whine and cheese

Last night Craig hosted a wine and cheese get-together at his apartment. The invitation was for 6, and I was working late to finish a presentation that I had to deliver today, so it was 6:30 when I left the office (yes, that’s late for me these days… I’m making 50% of what I was as a dot-com CTO, but then I generally get to leave at 5pm, rather than 9, 10, 11 or even later–a trade-off I consider perfectly comfortable).
Even so, when I arrived, only Craig, his girlfriend Laura, and her roommates Nicole and Amy were there. Eventually the party got hopping, and there were a smattering of people I knew (mostly only vaguely, though) and some new people to meet; a good mix. I had a very nice time, and the wine was really great.
Craig had enlisted Terry, a guy I dated for a year back in 2000-2001, and who sells wine, to pick out the vintages. He also invited Terry to show up at the party. Terry and I parted on reasonably good terms–we had said we were just taking a “break,” and I thought we probably would get back together, but a month later he met someone else, and a month after that they moved in together. They’re still together, and seemingly well-suited, and I’m happy for them. I even got together with both of them a couple of times. But the last time Terry and I saw each other or spoke was just about a year ago, one day that he’d invited me over to a wine tasting at their place.
I’d left sad, which he thought was because of his new relationship, but which was due more to a combination of things going on at the time–primarily my unemployment and my dad’s very poor health–and neither of us contacted the other again.
It was really nice to see him last night, and we enjoyed catching up. We’ve agreed to talk again within a week.
I left feeling pretty good: the reunion with Terry had been sweet and positive, the conversation at the party had been interesting, I hadn’t felt out of place or wallflowery all night and, in fact, felt very comfortable socializing the entire four and a half to five hours I was there.
Once home, though, I crashed. I went into a dive, and became very despondent, and then scarfed down a whole pint of ice cream. Several of the people at the party work at the place from which I was laid off in 2001 and, though the fact that I was laid off wasn’t due to any gap in my own performance, or any flaw in my character, and wasn’t personal (although there were certainly ways in which the CEO was a complete bastard through it all and, apparently, has even gotten worse in his treatment of the employees), I still sometimes find myself slipping into a sense of having failed, in some way, when I’m around a group of people from there. Combined with a sense of having failed in the relationship with Terry as well, and having consumed at least six or seven glasses of wine, I was ripe for a tailspin.
Fortunately, Matt called and didn’t give up when I didn’t answer the phone the first time around, and he cheered me up considerably. Additionally, the wine was starting to make me too sleepy to be too self-indulgent or self-destructive, so I drank my water, took my aspirin, and fell into bed. Today/this evening I feel fine: I had a good, productive day at work, I did a great job on my presentation, and I don’t feel like a failure.