I went out for drinks after work today after all of us had ‘suffered through’ the usual type of Monday, and one of us mentioned the Oktoberfest in Munich. I said something along the lines of, “That’s my idea of hell”.
Meaning: Thousands of blind drunk people thinking to themselves that drinking insane amounts of alcohol for equally insane amounts of cash, and behaving like complete nincompoops for a few days is a worthwhile state of being and/or that there’s no tomorrow, vomiting one minute to drink more the next, some getting violent, some groping any woman that happens to walk by, quite a few ending up in hospital… Every corner filled with a wide variety of body fluids… A colourful celebration of all the basest instincts of humankind in one huge, senseless and mindless crowd. In one word: hell.
I didn’t say all of this in quite this much detail.
He replied with the question, “What’s your idea of heaven then?”
Well. I didn’t get the chance to think about it at the time, the conversation went on elsewhere, but I it would probably be someplace very much like this…
A small table of a few welcoming friends who are happy to be with me. Being with those I love and trust, and who love and trust me. Warmth, kindness, gentleness – far removed from drunk crowds. Much quieter, much softer. Home. Family. Belonging. Communion, really. Being present to each other and with each other. Able to listen and to love.
I know. Way too serious a thought, given where the conversation started. And yet. It describes who I am.
That doesn’t mean I don’t like a party sometimes, or a drink – but I enjoy it so much more with only a few friends than I would in a large crowd. And I never enjoy being so drunk I don’t know what I say or do anymore, and neither do I enjoy seeing friends in that state. It doesn’t help my regard for them if I do.
I think sometimes I’m rather a Victorian… Or some character in Jane Austen, with expectations and idealism rather too high for my own good… Or just an INFJ, I guess.