The starvation party


Photo for illustration purposes only.

We were invited to an engagement party by my husband’s colleague. An engagement party, I asked him with a tinge of disbelief. He must have got it wrong. Maybe his work colleague was getting married and he missed the point but he came home with the invitation card that says “Engagement party”. I haven’t heard of an engagement party before – I didn’t have one. Wedding party, yes but I had no idea some couples would host an engagement party to announce, of course, their engagement and make known to public that they’ll be getting married in a few months.

So we went to the venue, at 7 pm sharp because we have a Japanese in tow. M, my husband is always on time. A few minutes later, our German friend and his wife came. They’re on time too. By the way, the couple who hosted the engagement party are Filipino (bride to be) and Indian (groom to be).

We didn’t know what to expect and I admit I was a little excited but the table around us were still empty even at 8:30 pm. The guests started to arrive and fill up the room only by 9pm. Then there were alcohol, some finger food and lots of dancing (there was a live band).

There was no hint of dinner to be served even at 9:30 pm! And our group ran out of interesting stories to tell after sitting there for two and a half hours.

But the people didn’t seem to think it wasn’t normal. They were there, dancing, talking and feeling and looking ok. Pristine was feeling hungry already (Jesus, even I was!). My mom brought some packed food for her so she survived. My head was aching with the music combined with an empty stomach filled with vodka cocktail (don’t ask). By 10 pm, I tugged the waiter who served the wedding cake and asked him bluntly, “Buddy, will there ever be a dinner tonight!?”

“Yes, madame, of course, dinner will be served at 11 pm.”


That was it. For the first time in years, in a party, I wanted to cry. For food. Go, laugh. Ha.ha.ha.

Our group decided we’ll all go home so we gathered our things and bid the newly engaged couple good bye. They said dinner will be served “soon”. Oh yeah? If they’ll even stick to the 11pm schedule! What if the “11pm” part was just a rumor? The party started at 9pm when it was written 7pm, how will I know dinner will be served “soon”, or at least before I explode into a wolf and eat them all?

The groom’s father, with a worried look on his face came to us and said, “leaving already? but you haven’t danced yet!”

Later I learned that parties in this side of the world are like that – guests arrive late and mostly, already taken their dinner at home. So that’s what all the smiles and dancing was all about. Hah! Never again.


  1. shocks! i didn’t know that that is how things are done here. good thing you asked. i would leave sooner than you did.

    i have heard of engagement party from roc-roc. she had one too. they are to exchange some gifts symbolizing some things during this party.
    .-= rose´s last blog ..taste-testing without permission =-.



  2. Hi there!
    Engagement parties are pretty common here, as are bridal showers, bachelor and bachelorette parties, etc. If a party starts at 7, I wouldn’t have expected a meal…just finger food and alcohol…Next time make sure you eat before!
    11pm is quite late for supper, but I’ve done it before 😉



  3. Oy! That’s awful! I have heard of an engagement party, but usually it’s just a family event… and I’ve never been to one!
    I know in the Hispanic culture they do their big partying really late at night and dinner often isn’t until 10pm… but that’s kind of expected! So sorry you didn’t know!
    .-= Krista´s last blog ..Book: The Christmas Glass =-.



  4. Engagement parties are very common here in the US; they run the gamut from formal to very informal. Hubby and I didn’t have one since we were on a tight budget, and most of my friends didn’t have one, but it’s not uncommon at all. In the mid-20th century, it was actually the norm, and the couple was showered with monetary gifts. Usually, though, the time table is pretty set, and food is ALWAYS served in some form or other (finger food or full dinner) ON TIME. *smile*
    .-= Desert Songbird´s last blog ..Cheap Trick… =-.



  5. I have never heard of dinner being served so late-Usually it’s like the first thing! I don’t blame you guys for wanting to leave. I would have bribed one of the waiters to bring me something edible. Lol



  6. That is the most bizarre thing ever! Especially since you had Pristine with you. Here an engagement party might be just for cocktails, but that would be explicit on the invitation. Since it was a dinner party, the dinner should have been served early on.
    .-= Maribeth´s last blog ..Tis The Season! =-.



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