Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Another Tradition... Going, Going, Gone ?

One of my first experiences with Mexican traditions was with friend, who happen to be a Mexican businessman. Every Friday a group of friends would get together for what he called "Social Friday". Let me tell you what "Social Friday" was about.

A group (3-7) of friends (all men) would get together around noon every Friday. The lunch would start out with a cocktail or a shot of their favorite libation. There would be the usual, bringing all up to speed banter and boasting of the past weeks triumphs and tribulations.

There was no hurry to order since all already knew ahead of time that the lunch would last for several hours.

The menus would be presented after a drink or two, the orders would be placed. A bottle of a wine would be ordered. It always seemed that more talk and piquant discussions would be better inspired with a second bottle.

It was usually about the 2nd bottle that the food would be served. Most of the time the discussion would then turn to critiquing the appearance or personalities of the buxom staff at that particular restaurant but only, if it was deemed appropriate. (Yours truly, never participated in that part)

The discussions would continue until all important present and future issues would be discussed. That almost always required another, after meal "one for the road" drink.

So far we are looking at about 2 to 3 hours of important debates. It was around 3 o'clock that one or two of the participants had to leave to either make an appearance at the office or plan for the weekend.

The remaining few, had a more important mission.

Find another location to move the party to.......

A change of venue so to speak, new faces to ogle, tease or flirt to.

Sometimes there would be the requirement to look for new locations where some of the single members and some of the wanting to be single members would look for companionship of a change of gender.

Most of the time , that would leave one or two topics in which to fuel the beginning stories at next Fridays lunch meeting. And the whole chain of events would repeat itself.

Somehow times were easier then, one for the road was not punishable by instant scorn and insurance premium explosions. There was more casual acceptance of the "three martini "lunch. That was before you could no longer deduct lunches for business expenses.

There also seemed to be less drunk driving accidents, or maybe the bumpers where made of more steel and less plastic than they are now.......who knows.

I'm glad that was a long time ago, but Mexico still had the Friday scene a few years ago..... Now I see it less and less when we are visit the big cities like Morelia, Guadalajara or Mexico City.

The long Mexican business lunch, a tequila-fueled food orgy that could last past sundown, is on the demise nowadays as a new generation of clean-living executives cuts back on costs and time wasting.

Several times when I was in Mexico City (1990's) the afternoons were unproductive because of the habit where herds of key people would spend entire afternoons for hours massaging business relationships, many times wondering how some of those participants would make it home that night.

A lot of the times we would still have to continue our real business the next week....

No comments: