Life After College: Group Dinner Hell

Nothing makes me want to curl up and die faster than an invite to a group dinner. From start to finish it’s an intensive game of twenty questions. Where should we go to eat? Do they have vegetarian options? Can you be there by 7 or not? Did you seriously invite her? Can I get the barbecue chicken salad without the dressing, chicken, cheese, lettuce, or bowl?

The night always starts off on a bad note because no one can ever agree on a restaurant. The person who always wants sushi suddenly claims they’re craving Papa Johns and the person who always orders the side salad at every restaurant is claiming they’re craving chicken-fried-lard. And once everyone finally settles on a Mexican place, my roommate claims that the water there is too spicy.

And then I show up at the restaurant and somehow get stuck sitting at the end next to the one person I can’t stand. So now I’m spending the entire meal having forced conversation about the weather and frozen yogurt. I try a few times to get in on the convo at the other end of the table. They’re laughing, they’re crying, they’re pricking their fingers and becoming blood sisters. But my¬† biggest contribution to their conversation is “What? I can’t hear what you’re saying down there. A pact? I want to be in on this pregnancy pact.”

Right before I finish my lengthy monologue on the best fro-yo flavors, the bill arrives. Doomsday. The person who ordered the 9-course meal and 16 bottles of wine suggests splitting the bill evenly since everything pretty much cost the same. Except I’m always the person who orders chicken broth and a lettuce leaf to save money. So actually it’s not all equal. But I can’t say anything because then everyone stares at me like I’m being cheap for pointing out that I shouldn’t have to put in $50 when I only spent $7. And then the bill always comes up short despite everyone claiming they put in the right amount of money.

Finally the dinner ends with the never-flattering pictures taken across the table (less than a foot away). When will Facebook invent the technology to de-tag a picture before it’s even put up on Facebook?

But you know what? Despite all my complaints (and inevitable backlash from my roommate who will state for a fact that kettle corn is just as spicy as wasabi), I can never turn down an invite. Because although I clearly suffer from group-dinner-anxiety, I have a much larger case of feeling-left-out-when-everyone-talks-about-inside-jokes-from-the-dinner-for-the-next-6-years syndrome.

Bad Advice Women Get: Know Your Fashion Sex
Bad Advice Women Get: Know Your Fashion Sex
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