Earlier this evening, I went to Pius Langa's lecture at Rhodes House on the Constitutional Court's role in promoting the social contract and the future of socioeconomic rights. For someone who's really into South Africa, comparative constitutionalism, and law as a tool for social change, it was awesome. I don't go to nearly enough lectures at Oxford, which is a shame because I sort of suspect that crazy stuff like this is happening all the time. (Instead, I've been busy trying to figure out if I have life insurance, which is still up in the air. It appears that I have it for illness but not accidental death, which is unfortunate because if I die doing fieldwork, it'll almost certainly be accidental death. It's not my immune system that's the problem, it's my propensity for running into things.)
On the way back from the lecture, I realized that I could swing by the Turf for this guy's birthday party - but I didn't, for two reasons. One of them was pretty sensible. It's Trinity Term, and if I don't arbitrarily declare a couple of non-alcoholic nights, there are enough end-of-the-year parties and goodbye drinks and that I could easily drink a couple of glasses of wine every evening, which I'm getting dangerously close to doing. My body asked for the night off, so I obliged. And the other reason is my irrational fear of MBAs, who probably made up the majority of the party. They're like my social Kryptonite. It's something about how friendly and direct they are, which I respond to by panicking and freezing up completely. I can't help it, and my usual social awkwardness is unusually bad with MBAs in particular. Maybe it's because they make me realize that most of my default topics of conversation are wildly inappropriate in polite society, or maybe it's because I know that they'll be able to buy and sell me in about two to four years. Either way, I have a social anxiety disorder that's only triggered by MBAs, which is fine as long as nobody tells my (possibly non-existent) insurance provider.
Anyway, now I need to check if Blackwell's sells cards that wish someone a happy birthday and also subtly apologize for being afraid of them and their colleagues.