Saturday, October 07, 2006
Recently, because of my new career as a teacher, I have found myself in social situations that most people find themselves in when they are younger. But for me, any social situation is a new one. Anyone who knows me for 15 minutes can see that, but I have found a way to "fool" others to think otherwise. I've put myself in these situations and managed to stay afloat, and dare I say, swim.
Yesterday, a bunch of the teachers and I went out for our customary Friday happy hour. It's probablly not so much customary, as it is an occupational requirement. (We teachers need to vent, people, and this is how we unwind from the verbal, emotional, and sometimes, physical abuse of teaching.) I am a 21 year-old boy, err, I mean man and I have only started "drinking" this summer. It's a casual thing and I'm only doing this because not doing this in college has brought me no where, except to drinking in a bar with teachers. So yesterday was not my first time drinking in a bar. It must've been my 5th or 6th. You see that? I've already lost track of my alcoholic escapades. What has motivated me to do something so opposite of my character? Well I would say peer pressure, but I'm not in high school anymore, nor am I in college; so I would say that it was the social need that humans require at least once every 8 years of their life. So the time seemed right. Plus, I get along with my colleagues just fine (so far...until I screw this up like every other social relationship. I'm just glad one month has gone by and things are just okay.)
I walk into the bar first, with two other first year teachers that I came with right behind me. We were a little late to happy hour. Of course, I walked towards the long table of teachers already there with all the confidence of a 7th grader who has just recently discovered that he likes girls. The teachers yell out "Reyes!" or at least one of them does and I sort of tilt by head up to acknowledge them instead of acknowledging the floor which I was doing. God, I wished the two teacher I came in with had walked in first. So I sort of do the "Hey, what's up" thing to the general table, which probablly only the floor heard, because I was again acknowledging the floor. I get a really bad seat at the end of the table because the two teachers who came with me sat at the last socially inviting seats. How ironic? The the three table long table had been pushed just far enough from my bench so that I would have to physically lean in if I wanted to partake in the merriment. So now I would have to make the conscious decision of "Hey, I would like to converse with you fellow humans. I am going to lean over to let you know that I am ready for a two way conversation. I have no excuse not to participate correctly because I am leanining in and should hear you!"
The waiter comes over and asks what will I be drinking and I have a 2.5 second delay and signal with both of my hands that I will be having what that man is having in front of me. "A corona?", he asks. Dammit, blurr, can't you see that the man was drinking a beer with it's frickin' lable showing "corona". You could've just said to the waiter, "I'll have a corona." This is the first clue that I clumsilty drop to the teachers at the end the table that I may not be so human after all. It's okay, blurr, you can survive this, just as long as you don't think of socializing as a life and death situation, and never refer to it as surviving.
And wouldn't you know it, I fared pretty well in the bar. No, I had fun. It was a great time to relax and talk about our experiences of the week. Better than that, we talked about each other to some personally degree. Of course, I didn't divulge much about my inner workings. One thing I found out was that I made people laugh by the way I said I live in Westchester and then defensively added that I lived with my parents. The first time a couple of them laughed, I wondered if they were laughing that I lived at home still, but I tested it out (I just wanted them to laugh again). So one of the assistant principles signals to a teacher "Hey, ask Reyes where he's from." The teacher asked. Then I said "Well, I live in Westchester", the I used my comedic timing to wait 2.5 seconds and then exclaim "withmyparents!" I said the second part with an exaggerated look to show that I was doing it on purpose. Some teachers still laughed! (Yes!) Anyway, I used that technique the rest of the night. And yes, it will get old because everyone will know where I'm from, but at least for that moment I was enjoying my time.
Good times. Other things happened, but I wasn't drunk enough to forget it. I'm just not going to make this post any longer. Of course I must've enjoyed happy hour more than the other teachers because most of everyone had other social events to go to. But who cares, I'm not an alcoholic and I had fun.