On the Challenges of Dinners


It’s nearly an hour past the scheduled start of a dinner party I’m throwing at home for friends, and everyone’s texted to say they’ll be a good hour or hour-and-a-half late.

I can’t say I’m particularly surprised, and I don’t mean to sound resigned when I say that. It’s just that starting a dinner at 7:00 pm on a Friday night in Manila during the Christmas season when almost all your guests work in the corporate world and have to travel along either EDSA or C5 during rush hour traffic is, frankly speaking, an exercise in futility. I ought to have learned my lesson by now, but as Pope once said, hope springs eternal in the human breast (never mind if said human is spectacularly flat-chested).  

Because the thing is, when your friends work in the corporate world, Friday is the best possible time to gather everyone round (weekend nights are presumably spent with partners or family). And as far as said friends are concerned, 8:00 pm—and even 9:00 pm—is a perfectly acceptable time to have dinner, given that it’s likely that they had lunch at around 2:00 pm or 3:00 pm.

Except that I have to try to make dinner start at 7:00 pm because as far as I’m concerned, that’s already two to three hours past my regular dinnertime, and if I haven’t eaten by 7:00 pm, I’m either b—-y or dead. (I can barely write straight as I think this.)

One easy solution is to eat ahead, but that means missing out on what everyone else is bringing (I’m incapable of snacking; once I start eating, I eat with a vengeance). So the only thing left is to wait—and hope that I don’t fall asleep in the process (which brings us to the other complication, which is that I have yoga class on Saturday mornings and can’t sleep in like my friends would).

So this is my conclusion: my friends should just quit their jobs so we can all have a decent dinner at a decent time on a Friday night.

I think I’ll bring it up later this evening. If I haven’t fallen asleep at the table, that is.

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