Sunday, 13 July 2008

* Honoured Guest *

~ July 12th 2008 ~

Last night I attended a dinner organised by my former company. I was surprised when the call came and said yes. More out of curiosity than anything else actually. I had never attended any company dinners before and this was for free. Hahahaha........!

Then I got to thinking who would I see there as it was with all departments and it might be a tad uncomfortable having to sit amongst strangers. Good thing my friend called me. She asked if I received the call cos they called her too. Cool! I said, now we would be able to enjoy the dinner together.

The theme of the night was Light and Easy. Now, the first thing that came to my mind was the radio station! Yeah, yeah..... mmm. Next was casual but not too casual, considering the company's strict dress codes on any other day. Some joked maybe light n easy meant minimal layers and easy to take off! Yeah....right! I settled on a two piece black number that clung loosely to my fat self, lovely black lace embroidery over cotton to give some posh, decent with bit of short sleeves and slightly sexy where it stops just above my knees. Hahahahaha!!! I have since regretted the decision after seeing the pictures sent to me by my friend. I looked like a fat frump in a beautiful suit. Sigh....

On the auspicious night, I arrived there a few minutes before time and noticed a chart for table seatings. I approached one of the lovely ladies at the reception tables and gave my name. She looked a little dismayed slightly later after we both double checked the list and my name was not there! I told her I had immediately confirmed my invitation when the other lady called me. Upon hearing the alleged name, she pulled a face but almost immediately covered with an apologetic face. I kinda know the other person's character quite well, so it did not come to me as a surprise at her carelessness.

I said it was fine but will I still be able to have a place to sit at since I was already there? She immediately smiled and said of course. She apologised for her earlier reaction as they had not brought my souvenirs that night. I said it was fine as long as I had a place to sit. :)

Turning around I saw my friend. I was already slowly berating myself for not paying more attention to detail to my hair and make up. Everyone was decked to the max and I was wishing to jump into the first open hole I could find. Of course, there never are any of these holes when you need them. Sigh......

Anyway, saw quite a number of friends and acquaintances I made over the years and it was especially very tingly when many of them still remembered me. I try to stay below the radar wherever I go, no expectations. So it was very nice. Some had moved on to bigger prospects, opened their own businesses and some still figuring what to do next.

At the start of the dinner, we were told that a few of us were to be taken to the stage for a simple appreciation hand out ceremony. In all the little confusion, I was asked to sit out as my souvenirs were not at hand and it'd be awkward for me to stand there empty handed. Secretly I was thankful for the situation, a little disappointed but happy to sit it out ( remember below the radar?). I was all set to sit back and enjoy the show when the show organiser came up to me and said I will go up with the others. They solved the problem by recycling the souvenirs to the last person receiving! Ah.....err....ok. Thanks. (I think....)

Sometime at the start of the dinner, my friend was missing and when she came back, I asked her where did she go to? She said she'd gone and fought for me to get on stage! The sweet gal had kicked up a ruckus outside with the committee for their carelessness and lacking etiquette at ensuring I would be able to join with the others honoured. She said it was so unfair to get me there and then make me sit out from the ceremony all because someone screwed up ( who till today had not even said hello to me nor apologised for her fatal carelessness). All in all, I never realised she would do this for me. I treasure her friendship even more than ever since. *sob*

Anyway, the time came and we were taken back stage -more like side stage hidden by beautiful handcrafted wooden large screens. In the dark we got on stage, six of us in total with only a gentleman amongst us. As we stood there smiling in the dark, we waited for the lights to come on, looking down the side at the organiser for his signal to do whatever. Hahah. Then they played this was slow and lovely and long...... Eventually the lights came on and we stood there grinning as there was nothing else to do and did the princess wave as laughingly gestured by the organiser. The room or shall I say the hall of at least 50 tables of diners was suddenly filled with applause and cheers whilst we soaked in whatever we were supposed to be soaking. So we smiled and waved some more cos the song was really really long..... and somewhere in the din we could hear the emcees going about their colourful repartee about how we were being honoured that night for the years of service we have served the company and this was their token of appreciation. Our VVIP MD was called up to the stage to hand us our framed certificates of appreciation and a lovely glass box on a wooden stand encasing a simple model of our office in the sky.

Yes, we were the honoured retirees that night. Our table was listed as VIP. We were appreciated in a grand scale compared to previous years partly due to someone's realisation to combine it with the annual dinner. Yes, we were honoured retirees, sadly set by company's policy to retire us ladies at such a young age. So quit speculating how OLD I actually am! I am hardly considered old. In fact they say life is just beginning at my age. *wink!*

All in all, it was a beautiful night, the superb performances put up by my ex colleagues was exhilarating and the company at my table was most interesting. I finally have my tokens of appreciation at home and my memories and friendships of my many many friends from work but the sweetest memory of the night would definitely be of my dear friend who fought for me to get on stage with the rest of them. That is priceless. :) Thank you my dear friend. I hope someday I will be able to return the favour. It was certainly an honour to stand retired beside you on stage.

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