Every Monday night at my college, we have formal dinner. The night typically goes something like this:
5.30: I arrive home from my internship, open the door to my room, sigh exasperatedly and announce to my roommate “Can you BELIEVE we have formal dinner AGAIN?”
5.55: My roommate and I look at each other, sigh, grab our academic gowns and head to the dining room
5.56: On way to dining room, I pretend I am in Harry Potter with my robes billowing behind me
5.57: Arrive in dining room. Have difficult task of choosing where to sit.
6.00: Make decision, sit down, immediately eat bread roll. Highlight of formal dinner.
6.01: Complain that roll is gone, and formal dinner has not yet begun. Continue complaining until something happens.
6.15: High Table come in. Everyone declares “FINALLY” under their breath
6.17: Speech from principal of college congratulating everyone who has achieved in the previous week. Never anyone on my table, we take turns guessing what’s for dinner
6.25: Food begins arriving, beginning at High Table. We realise we have sat near back of dining hall, and therefore will get food last. Begin to hate ourselves.
6.26: Decide that life would be easier if we were at Hogwarts. List everything that would be easier if formal dinner involved magic.
6.40: Finally get dinner. Usually complain upon seeing it, but then are grateful when we see vegetarian option.
6.41: Loudly declare to table “Have you seen Hannibal? What do you reckon people would taste like?” (No? Just me then? Okay.)
6.55: Plates are collected and we eagerly await dessert. Pray it will be warm chocolate brownie with cream and not rice cups.
7.00: Dessert begins arriving. As this happens, the guest speaker is introduced. This is an integral moment, as a good guest speaker (such as old lady who brought room to tears) can make a formal dinner, or a bad guest speaker (such as the week we had the project managers from our construction explain their designs for half an hour) can ruin it.
7.10: Eat dessert.
7.15: Begin watching clock. Wonder how much longer the speech will go for. Think longingly of internet and bed.
7.30: Guest speaker wraps up. You can feel the relief in the room.
7.32: We recite our college pledge. Again wish we were at Hogwarts and that we had a song.
7.35: High table leaves. Everyone prepares to bolt. A crush of people rushes to the door.
7.36: The name of the game is sneak up the stairs before someone sees you and makes you go to after dinner entertainment. I am always successful.
7.40: Take off gown, hang it up for another week, sigh with relief.
Just picture a red and white themed dining hall and copious amounts of orange juice, and it’s almost like you were there with me.
frangipani princess xoxo