OPA!

Work parties always make me nervous. Mingling with people I don’t know and trying not to look too much like a fool in front of Paul’s bosses. Nightmares of people scoffing at the frumpy housewife plague me, not that I picture myself that way or that I would ever choose in a million years to do something different with my life, I just fear the criticism and belittling of something I love so much.

Last night I drove to Paul’s work and picked him up to drive into Portland to his work party at the Greek Cusina. After the first of the awkwardness began to wear off I actually truly enjoyed myself. I love eating food from different cultures, and Greek food is something I have never had the pleasure of enjoying. I don’t remember the names of half the stuff I ate, but it was all incredibly delicious. The highlight of the evening came after dinner.

The owner, a Greek, addressed all of us and welcomed him to his restaurant. He proceeded to ask, “Now, what does Xenium mean? Because Xenos in Greek mean . . . ” and he proceeded in a thick accent to dissect the word for us. I nearly fell of my chair chuckling to myself as I had major flashbacks to one of my favorite movies, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”. At least he didn’t pull out the Windex. 🙂 However, after he had finished his dissections of Xenium, he called forth the men and taught them the steps to a classic Greek circle dance. It was a hoot watching Paul and all the others tear up the floor as they gradually went faster and faster around the dance floor. Then the owner stepped into the middle and did a fiery solo dance and proceeded to invite each guy into the middle of the circle to perform a solo. At the finish of each solo the owner poured a drink into their mouth. It was quite a riot, and fun to watch, though we are not drinkers of alcohol in any form or fashion, so Paul ducked out of that one. 🙂 When everyone (except my hubby) had done their solo dance and drink plates were handed all around and they were educated in the tradition of Greek plate smashing. With a resounding “OPA!” and crash plates smashed into the center of the circle.

Then it was our turn. The women came forward and we were taught a little circle dance, though quite different in style. When I dance with my husband, right and left isn’t a problem for me, but when I am in a circle dance or line dance, I can’t tell which is which. I was constantly messing up and when I actually got it right the girl beside me would get it mixed up. It didn’t help that my darling hubby was teasing me from the sidelines, “No! No! The other left!” Finally the owner, seeing that we were a hopeless cause had the girl teaching us stay in the center of the circle and he came and stood right in front of us. It was rather hilarious, and for the most part we actually got it. The coolest part of the dance was the foot stamping and the guys all clapping in the background. We then did a round of solo dances where the men joined in and we danced down the middle of two parallel lines of people. Then plates were passed out to all of the girls.

“OPA!” SMASH! There is something strangely exhilarating about throwing a plate and seeing it smash into a kazillion pieces. 🙂

The dance floor then opened up to dancing in general and Paul and I had some fun dancing about the floor before we had to go home. All in all, it was very enjoyable and not as uncomfortable as I had feared. We even one two free tickets to regal cinemas! 🙂 Woohoo! 🙂 Or should I say “OPA!!!”

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7 Comments

Filed under Every Day Life, Love and Marriage

7 responses to “OPA!

  1. I read the whole thing but I just can’t get over that you haven’t had Greek food before. No jyros? No souvlaki? No baclava?!?

    I’m glad you have, now. That sounds like a really fun time!

  2. OK, I have had baclava once, and I think I might have had a gyro, but I have never had such a varietry of Greek food before. Oh, and what is souvlaki exactly? I’m not sure if I’ve had it before or not. 🙂

  3. MMMMMM, Greek food! There is an excellent restaurant in Halifax, called Opa. You’re making me want to go there! Glad you enjoyed your first, real experience with Greek food. Smashing plates even, very fun!

  4. What a great way to get rid of some built up frustration from your kids:)! Smashing plates.

    I’ve never had Greek food .. I know, I know–I’ve led a somewhat sheltered life when it comes trying different cuisines. Sounds like fun, though!

  5. Yeah, I was having flashbacks to “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” too. I could completely identify with your feelings going into the work ‘do’. That’s what it’s always like for me, too. Luckily for you it went away and you had a good time.

  6. Julia, souvlaki is the most amazing thing — it’s a cheese plate that they put on fire right before serving it to you. They yell OPA! with souvlaki, too. oooooh, now I seriously need a trip to Detroit.

  7. Sounds like great fun! Our work party was this weekend too!

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