whatever - can be social minefields. Even in how you greet people. Do you shake hands? I’d heard that shakes were out due to COVID, but if so, they’re back now. Some people were even huggers - your professor initiates a hug and you just want to avoid head-butting him. Monday morning though, you better hand in that paper, girlie.
At one point (I was mothering my third Collins), Sunny said, “Meeting people is awkward,”
“Being out in the world is awkward,” I updogged.
“Not for Lisa,” Leong said, and everyone sniggered.
“Why not ME?” Lisa said, looking up from her phone.
“Because you’re fit,” Sunny said, “everywhere you go, it’s like ‘Goodfellas,’” she mimics various, waving people, “Hi Lisa, or Hey Lisa," and “Yo Lisa!” with the point & nod.
We all chuckled again, but Lisa said, “It’s not true.”
Alas, it is true. I’ve come to rely on Lisa’s buje. Places seem livelier, less daunting and more welcoming when she’s there. She draws all the attention - I might as well be her beaded handbag and I’m fine with that. In unfamiliar situations, she’s a shield, handling the initial introductions and handing people off to me, like a track-and-field sprinter passing the baton. Without Lisa, in new situations I’m quiet. Quiet doesn’t mean shy - that’s a false assumption, I’m a natural watcher.
I’m skipping the mingling and speechifying - the boring stuff. Apparently, it’s all about us, we need to make a plan and do more, about everything. Interestingly, of the 8 organizers (the adults) five had literary first names. There was a Jude, a Tess, an Ophelia, a Clarissa and a Cordelia. Granted, they’re all fictional characters, but why name a kid after a protagonist who came to a tragic end - to seem well read?
As Leong and Sunny returned with our fifth round, Sunny pronounced “Tom Collins for President!” and we all raised our glasses. Just then Leong’s phone whooped with a text. It took her football minute to fish the contraption out of her itty-bitty disco-clutch, and then she fumbled it to the floor like an oiled baby.
It was a crute moment that, at first, struck us like women's-rights - but it had a sobering effect too. We agreed, in the silence of exchanged glances, that perhaps we were having too much fun, and we soon made our usual quiet and dignified exit.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Contraption “a device or gadget.”