The company Christmas party is tomorrow, and there are a
whole lot of things that could follow that comma. Such as: I am looking forward
to it, because I like to dress up! Or: It should be pretty cool, because it’s
an open bar and a nice dinner and everything will be so sparkly! But mostly: I
am dreading it, because it’s 400 co-workers making co-workery small talk
over really loud music, and: I would rather die than go because it will be full
of insanely hot blonde coworkers in tiny cocktail dresses screaming drunk
through the nightclub, and the simultaneous hit of total envy and utter disgust
may explode my brain.
I’ve got a little black dress, which I picked up at H&M,
it turns out I already own shoes that’ll go just fine and not tip me over backwards
when I try to walk in them, I think I’ve figured out something to do with my
weird mop of hair, and who doesn’t welcome an excuse to get a manicure and
pedicure? Well, people who don’t like to get manicures and pedicures, I guess.
Also, communists. I am set, physically,
but psychologically, I’m having some problems, here. Please, pause for a moment
to enjoy the myriad of funny jokes to be made at my expense after that remark.
There is no real reason to be stressing thisâ€”tomorrow is
going to be a practically work-less day. We’ve got lunch in the afternoon, a
two-hour company meeting with tea and cookies, and then they’re setting us free
to go get pretty. Then we wander back four hours later looking heartbreakingly
gorgeous and totally sparkly, and drink free drinks and eat free hors d’oeuvres
and enjoy humorous video clips about the agency, comprised of equal parts
wacky, slightly risquÃ© skits and unabashed horn-blowing. Then, there’s more
drinks, then, there’s dinner, then there’s taking the cab money that was
passed out to us yesterday (for serious) and getting chauffeured home, looking
a little ridden rough, just begging to be put away wet. What’s not to like?
I am trying really hard not to get all pathetic and mournful
and make sad little honking noises about being oh so terribly lonely in a crowd
of 400 people butâ€”the idea of being alone in a crowd of 400 people is filling me with a very special kind of dread that is very, very hard
to shake. I know peopleâ€”I do love my immediate department, and some of the
project managers we work with are the definition of totally awesome, and they
are people I’d like to have drinks and gossip with, but I am coming over
all-a-sudden shy. No one will want to talk to me, I am thinking. They all like each
other more than me, I am convinced. I will try very hard to be charming, and
they will just think I’m kind of weird and sad, and smile at me vaguely before
continuing their own conversations, and then I will blurt something out that
will come out entirely and spectacularly not at all what I meant to say and in
fact, totally awful and humiliatingly stupid, and then I will be close to tears
and stammering while I try to explain myself and everyone will be more and more
irritated and then set me on fire and throw me out into the snow to be eaten by
The short version: It
will be like every day ending in â€“y. The slightly longer version: I will be the
spazzy, social fucking retard I am every day, and a party doesn’t change that,
and there is no special dispensation from the Pope to change that, which makes
me very, very cross.
So I’m having anxiety about a party for a job that I am
leaving in 5 or 6 weeks, filled with people I never met and will never meet
again, and which will, in no way, impact my life other than the next morning,
when I will wake up with a hangover and curse the concept of free alcohol. But then again, that’s my party trickâ€”I can
be anxious about anything. It is
perfectly reasonable that I could actually skip out on this whole eventâ€”head
home at 3:00 and, in a revolutionary move, not go back out. Instead, I could remove my pants, and climb into
my most ridiculous, frowsiest nightgown and crawl on the futon and watch a 12-hour marathon of Doctor Who and right
now, that sounds like the best idea anyone’s ever had in the history of ideas.
This is how I know I’m hopeless, thoughâ€”I’m going to go
home, and I’m going to be very, very tempted to stay on the couch and avoid the
social anxiety and the too-much-food and the terror and the shyness, but
instead I am going to go change into my little black dress and do up my hair
and put on fancy makeup and I’m going to go to the party, because how can I
miss an opportunity to wear a little black dress and red lipstick and look hot?
Vanity is my kryptonite. Maybe I’ll just dress up to watch Doctor Who.