We are on the outside while the party is being prepared inside. We are on the outside with our gifts, the ones we had brought for the party. We are on the outside holding the bottle of champagne watching everyone fuss about the decorations. “Yes,” they said, “there is a chance that we may let you come in.” But it won’t be the same now, will it? That bitter taste in the mouth ... Even if we are invited in, it won’t be the same. “Don’t fret about it,” they say. We nod. “Next year,” they say. We nod and echo “next year.” Or perhaps next year, we’ll be shoved to the “looked ok but we didn't have room for” pile again. And then, will it be the year after that? And the thing is, we have worked so hard this year, tirelessly letting everyone know there would be a party, enthusiastically preparing our own decorations and gifts. Now, we cannot but wonder. Had we kept shut… We shake these thoughts away. Well, the party will take place. We can go in and visit around, of course. We can even talk to the people. We may even still be able to bring our decorations in. But, who likes to be a second choice? Who can be a good sport and press on merrily as if nothing had happened? In reality, we will always be on the outside while the party takes place inside.