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Unofficial Party

December 15, 2002

Last night was supposed to be my office’s official Christmas party, but it was cancelled, causing me to pout and stamp my feet. Then about two weeks ago, my boss buzzed me and asked if Mr. Karen and I were free on the 14th because he was going to have a gathering at his house and knew I’d been disappointed at never being able to attend a Purple Systems holiday party. So last night, for only the second time in the three and half years I’ve had this job, I was able to go to a company-sponsored social event with Mr. Karen. My boss’s e-mail made it clear that this was not the official holiday party for this year, but I’m convinced it’s the closest I’m likely to see unless I give up skiing and thus no longer offer Helen ample opportunity to schedule events when I can’t attend.

As parties go, it was pretty low key. A lot of my coworkers brought their kids, so wild drinking and debauchery were not on the agenda. I had several serious conversations with babies too young to have any idea what I was saying and many less serious conversations with grownups. Other than returning to the cookie plate too many times, I did pretty well with my eating. If I hadn’t stopped at Burger King on the way there, thinking it best not to arrive hungry and cranky, I would have been close to my points limit for the day, which is a good sign. Maybe I can go to parties and not see food as the main event anymore.

Another good thing about the party, besides my success in not stuffing myself with cheese and cheesecake and brownies, is that it was a perfect opportunity to wear my new favorite sweater. I’d last worn it for a night out in Steamboat and I think it still had a little vacation magic on it, as I felt like a sporty winter princess. The sweater even fascinated one of the babies, who studied the high contrast design for longer than I thought an infant’s attention span could last. Or maybe she was just wondering how a woman could be so big, taller than her mom and her dad. My waterproof Dansko closed back clogs (a lucky find at Sierra Trading Post) were a vital part of my look, and I thought I was going to have to take them off and be the pants too long princess because there was a big pile of shoes in the front hall where other guests had removed their footwear, but I saw that my host had his shoes on, so I kept mine on too and towered above many of the people at the party.

Now party time is over and it’s back to the to do list. There are piles of laundry, both dirty and clean, to deal with, and Christmas cards to address and write out and mail, and blind shopping to do (all we managed to get done yesterday was peer in the front window of a closed store and ponder the tackiness of a fold up paper shade with the U.S. flag printed on it and stop on the way home from the party to verify that the 24-hour discount department store and grocery did not have anything suitable), and books to return to the library, and mail to go through, and bills to pay, and so on and so on. One day is not enough to get all this done, but it’s going to have to be, since the next two days at work are going to be really busy and leave me little personal time. I’m starting to feel a little Grinchy about now.

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