Like once going to a party. A really good party. Everyone you knew was there, so you had a few drinks and pretty soon you were having a great time. You laughed, you told some witty jokes, you did some silly things but it was all in good fun and you were all getting on fabulously. So you had a few more drinks and talked more and louder because you must have been really entertaining and it was all going so well, except now you thought blurrily that maybe the other people weren’t laughing quite so much and were starting to roll their eyes a bit and smirk at each other out of the corner of your vision. They were just indulging you. You’re being patronised. You know what, this isn’t a great party anymore and they’re all false and dishonest. You didn’t need these people now. And this party’s nearly over anyway so let’s split.
So you took your leave. Went out the door without a goodbye because fuck those guys. In fact, you walked up the street a bit and ended up gatecrashing a completely different party - some student place - where you didn’t know anybody. But that was OK because it turned out nobody really knew anybody there anyway, at the uni, and they were all really cool and welcoming. And you’d sobered up a bit by now so your jokes were funny again and they didn’t seem to think you were an arsehole and actually, these people were really nice. Pretty soon, you forgot all about that first party. That was just the warm-up. This was the real place to be.
Thirty years later, you wake up with one massive hangover and an invitation on the doorstep to supper-and-drinks for all the people who were at the original party. Which you still feel wasn’t very good (although it must have been fun at the beginning, right?), even though you can now only recall the vague outlines of it but actually, on further thought, it’s dawning on you that perhaps you’d made an arse of yourself and become a drunken, annoying wanker for a time there and maybe done and said a few things to people who didn’t deserve it and perhaps that’s why thinking of it makes you uneasy. Then again, you made some notes at the time, so let’s go over those:
- At first: “Those people were awful.”
- Then: “Wait, this doesn’t sound so bad. I had a good time. They were OK.”
- And finally: “No wait, I was awful. Maybe.”
So you could go to this little get-together and perhaps people would be able to tell you if it was as good or as bad as you think you remember, assuming you’re still on speaking terms.
It’ll likely be one of:
- It was entirely as bad as you suspected, worse in fact. You were out of control, you offended most of the guests, nobody is ever going to forgive you for what you did to the cat and that’s why no one chased after you when, to general relief, you stumbled out the door swearing angrily but unintelligibly at everything. In fact, the best moments occurred when you were upstairs puking in the toilet.
- You were pretty out of it that night but so was everyone and anyway, other people were far, far worse so honestly, don’t be ashamed. Just forget about it. Again.
- Nobody actually remembers you being at the party at all. But these other guys were there and hey, they were great. It was a sweet night, pity you missed it.
- It was a great night, most everyone enjoyed it - that was a funny joke you told btw, still laughing at that one - but when it ended, most people wandered happily away to other parties around the same time you left.
I guess we’ll find out which next month.