After a period of unexpected, uncharacteristic and unwanted booze-induced anxiety, it's wonderful to be back in the game of drinking and socializing without embarrassment. Basically, I used a lot of affirmations to get myself over that downer of a hump and also to regulate what I'll be drinking. "God guides me blah blah blah."
So I end up with the bunch I do the website for (no, I'm not telling; my stuff isn't their stuff), and at Bergen's swankiest private restaurant. You know you'll be met by a butler, 'scuse me, Butler, I mean, I got out of the taxi, lost track of which door was which, figured out to aim for the one on the right and 3/4 seconds later a man in a tailored black suit with a badge on it opened said door, bowed me in, and informed me that my party was upstairs. As I arrived at the top of the stairs, same Butler offered "sparkling wine or..." (hey, how'd he get there before me?) and I replied as cultivated as I could, "yes, sparkling would be very nice right now". I was in the mood. Then I followed the voices to the lounge where my "party" was.
One delicious three-course meal with equally delicious wines later, with all of Bergen spread out below us, we were back in the lounge for "café avec" (nothing like a menu that reads "coffee avec and beverage"). This place serves Cognac, not brandy. I remember one time I ordered cognac and was asked which of their five-star choices I would require... Like I'd know the difference. Not this time, fortunately, so I had two, and they suited my palate quite well.
I was complimented first by my taxi driver ("Had I known such a lovely lady was waiting, I'd have been here sooner."), then by my host during his dinner speech for doing the web site, and later by some of the others. I did have enough humility to feel a bit embarrassed, then decided to just accept it, drink it up, enjoy it, and thank everyone for being so nice. Fire signs can do that, since they are the most prone to accept compliments and the least prone to think said compliments are undeserved. ;-)
Seriously, it was lovely to just set any embarrassment aside, let myself accept that someone else truly thought I was doing an excellent job (the customer's pleased and that's all that matters, not my own perfectionism), and also realize that they don't see me in person that often, so here was their chance to make a fuss.
Three hours of heaven. And just enough ego to enjoy it. :-)