Sunday, December 02, 2007

My work holiday party actually went a lot better than I thought it would. I shall chronicle the entire evening minute by minute:

7:00pm: This is the time I actually wanted to leave my apartment for the party, but my ladyfriend was still in the process of making herself beautiful. I quietly paced around trying to keep my cool

7:12pm: 5 different empty cabs drove by me. I don't like to prematurely cry racism, but I think that's exactly what it was. I was all dressed up, so I didn't look threatening at all. Thankfully my ladyfriend was able to snag a cab. I frequently have this problem here in DC..

7:30pm: We arrive at the luxurious Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

7:35pm: I go the bathroom, and I must say that it is quite possibly the nicest bathroom I have ever entered. It smelled like vanilla, all of the appliances in there were sparkling clean, and the bathroom stalls looked like mini offices. I almost felt like I was disrespecting the bathroom by peeing in it.

7:36pm: My ladyfriend and I head to the bar for the first of what will be many glasses of wine. I saw a few of my fellow coworkers, but I really didn't have to engage in too much small talk. I couldn't decide on the proper title for my ladyfriend. When introducing her to people I called her my friend, my ladyfriend, and one time I just gave her name with no title. I should have worked this out beforehand.

7:40pm: I see the cousin of my ex girlfriend at the party, which is a bit of a shock because she doesn't even work for my company, although I later find out that a good friend of hers does. When I see her, she tries to act like she doesn't remember my name, but I hugged and greeted her anyway. I also made it a point to introduce to my ladyfriend, which made me smirk a bit. I think I bitched about her not remembering my name for about 2 hours, which causes my lady to give me the moniker, The Black Larry David

7:42pm: The CEO of the company came over and spoke to me and my ladyfriend. He also asked me if I wanted to address the entire company at some point during the evening, and thank them for the help they provided me after my fire. I politely declined, and he said he understood.

7:45: I find a nice spot in the lounge area to sip my wine and look at the various outfits of my coworkers. There lots of excessive cleavage violations, lots of people tastefully dressed, and one gentlemen who looks exactly like Leroy from Fame. I felt like I was doing a pre-Oscars red carpet show or something

8:00pm: We finally get a seat in the grand ballroom, and I decided to take the table in the back. It minimizes the small talk factor, and it gives me the opportunity to see everyone as they come in and out of the room.

8:15pm: Two couples sit at our table. One older couple had been married for 2 years, after their respective first marriages failed. They were very friendly, and they didn't bombard us with small talk, and I actually enjoyed them. The other couple had only been married two months, and the man was very friendly, but the woman was a bit frigid. This is also a good time for me to mention, that women are mean to one another. My ladyfriend noticed numerous women looking her up and down, and not in a good way. Guys do no such the most a guy may shake your hand extra hard if he's not feeling you in any way, but that's rare. Women are WAY too hard on one another

8:20pm: The dj at this party is not playing holiday music, smooth jazz, or even regular jazz, but he's playing bedroom grooves. He was playing the Whispers, Luther Vandross, and other songs that made me want to head up to one of the bedrooms, get some bbq, and get busy. At this point, I started telling my ladyfriend that I would LOVE to dj a party like this, because I have a good feel for these things. Considering everyone was eating dinner at this time, the music should have been jazz..Jazz is festive and upbeat, and there are no words that people could possibly sing too with their mouths full of food. It is my dream to DJ an event like this, so perhaps I should lobby to do this next year

8:30-9pm: This was the dinner portion of the xmas party, and I must say I was impressed. The food was incredible, and I was able to help myself to not one, but two full plates. During my travels to the food, I met up with more co-workers and exchanged pleasantries. I am happy to report that no one talked my head off, which is always my biggest fear in these types of environments

9:15pm: The CEO of the company gets up and introduces the senior level staff and he basically talks about the state of the company, and some of the good things that happened during the year. He also mentions that one of our employees passed away, a few months ago, and a foundation has been started in her honor. Then, completely out of the blue, he calls me up to the podium to speak in front of the 300 people in attendance. Now mind you, earlier in the evening, I had specifically said that I didn't want to address the crowd, but he clearly he ignored me. During my walk up the podium, I thought of about 3 or 4 different speeches I could say, but of course when I started talking, I used none of them. I made a joke about him putting me on the spot, and then I thanked everyone for their help after the fire. For a brief second, I felt like I was going to cry, but I quickly wrapped up my speech and got the hell out of there. It was an expected moment, but I survived it. It amazes me that I still get emotional about the fire, and it catches me by surprise sometimes.

9:30 pm: The dancing portion of the evening began, and my ass stayed firmly planted in my seat. I went up and asked the dj to play some Michael Jackson, but he ignored and played a bunch of late 70s and early 80s music. Of course, one of my co-workers later told me that he played Michael Jackson shortly after I left.

9:45pm: I mistakenly thought the wine was still free, so I went and ordered two final glasses, only to hear her say, "That'll be 24 dollars", and I couldn't even react and complain, because all of my coworkers were around, and I didn't want to go out like a cheap bastard. Never in my life have I paid that much for two fact I could probably get three entire bottles of wine for $24.

10pm: We exited the holiday party

10:15pm: I gave the cab driver $20 for a $9 cab ride, and I was expecting some change back, and then my ladyfriend blurted out keep the change thinking I had given him a $10. At that point I couldn't say, no I'm going to need some change homie, because again, I again would come off like a cheap bastard. That cab driver gave me the biggest smile I've ever seen, and little does he know that one day, we will meet again, and his tip will non-existent.

**Addendum* After reading this blog entry, my ladyfriend asked me to mention that although she took a long time getting ready for the xmas party, she also spent five hours and 30 minutes in both the hair and nail salons. This was way longer than usual, and it threw her off the remainder of the day.

..and scene

Deniece Williams - Let's Hear It For The Boy


LittleTortilla stays in DC said...

5 hours and 30 minutes? She totally needs a refund! We had a party at the Mandarin Oriental and it's a shame such a nice hotel is in a crappy location.

Sha said...

aye pobrecita! 5 hours....I hope you showered her with all kinds of kisses and compliments...

Bashful said...

The Mandarin Oriental is a very nice hotel. It is nice to see the ole company coming up. I am glad you had a good time.

bfnh. said...

before my wife got the easy title of "my wife" i introduced her by name. eff the title. after college, the term "girlfriend" has always seemed childish to me, and because i kept my relationships intentionally undefined there was no single word to describe them better than their name.

Tia said...

i just wanna know what appliances were in the bathroom.

Sab D said...

The Black Larry David ... dawg, I think she got you on that one. It's all good times anyway

lex said...

5 hours for hair and nails. I've been there...never want to do that again. Usually its due to a stylist overbooking her/himself. like Sha said, i hope you gave her plenty compliments.

and you totally made your cab driver's evening. it'll come back to you...a la pay it forward.