The Law Firm Christmas party was yesterday, from 4:30 to 6:30. I opted out this year for a multitude of reasons, the two biggest being that I still feel like shit and I swear I’ve gained 15 pounds in the last month so I wanted to stay far, far away from temptation. Maybe if it was just a departmental Christmas party, I’d have gone, but it was for the entire Firm’s staff and I really didn’t think I could handle being around so many people when I’m having a hard enough time breathing when I’m alone in my office.
Carey tried to drag me up there, but I purposely wore my most casual clothes to work that day, after being reminded by the head of the department to remember to dress nicely, just so I wouldn’t be tempted. (You guys, I was wearing Converse flats, even. No one was going to make me back down!)
From what I remember about the one I went to two years ago (I was off the week of last year’s party), it was the stuffiest work Christmas party I have ever attended, when you consider that the first four years of my work life, I worked for super mean Jewish brothers who refused to give us a party, and the second-longest job I had was working in a dirty, gray basement of a building doing data processing from 4pm-midnight. (I didn’t work long enough anywhere else to go to any work functions, haha.)
But at the Law Firm, their party is up on the 28th floor in the reception area, which is akin to somewhere the Dietz’s from Beetlejuice would have a cocktail party. It is pretty fancy, when you consider that this is just the staff Christmas party — the attorneys get their own rager. It’s dimly lit up in there, the booze is free-flowing, hors d’oeuvres abound, and everyone separates into their little cliques. I didn’t have as many work friends then, and only one of them was at the party; I just remember standing there awkwardly, feeling completely out of place and uncomfortable, and making up an excuse to go back to work.
I have no doubt that this year’s would have been better. But I was just exhausted and the opposite of merry. Besides, I can still barely taste anything! So talk about empty calories. Anyway, it got me thinking about the office Christmas party at the place I worked at with Tina and Eleanore (shit, I miss typing those names), so I found the post I wrote about it from 2007.
It is almost insane how different my job-life is now. Better in almost every way, but sometimes I miss the simplicity (and ignorance) of the Tina and Eleanore Company. I think mostly I just miss wearing jeans and not actually doing work.
MSA CHRISTMAS PARTY, 2007
- spiked egg nog,
- exotic cheeses,
- Santa with a hard-on,
- shiny door prizes like panini presses and a magic wand for can-opening ease,
- a chocolate fountain centered around an array of fresh fruit and lady fingers in scandelous poses?
Not our department holiday party.
No, we got cold cuts drowning in a mucous-like moat, cheese slices that needed the aid of Freddy Krueger’s nails to be surgically removed from each other, a bowl of frozen fruit slices, and a giant sheet cake that had nauseating pink flowers piped precariously around the perimeter. (I deduced at once that it was going to be an offensive supermarket bakery cake, so I walked past it with my nose in the air.) We got scratch off tickets and Tina’s hair collar and a platter of bland cookies that were at least moist and not stale like I had initially suspected.
The cheese lasagna was a real treat, though.
1. A dayshifter who sits next to me. I rue the days she works late because she laughs like an engorged elephant cock is lodged in her throat and she’s trying to summon her inner Vesuvius to phlegm it back up. She handles a runny nose like your typical Teamster: loud, wet and crackly, like a bowl of exploding Rice Krispies is draining down her throat. She’s nice though.
2. Hey Tina, ever since you switched to the day shift, something really confusing and alarming has arrested me: I think I like you. Not in a ‘Hey, let’s go French in a bathroom stall’ kind of way, but in a ‘You’re over here talking to me yet I have no urge to inflict any bodily damage.’ But no, I’m not sad that I wasn’t sitting at your table. And while I imagine playing games with a bullyishly dominate personality such as your own is a dream come true for some (like perhaps a tribe of indigents who have never played games before) I’m not jealous that your table was playing Taboo, as rousing and scintillating as it sounded.
3. Big Bob. He stole Collin’s Hot Pockets and made him cry.
4. Non-Big Bob’s plate of meat goods were a little too close to me. I felt violated and kept imagining someone gagging me with that slab of ham.
I was happy to be seated at a table of socially capable people — Lindsay, Bill, Brandie, and (Non-Big) Bob. However, we were joined by Stanley. I am fortunate to not have to deal with him because he works during the day and sits over by Bill and Lindsay. He has no filter, kind of like a child, and random strings of rudeness spray from his mouth in fairly consistent intervals. When we were walking up to the Mezzanine, one of the more heavy and elderly employees was up ahead, taking each step with deliberate slowness. Stanley yelled up, “Hey, Donna, we need to get you an escalator.” Someone behind him called him on his rudeness, only making him justify himself. “What? It’s true! Donna needs an escalator!” If I had to deal with that brand of idiocy for eight hours a day, one of us would have lost our job by now.
Stanley spent a good fifteen minutes diligently rubbing off five scratch off tickets, and even after inspecting them closely above his head, he still found reasonable cause to have Lindsay double-check. I took a picture of his crotch from under the table. Sadly, no boners arose from the rub-off frenzy.
And Bob, poor Bob; he stared off into the distance most of the time, mourning his other half’s absence. (Collin called off.) He seemed lost in thought, and I wondered if he was thinking about all the nights he and Collin spent playing their little celebrity chain game to pass the time while braiding daisy chain crowns for each other’s heads.
One of the games everyone (and by everyone I mean the Daytime Clique) was playing consisted of taping the name of a celebrity to each player’s back, and then everyone had to take turns asking a question to find out who they were. I told Bob it would be a good game for him and Collin to play and he lit up. “You’re right! I didn’t even make that connection!” Then he smiled to himself for awhile, probably rewinding the Collin-montage in his head.
Bill spoke of foreign-sounding things for awhile before I realized he was speaking in baking-tongue, while Lindsay smiled at me like an adoring fan and laughed at all of my antics, like when I took a picture of this guy who I have never seen before in my life, but supposedly he’s part of our department and works upstairs (if you want to take Bill’s word for it) and then ten minutes later I blurted out, “Oh shit, I think I made myself have a crush on that guy!” Lindsay giggled. In my head, I dubbed her my new work BFF. I’m not sure who the old one was. Bill perhaps, even though working opposing shifts has really driven a wrench in our rapport.
He doesn’t even bring me brownies anymore. I bet he brings some for Tina, in tiny baskets lined with rich Italian linen. Well, they can have each other.
Kim approached our table and asked why we weren’t playing games. Maybe it was just me, but I thought it was pretty obvious that our table was way too cool for parlor games, at least the ones that didn’t involve heavy betting and liquor. “We’re playing our own game,” I said. “It’s where everyone tells me how cool I am.” I smirked appropriately and Kim acted like she was about to be sick.
Since I pitched in a devastating twenty dollars to this elitist shindig, I gave myself a goal of “eat more than you paid for,” but the party started at 11AM and I just really wasn’t hungry. So in the end, I probably only ate $5 worth, which jacks me right off. (However, later on that evening, I had a piece of leftover lasagna for dinner. This is how it was made possible: ”Tina, you know how you’re always looking for a reason to leave your desk?” Tina looks at me, slightly frightened, before cautiously saying, “……yes?” I jump in for the kill. “Will you get me lasagna?” What? I didn’t want to lift that big pan-y thing out of the fridge! So Tina did. And it was decent.)
Then it was time to go back to work. Most people offered to help clean up, but I just got up and left.