We had ours the other night. The next day no one talked about the lovely lounge we all went to at 4pm. Or the delicious mini grilled cheese sandwiches that were passed. Or the Irish pub many of us went to after the official merriment was over. Or the generous open bar at the afterparty. Or the karaoke that some did late nite. Or the private singing room that was reserved for the group.
All anyone talked -- actually no, whispered -- about the next day was the girl who overindulged. Let's call her Courvoisier. Inappropriate grinding on all male co-workers? On Dancer! Hysterical crying in the ladies room? On Cupid! Heated argument with a cube-mate? On Dasher! So drunk that the bar wouldn't allow her to come in? On Blitzen!
Want to avoid going down in history like this chick? If you're lucky enough to a) still have a job, and b) work for a company that still has holiday parties, read on.
The words "office party" might be the ultimate oxymoron. This is NO time to relax. Your attendance is not really optional. It's a minefield. You must stay vigilant. Here's a survival guide:
Mama's in Her Kerchief, and I'm in My Cap
No Hanukkah hairy chests, no Christmas cleavage, no Kwanzaa belly buttons, and absolutely no Festivus ass cheeks peeking out from under a miniskirt. We're not at the beach -- cover up people! Skimpy clothes are unpredictable. Wear them and you may forever be known as the woman who accidentally flashed a boob at the party.
The Three Words That Best Describe You Are as Follows, and I Quote, "Stink, Stank, Stunk!"
While we're at it, don't load up on cologne or perfume in the spirit of being "festive." Nobody wants to taste Drakkar Noir with their tuna tartare.
He'll Say, "Are You Married?" We'll Say, "No Man!"
If you're not invited with a guest, don't bring one -- even if you're married and everyone at the office knows your spouse. If you're not married, but can bring a guest, make sure it's not an escort. Your +1 could trade up during the night, and that's just embarrassing.
Frosty the Snowman Was a Jolly Happy Soul
So what's your problem? There's no crying in office parties! Similarly, there's no complaining about your job while consuming food and drink on the company's dime. Now is NOT the time to openly wish that the chocolate fountain budget be spent on Post-Its because you've been writing on your arm for the past month. The Grinch was as cuddly as a cactus and as charming as an eel, not you! Pretend you're enjoying yourself.
Said the Shepard Boy to the Mighty King, Do You Know What I Know?
Limit all conversations with acquaintances and supervisors to 5 minutes so you don't accidentally spill the beans that you found your manager's updated resume in the printer, or that the guy in the office next door drops a deuce every morning at 11 like clockwork. Learn to keep a secret.
Hang a Shining Star Upon the Highest Bough
"But enough about me, let's talk about you -- what do YOU think of ME?" Self-centered conversations are boring. Bragging is worse. So if you're telling the mailroom guy who's shoving chicken wings in his pockets (ill-advised, btw) that you're trying to decide between a holiday break in St. Barts or Gstaad, you need to pipe down. Try talking about the weather. Here. And find that poor guy some Tupperware -- hot sauce stains, ya know!
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Had a Very Shiny Nose
Take your age and divide by 10. That's the max number of drinks you should have over the course of the evening. Plus eat beforehand and drink water in-between (nobody can tell the difference between a selzer with a twist of lime and a vodka tonic). And yes, that means that the 70-year-old office fossil will be toasted like a chestnut by night's end, but he may not make it to next year's party so just make sure he gets home safe. For everyone else, once your nose starts glowing like ol'Rudy's it's time to step away from the bar, Sparkey.
And Laying a Finger Aside of His Nose, Then Giving a Nod Up the Chimney He Rose
Now, take your age and multiply by 0. That's the max number of drugs you should do over the course of the evening. For those not in accounting, this means say no to drugs. (For those IN accounting, you could probably stand to loosen up, so still say no here, but go ahead and have an extra drink.) If you EVER think office party drugs are a good idea, the fluorescent lighting has most certainly fried your brain. Just like that egg. Any questions?
Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
Don't Xerox your ass. Don't curse like a sailor. Don't spill your drink on anyone. Don't eat like it's your last meal. Don't double dip. Don't throw up. Don't piss your pants. Don't put your underwear on your head. Don't trip and knock your teeth out. Don't break anything at all. In general, don't show up for work the next day looking like Grandma.
Now the Jingle Hop Has Begun
Save the pole for the professionals. Dancing with co-workers should be a lot like dancing at a Catholic middle school prom. No touching below the shoulders and leave room for the Holy Ghost.
We're Snuggled Up Together Like Two Birds of a Feather Would Be
Mistletoe is like office party kryptonite. You'd be better off caught eating it than kissing under it. And don't forget most offices have security cameras. Suddenly a rendezvous in the stairway seems much less romantic if it's being watched by a guy named Moe (unless you're into that sort of thing, in which case, do yourself a favor and call in sick the day of the party -- you can't be trusted around an open bar).
It Doesn't Show Signs of Stopping
This one's easy. Go home. At a reasonable hour. Alone.
I think you get the idea. Now's NOT the time to make an impression or to have fun. Just fly below the radar and you'll be alright. Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
Anonymously share YOUR office party faux pas below...
tags: holidays, work
Year NINE of this nutty blog. Can you believe it? Neither can I. This is officially my longest relationship. And yes, I am fully aware of all the things wrong with that statement.
Jenny From The 'Brook
(2008) While I wouldn't change anything about the 3 years I spent at home helping care for my sick mom (she's better now!), my social life was definitely on ice. Frozen tundra, actually. In the time that I was away, most of my friends found a husband and have pumped out a kid (or 2 or 3). I, having neither, have got some catching up to do. So, this blog is a place for my random thoughts about the city, pop culture, dating, food, travel, entertainment, and anything else that comes to mind as I make my new life. Oh, and I'm also a closet writer, so I may throw a few snippets in from my as-yet unpublished novel...just for kicks. PS: I still heart my hometown, Pine Brook (aka Montville), NJ -- Money Magazine's 13th best place to live in the US!
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