I keep going through a weekly cycle of going out for a couple of drinks on Friday night, then waking up sick on Saturday, and slowly regaining my strength through the weekend and during the week—just in time for a couple of drinks to ruin my good health again the next Friday.
But when they’re a couple of free drinks at an after-hours office function, how can I refuse? How can I say “no thanks” to a plastic tumbler filled with chardonnay? To an outdoor DJ spinning AC/DC in 30-degree weather while my bravest coworkers and I dance around a flaming space heater?
I like office holiday parties. They’re merry, and everyone dresses to the nines, and underneath it all lurks the possibility that you might say or do something that will jeopardize your career—the likelihood of which is increased by the presence of a Karaoke machine. Fortunately, Brian knew it was time for us to go last night when I began to seriously consider pressuring my coworker into singing Def Leppard with me. Possibly my reputation at work could survive an inebriated performance of “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, but this is not something I am willing to risk…until my third tumbler of chardonnay. This is why it is advisable to bring a date to your office holiday party. They are there to navigate you away from a discussion of politics with your company president. To distract you so that you don’t notice when the DJ starts playing “The Macarena”. Finally, it is their job to steer you toward the car when you begin teetering on your ill-advised stilettos and stuffing your face with shrimp cocktail and Swedish meatballs like you’re storing up for the coming winter.
I suppose this post is a tribute to the Office Holiday Party Date. Boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife, friend or roommate, or maybe someone who just is there because they lost a bet; thank you for shepherding us through the treacherous, glittery, intoxicating waters of our Holiday Parties. This week, let’s all do something nice for our Holiday Party escorts. Take them out to dinner with the some of the money you are still bringing in each week thanks to them. They’ve earned it.