Harry: Right, the Christmas party. Not my favorite night of the year, and your unhappy job to organize.
Mia: Tell me.
Harry: Well, it’s basic, really. Find a venue, over-order on the drinks, bulk-buy the guacamole and advise the girls to avoid Kevin if they want their breasts unfondled.

Love Actually


I have been to some pretty crazy Christmas work parties. When I worked at the restaurant it was always fun to meet all the wives of the Mexican guys that were working in the back, and I would try to make friends because I’m sure they haaaated seeing all the young girls their men were working with. And working at the paper, man we had some BOMB work parties! The Land Shark party!! Oh that was my favorite! And creating our own St. Patricks Day parade, marching with bag pipes through the streets of downtown Santa Barbara. And dancing all night and light trolleys and leaving my Secret Santa present and high heels in the bushes and going back the next day to grab them, singing songs to “Christmas Meager” and just feeling sassy. Anything felt possible on those nights. But turning my life around and now working at a private Christian school, my staff parties are quiiiiite different these days. :)

Now that I’m a “grown up” and have a “real job” I have teacherly social events to attend. We do something in the summer right before school starts, so we can compare tans and vacations and lament the return to school. All the moms talk about what sports their kids played, and I hang out with my friends that I was hanging out with any way over summer, and eat cookies. For the holiday party, we throw something fun together after the actual holidays, and this year we’re doing a progressive dinner.

I’ve never done a progressive dinner before, but I like the sound of “progressive,” as ironic as it is to use that word with a lot of the elements of the place I work at :). We’re starting at someone’s house for appys, then drive to another house for dinner, then to the big boss’ house for dessert and a white elephant gift exchange. The great thing about doing this after Christmas is that I can get rid of something! I think I’m going to draw a face on a potato and wrap it really pretty and call it “A Living Potato Head Doll.”

The winky bit about these parties is that everyone has a husband to bring except for exactly five of us on staff. One of the five is a man, but he doesn’t have a girlfriend. So my girlfriends and I rigged it so we are each other’s dates. Its not like it would be totally lame to go alone, I did last year, and it was alright, but something about having a built-in conversation partner makes the night more interesting.

The funny thing about these kinds of events is that while we’re at school and run into each other in the lounge or cafe, we’ll talk about the students or weird parents or how tired we are (always) or whatever, but we talk about our normal lives, too. But put us in almost any situation outside of school, and suddenly we can only talk about school. And the husbands roll their eyes while we giggle about whatever and complain about whatever. When we do talk about our normal lives, I realize how little I can relate to married people with children most of the time. I live off of frozen food and pizza and I couldn’t even keep my beta fish Puppy alive more than ten months, I can’t imagine having to feed other people or wonder how they’re doing or fold their laundry or drive them everywhere! I don’t know how working moms do it. My hats off to you, mine included.

Getting dressed for anything out of the normal is always fun. My two roommates work with me, so getting ready for tonight we get to blast music, drink a little vino, compare outfits, and curl hair together. And since we’re so modest for school hours…its always a kind of evil fun to pick out something a liiiiittle more revealing of our “personalities,” and remember what my cleavage looks like and how to wear skinny jeans and pick out my edgiest pair of heels. Muahahaha. Oh, the little things in life. Sadly, though, since I started teaching and more influentially, stopped living in Santa Barbara, my selection of cute, fun, sexy outfits has slowly been weeded out by cardigans, turtlenecks, and pants that make no kind of shape out of my butt, to avoid the attention of the cloud of hormones that junior high boys cast in my room.

But I’m sure I will work something out for tonight…and then after dessert, on to dive bar karaoke with the girls. :) Life is good this weekend!