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The Most Awkward Dinner Party Of All Time

In Language, Pronoia by Amanda Tan

“How the hell am I supposed to make this happen?” Dana asks me as we take a last smoke outside Kyo. KiNK and Kaye are electric on the decks tonight but it’s 2:30am and we thought we might as well haul ass home before the night gets dreary. But not before figuring out dinner plans for Tuesday.

“Okay, let me just list who is coming.”

She proceeds to open notepad on her iPhone and type out names.

“No, but this one… cannot cos of…” she points at a name.

“Yeah, he can’t come if she comes and if he comes…” Dana grimaces and pulls out her hair. A couple of familiar faces step out of Kyo and join us. I snigger to myself thinking; if they came, it’d be pretty bad too.

Singapore is small. And when you’re into the same music, same art and same general shit, it becomes that much smaller.

I’m sure this applies to all kinds of cliques. I have clean cut rock climber friends with the same issues, hip hop dancer friends with the same exes. Want to talk about a real Singapore dilemma? How about the fact that most of us have already met the people with the same interests as us, and everyone’s already dated everyone. Maybe that’s why our birth rate is crap.

“Right, and Oh Em Gee, this is so stressful, I should just seat all exes and enemies beside each other and watch the whole thing go to shit,” Dana jokes as she takes a long drag.

That got me thinking, what if, we really did put all our baggage, and by baggage, I mean human baggage, in the same dining hall for the most uncomfortable dinner party of all time? An intentional implosion of drama and facing ugly truths of the incestuous pool of our Singaporean inter-dating scene. And why should Dana, who’s made the effort to not get involved in any drama, suffer the consequences of our inability to stop shitting in our own backyards?

Want to talk about a real Singapore dilemma? How about the fact that most of us have already met the people with the same interests as us, and everyone’s already dated everyone.
“You should do place cards of our names, seat everyone exactly where things would go awry the most quickly,” I added. She laughs hysterically and proceeds to tweet this proposed scenario. A polite nod to the rest of the group, half of whom our lives have already intertwined dangerously with, and we hop into a cab.

On the ride home, I think about how this dinner would unfold. I would reckon it would be a series of uncomfortable silences in between slurpings of 63 degree sous vide eggs. Everyone would be politely complimenting Dana on her good choice of restaurant. Nemeses would be going on intermittent smoke breaks to avoid their allocated seat and eventually reshuffling around to opposite sides of the table so there’s a gaping hole of heartbreak plonked in between portions of truffle fries.

Someone will get antsy and order a bottle of wine, some beers and before you know it, the drinking has begun. And that’s probably when things get a little dark. There are the infamous angry drunks, more often than not, the boys. Bottles will be thrown around like sad confetti and someone will cut themselves or step on a bowl of fallen nachos, leaving gooey foot steps of a stained brazilian flag of yellow cheese, green gaucamole, white sour cream and blood. People will make early exits and groups will disperse into dark corners, eye-rolling and whispers. There might even be a long overdue argument, that will get swept under the carpet, to die a long, horrible death.

Nemeses would be going on intermittent smoke breaks to avoid their allocated seat and eventually reshuffling around to opposite sides of the table so there’s a gaping hole of heartbreak plonked in between portions of truffle fries.
All while the few at the table giggle nonchalantly as if this isn’t odd at all. It’s the best party ever. Everyone feels connected through mutual bullshit and drama. You’re a part of the wretchedness and you feel both dirty and involved.

Suddenly, dozens will ghost and there are 4 or 5 left drinking and eating leftover crumbs. Wondering where to go next.

“Where’d everybody go?” someone would exclaim.

Probably to kill themselves whilst listening to Apparat. Or at the least, drunk text foolishly… whilst listening to Apparat.

After thinking up this enchanting scenario in the cab ride home, Dana and I got to talking in the days after that.

“This is why people date outside the circle, and you see your ex with someone who has landed on the windshield like a bug, from practically no where, and everyone is like… Who the fuck you? But at the same time, makes sense…” she says.

“But really, who the fuck?”

“I know right.”

I feel like turning the windshield wipers on for a second. I actually like this inner circle. It’s like some dysfunctional family I can’t seem to marry myself out of.

But it’s probably healthier and smarter to do so. Damn, life is hard.

Featured Image Credit: Liz Devine Photography

About the Author
Amanda Tan

Amanda Tan

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Amanda Tan is a filmmaker, VJ, writer and artist based in Singapore. Amanda is currently the director of Empyreal, a creative company specialising in film production, live visuals, and content creation. Amanda writes mostly the ratchet things that appear on Psymbiosis.

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