After enduring many an awful social event, I have now reverted to avoiding them altogether. Time will tell if this strategy will be ok, or if it's going to cause no end of grief.
Unfortunately, I am not a very good liar. I really want to be able to say the truth "ugh, hanging out with you guys in my time off is my idea of hell", but some instinct for self-preservation makes me make up a feeble excuse. I am already worried about how I am going to keep all my lies straight.
Admittedly, it does help somewhat that no-one has shown any interest in my life outside of work, or even my life before I started work, or let's face it, what they hell I am doing at work in the first place. One would think then that it would be easy to invent glamorous weekends away or fancy cocktail parties that I am attending with such regularity that I can't possibly take time out to go to a mere work function. But alas, my lying skills are just not up to scratch.
Perhaps I will get better at it in time? When I run out of mundane "family functions" to attend I might be bold enough to switch it up and say "Oh no I can't - I am going on a wine tour. Oh what a shame! We booked it ages ago! No I don't think I can change the date without losing my deposit". Or something else that sounds far more interesting than the sad fact that I would rather stay home watching crappy TV than hang out with people who clearly don't care for my company.
The funny thing is, I am actually much better at socialising than these awful work functions demonstrate. The awfulness lies in the company that I have to go with. If I went to the function on my own, I would have a brilliant time meeting new people and generally hobnobbing. But no, if I go with my colleagues, we all sit together in awkward silence while they laugh at and mock the other people there. It really is most uncomfortable. To my eye, when they point and mock, all I see are ordinary folk going about their business - eating, drinking, dancing and being merry. And I long to join them, because after all - they look like they're actually having quite a good time.
Once I did do that - I went and chatted and danced and carried on in a way that I thought was a perfectly enjoyable affair. Then I discovered at work the next day that I am the one to be mocked.
WTF?? I can't believe that anyone would take themselves that seriously that they can't relax and enjoy themselves. From that moment on, I vowed to avoid any future work functions, less I do something terrible like, oh, have a good time.
Pass me the remote.