I attended my office Christmas party this past week. As it often happens with these parties, it’s the kind of event that you either look forward to and spend a copious amount of time prepping for, or the kind of event you blow off in favor of anything else, even if it’s sitting at home, on the couch, alone, watching the paint dry.
This year, when I saw my boss post the notice for the annual office Christmas party, I was planning on blowing it off. As a general rule, I’d rather chew off my own arm than attend one of these dreadful gatherings. Besides, I don’t even know half the people I work with. I work at a massive department store, and half the people who work there are just trying to get by while remaining as anonymous as possible. That’s why the service always sucks. And the people that I do know, I have no interest in partying with, especially over a holiday I hate!
This year was different. These awkward social gatherings also provide great opportunities to get plastered stupid on the bosses’ tab. When you’re a student, you don’t pass up on that kind of opportunity. And frankly, after breaking up with Cindy, I definitely was in need of some bottle nurturing. So I called up my buddy and bribed him to come with me with a promise of future beers and pizza on me.
Here’s where this festive occasion takes a sour turn…
There was no liquor at this party. There was about fifty of us, all gathered awkwardly in a community hall listening to Boney M.’s Christmas album. We sat at tables that were all decked out in tinsel and other crap. If you thought your first school dance was awkward, you clearly were not at this “party”.
And instead of liquor, the boss set out a spread of baked goods, some hot chocolate, apple cider, and an awkwardly obvious Costco cake. You know, the black forest cake that you see at Aunt Hilda’s along with the gallon of No Name vanilla ice cream. The spread was definitely child friendly. Even though there were no children present.
So there we were, my buddy and I, drinking hot chocolate, watching my boss try and make the crowd participate in awkward team building festive games. If I could imagine a Hell, I’m pretty sure it would look like this party. The only game we took part in was the gingerbread house building competition. Ours didn’t win. Probably because we turned ours into a boat. Screw the house! Everyone wants to be on a boat! At least we got to take it home.
We decided to ditch the party early, then tried and failed to catch a cab. So we walked to the nearest liquor store with our boat, then strolled home and got slowly shit-faced on our own dime.
Did I mention I hate Christmas?