Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Practicality of Eating and Drinking

The thing about being a teacher is that you always have something to talk about at cocktail parties. It is one of those professions where somebody always has something to say about it. I mean come on, we all had teachers and had either loved or hated at least one of them.

When I first became a teacher, I would entertain people with horror stories of little Jamie who probably has undiagnosed schizophrenia. Back then, parties with friends were more about chilling with a few beers and lamenting about our jobs. How times have changed. Nowadays, people I know are actually having children, and at cocktail parties, I get bombarded with questions like: should I put my kid ( who is 3 months old right now) in public or private school, what do you think of this school etc.. In exchange, I get real estate advice or investment tips while sipping a martini.

Needless to say, it was more fun back in the good old days when we would be embellishing tales in a drunken stupor. And these days, the last thing I want to do at a party is to talk for the 1867th time about work that I have been doing for the past 6 years. So to avoid boredom, I like to chat about food and wine instead. Knowledge about food is not only handy when you are stranded on a deserted island and you need to grill a possum and make it into a tasty treat, it is also particularly useful during the latest social engagement I was at: Speed dating.

This is the new singles phenonmenon besides internet dating (I will talk about that later- another time, another place). My friend, Emmy, asked me to go with her since we can get a $10 discount if we go together. What the heck, I would try almost anything once.

So we arrived late, as usual, and by this time people were already seated at little tables marked with numbers. Emmy and I got basic instructions on Speed Dating etiquette and sheets of notepaper to record our impressions of the contestants.

First things first, we headed to the bar to arm ourselves with drinks before we delved into an hour and a half of handshakes, chitchats and more martinis. You get four minutes with each "date" and since I can pretty much talk to anything other than a brick wall, I found something interesting about of each contestant.

All in all, it was a fun night and you get to meet a lot of people who would not normally tread into your social circle. But too bad, there were no foodies to compare notes on perfecting the creme brulee crust.

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