For the past year, my friend has indulged me with stories about the cast of characters at her new job. There is the admin girl that gives new meaning to 'happy hour,' a Tupperware kleptomaniac, the dude that gets annihilated at lunch, but seemingly can't get fired because his alcoholism is a disability and her 25-year-old male assistant who has a perpetual erection.
So, when she invited me to her holiday office party, how could I say no? Not only was I sure I'd be thoroughly entertained, but I would be able deliver round two of holiday tips from your gay best friend.
With their iPhone held high in the air because they think it's their best angle, these two really annoying girls, (you know the ones that say 'amaze' and 'live' for everything) were desperately trying to strike the right pose. After each snap, they analyzed the picture, moved their overly flat-ironed hair from side-to-side then back to front, only to decide the flash didn't do them justice and like conjoined twins shuffled around for just the right lighting. If this was a drunken Saturday night (and not even then) maybe I could deal with this, but two 30-somethings behaving like teenagers at the holiday office party to get just the right Instagram photo... I don't think so.
No Costume Change
Standing at the bar minding my own business (yeah, right) one guy was foaming at the mouth over his coworkers outfit. "I brought a change of clothes with me," she said. "No one ever sees me dressed up." Yeah, there is a reason. This isn't a club; it's an office party. Leave the overnight bag with your six-inch heels, tight dress and bronzing lotion at home. Instead, bring a toiletry bag because there is everything right about reapplying make-up, combing your hair and Chanel No.5 when heading from cubicle to cocktail. Trying too hard won't only get you noticed, it will also get you a few behind your back laughs.
Mix Vodka, Not Your Gays
There is always that girl that shrieks when something excites her and it's like fingernails on a chalkboard. In this case, it went like this: "Omg, this is my gay best friend at work and you're my gay best friend in real life, sooooooo, I really wanted you two to meet!!!" Here is the thing, you don't do set-ups at the holiday office party, and, quite frankly, just because you know two gay people, there is an absurdity in thinking they will have a connection. In this case, there clearly wasn't going to be a match and after a really awkward conversation, I overheard the bitchy hipster say, "Ugh, why would you introduce me to a nerd that doesn't know Lana Del Ray?" I wanted to tell him because she was unknowingly doing the right thing, but that's for another column.
Know When To Shut Up
That Lana Del Ray moment was too good not to celebrate with another cocktail and, finally, I met the office drunk and Ms. Happy Hour. He was swirling as if he was in a hula hoop contest while she was tugging his tie to come closer. I loved watching them and so did the guy next to me. "She's the office slut," he says. He wasn't done. After telling him I was a guest of my friend, he remarks, "She's a bitch, but good at what she does." I wanted to break it down for him that being a bitch and 'good at what you do' have no correlation, but I learned my lesson years back: being a good guest is knowing when to step into and out of a conversation. You must always be careful what you say and to whom you say it too. These parties can be like that childhood "Telephone" game; by the time what you said gets around the room, you could wish you kept your mouth shut.
Never @ Anyone In The Same Room
While wrapping up the night and finishing my last scotch on the rocks and talking to some of my friend's coworkers, I noticed one of them obsessing over her Twitter feed. Turns out she was having conversations with office mates that at most were in a 10-feet radius. After trying to engage her in a conversation sans iPhone, she says, "Wait, I'll be right back." She didn't stop there and then ran over (I should say took some steps) to the girl she was tweeting with and they spent a few moments marveling at their tweet banter. I know. It's horrible. Don't let this ever be you.
And finally, please, please don't do of any this...
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Did I miss anything? Leave a comment below or email me your 2014 New Year dilemmas at firstname.lastname@example.org
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