Tonight was a work colleague's birthday so we had arranged to meet for food and drinks. The venue was not far from where I live so that was good at least. We were to meet at the restaurant/bar at 7pm which was, as someone with Asperger Syndrome (AS), the first problem. To me "meeting at 7pm" means meeting at 7pm. It's not hard, is it? Apparently so. Cue me waiting for a while for anyone else to turn up.
There were current work mates, past work mates and my colleague's own friends all there and I obviously got on with my own work mates better as I knew them. Some of my colleague's friends attempted to start a conversation but it didn't go well and things quickly ran dry. I actually spent most of my time talking with an ex-colleague of mine who is the opposite of who I would normally enjoy the company of. He is social and likes sport. However I think he is drawn to me as I am very candid in my views and he is quite the man's man. He knows he can talk to me about things most people would take offence at, let alone agree with. He knows no joke is too offensive to tell me, too off colour. My AS gives me an ability to see everything at face value and I call a spade a spade.
Funnily enough the guy that tried to talk to me also tried to spark a conversation with this ex- colleague and the two got on like a house on fire. I guess it's just me. By this point things were too loud and I was getting overload, people were talking but I couldn't hear, I couldn't differentiate one conversation from another. A wall of noise was forming.
After the initial venue a second one was agreed and I went there almost right away, but the others were some time behind. When they did turn up they were all firmly entrenched in their cliques, I was all but forgotten. My colleagues and this guy's own friends all lost in conversation with each other. Shock horror, I was nothing to do with it. People whose company I enjoy and want to spend time with outside of the office were all too busy with bonds they had formed in my absence. So I just went off home and no-one probably even noticed I had gone. I'm sure on Monday I'll hear all about the various pubs they went to, what club they ended up in, and what a great time they all had.