The quiet introspective ferret feels he has only been to two kinds of parties: those where people assess each other from behind smokescreens of shallow small talk and those where people get as drunk and as high as possible to avoid being aware of such assessment. Office / department parties tend to be a blend of the two, with clever coworkers staying sober so they can capitalize on the rare opportunity to interrogate / insult the drunkards or make time with someone normally uninterested in them. This is not misanthropy on the part of our gentle introspective ferret. He has simply learned that he likes individuals way more than groups.
Staying home is nearly always a better choice. It keeps our ferret from having to dwell on the loathsome behavior that inevitably comes out in people after a few hours of drinking and frustration. It’s way better not to see it, not to have to recall it, in those the ferret would prefer to otherwise respect. But if he must attend, our ferret prefers to bring his own non-alcoholic beverages and disappear after about 90 minutes of watching people force smiles and reposition themselves feverishly around a room. Also, having a palette-cleansing activity lined up, like a movie or some other distracting event, helps an introspective ferret shake off the bad vibes.
No one cares about what a ferret does at a party anyway. No cares that his drink is non-alcoholic. In fact, they probably don’t even notice. And no one really cares that he left after 90 minutes, unless they came to the party on a mission with the poor ferret in mind, in which case he should definitely scamper out with a quickness after no more than an hour and preferably by the back exit.
In the following days, the drama and innuendo about what happened between various drunkards at the party will become known. But our gentle ferret will be an innocent child of the earth, oblivious and free, a wild polecat in the grass amid the butterflies. For he will be able to tell the simple truth: “I’d already left when X-horrible-thing happened between Bleary Mule and Angry Snake. So I really have no idea.” And people will turn their boredom and obsessiveness on someone more entertaining—Squawking Rooster, perhaps.