It only took a glass and a half of Pinot Grigio to get me a bit squiffy on arrival at the bar. Naturally, it was lovely to see everyone, and there were some faces I'd not seen in a while. There was lots of 'Mwah! Mwah!' air kisses and the like. I was sure to ask everybody lots of questions about they were, their news, what they thought about naughty Tiger Woods and the impending disintegration of the earth through climate change. You know the drill. I can be quite good at being fabulous.
It all started to go wrong, though, when I was conversing with my oldest friend. She was telling me that she had bumped into her old boss a few nights previously and got chatting. She was actually his girlfriend for a couple of years too, so it wasn't really as simple as I make it sound. And what with him having got married not so long ago it can, on occasion, be a bit awkward.
"Yeah," she said, "He says the restaurant is going really well and that they have just won another award. He says his new wife is very good at the PR and the the like so it is a match made in heaven..."
"You okay?" I enquired. "Need more wine?" I know it can cripple her for days after seeing him if she is not prepared for it.
"Yes, yes... he did ask me if i wanted to work a cocktail party for him though. That made me feel a bit funny."
I looked at her and furrowed my brow. "You mean waitress for him?" I was sure I had misunderstood.
"Urm. Yeah. I guess."
"Darling, you are a fabulous career girl with the world at your feet!" I cried, crossly. "How DARE he ask if you wanted to bloody waitress for him! You don't work for him anymore! You can't waitress for your old boyfriend's restaurant when he has just married SOMEBODY THAT ISN'T YOU! I don't believe it!" The rest of our table ceased their own conversations as I got louder more irate.
My friend looked around her, embarrassed. "Sssh! No. it wasn't like that. He wasn't trying to make me feel bad. You know how he can be- he doesn't mean to be a plonker." She was blushing because suddenly, all eyes were on her.
"Pah!" I said.
"No, she's right," somebody else ventured. "It's no big deal. He probably knows that she could just do with the cash or something. I bet he just wanted to be nice and wasn't sure of the etiquette or something."
I was totally indignant on my friend's behalf now. "It is nothing short of rude to imply that in order to survive she should work a cocktail party for his and his new missus," I was sulking now. "THE MAN HAS BEEN INSIDE HER!"
The whole table went quiet.
And then they laughed. Nervous high-pitched giggles at first, and then proper belly laughs.