Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dinner with Co-Workers . . .

We had a "company outing" last night. The account service team (which I am part of because, even though I sit in the PR department I do have my own clients) went to the Granite City Brewery here in Wichita to learn how beer is made and to enjoy a few glasses of the cold, frothy stuff as we chatted about work, ate some appetizers and had a few guffaws.

I'm no newbie to the beer process. My brother Patrick had a Mr. Beer kit when we were in college. He was not yet 21 but my father, recognizing Patrick's passion for beer decided that if he was brewing his own beer it would keep him engaged and active. It actually worked out pretty well, for the record, my brother currently brews beer in the Philadelphia suburbs and has even entered some of his brews in local contests. I've never sampled the goods (as I can't have carbonated beverages, I'm urged to avoid alcohol post surgery and it is FAR to Philly for a beer) but my brother Ryan, a bit of a beer expert himself (smile) assures me that they are delicious pints.

Anywho - I've seen beer made at home. I've been to many a beer brewery in my life. I was a "regular" at the Capital City Brewing Company during my DC days (including two State of the Union "parties" at the place and one somewhat forgotten, and yet memorable, Final Four weekend) and many, many wonderful dinners with my friend Kathryn (who is also a huge fan - try the chicken tender salad, she would advise you) and my favorite beverage for a good chunk of my life was good ol' Magic Hat #9 but I'm digressing . . .

Anyway - the point of the story is that I went out and socialized with my co-workers. Something I've never been particularly good at. I think it is because, once upon a time, going out with co-workers meant eating too much, drinking too much, making a fool of myself and then realizing that I had to see all these people at work the next morning . . . and it would be a Tuesday at that.

I've only been out twice with my current peers (not including last night) and once it was for an awards dinner and once was for a Joe Cocker concert here in Wichita.

I find that going out with my co-workers makes me very, very self concious. It is safe to say that I am my own person and I'm very comfortable with who I am but I don't know how many of them feel about me (and my jury is still out on some of them too (smile)) but I go to these functions and try to not eat or drink anything and hope that the conversation will go well and that I'll get called away before I can make a fool of myself.

Last night though, I must say, went really well. I had some laughs and enjoyed myself and I didn't watch the clock and I felt truly comfortable. I ate (I had a chicken breast with some cheese) and I drank (water - my colleague Jennifer was more than happy to drink my beer samples) and when it was time to go pick up Ava to get her home for bath time . . . I sort of didn't want to leave.

We talked about the experience one of our intern's mothers (SSG (Shiny Shirt Girl) - I INSIST on giving ALL interns nicknames, not sure why)) is having with the lap band and we talked about my surgery and we talked about dieting and excercise and my surgery to have my excess skin removed (they asked, I swear). We also talked about work and life and people's siblings and their significant others and what TV shows we watch and what vacations we like to take, etc. Just good conversation.

I don't know. Maybe I'm finally getting more comfortable in my life here in Wichita (I still sort of feel like an outsider at work) or maybe it is that I'm less anxious to be in a restaurant or a bar than I have been in the last several years or maybe I'm just getting to the point where I feel like being social again. Regardless - I actually look forward to the next time I get to go out with co-workers. I promised to tell several of them the story of why I quit drinking . . . a real crowd pleaser every time (smile).


This Show said...

Ha. Tell them WHY you quit drinking or ABOUT one of the many reasons you quit drinking?

Sean C. Amore said...

I quit drinking because it was costing me lots of money. It was damaging my friendships and family relationships and it was allowing me to focus too much on my depression, demons, eating and self-loathing.

I've been pretty honest about that all along.

Oh - but the stories I COULD tell (smile)!