The Job had a holiday party Saturday night at a fancy hotel by the beach. They also put us up at the fancy hotel for the night which meant we could get our party on and not worry about driving after. Sweet!
My coworkers and bosses are nice people; nicer than any other semiconductor brokers I've encountered after working thirteen years in this dynamic and often shady industry. But I discovered last night that the people I work with, no matter how mellow and family-like they seem, can still party like broker rock stars. It all started out innocently enough (see picture to the left) with a nice dinner. My friend and company controller Teri even had the hotel hook up a few vegan dishes for me. Who knew the Hyatt could rock such a killer wild wheat berry salad with cranberries and diced veggies? YUM! So, yes, innocent; lovely sit-down dinner with candles and a christmas tree twinkling in the corner. Soft holiday music played in the background. Workers cleaned up nicely and conversed in tones much lower than our normal, weekday roar. Spouses were present and I think we were trying to pull off an air of civility when the spouses all know how we are. One sales guy’s wife confided, "Y'know, I call him the Thrasher at home too."
After dinner, to my surprise, we played a version of White Elephant, the gift game where a name is drawn and then the person opens a wrapped, unknown present or they steal a gift previously opened. A gift could be taken twice before it had a permanent home. We started to loosen up at this point, acting more like ourselves which was due in part to our friend, the Open Bar. The White Elephant gifts were stupid nice! Bad-ass digital cameras, mini stereos, little flat screen TV's. And every time a gift was stolen we would howl loudly and yell at the Taker and laugh at the guy that just got his shit took. We screamed when the top salesguy snaked a digital camera from the warehouse/janitor -- RUTHLESS! -- but we cheered when the same warehouse/janitor dude permanently scored the 60GB! iPod, the grand prize of the evening. Shit talking was free-flowing. Like, when one of the buyers ended up with a tool set, we shouted, "SoNSo's a Tool!" Incidentally, guess what I got?? A food processor with a killer blender attachment just like I had wanted for my vegan chef quest!! (And I KNOW Kim put two of those in the White Elephant so that I would get one. I KNOW YOU DID, KIM! And thanks so much.) I had JUST bought a good blender to replace my old one with the blades as dull as limp celery. The newly-bought blender is still in the box, but will go to good use too*.
After the gift portion of the program, we huddled around Open Bar, our friend, and talked about office things like, oh, Pubic Hair, To Groom or Not to Groom which turned so lively that we had a full crowd involved favoring Grooming 8-1. Feeling spirited, we were all spontaneously bummed that there was no DJ or cover band to help channel our escalating sense of partiness. A group of us decided to venture out to other company parties going on in the hotel at the same time to see if they were crashable. Four of us went to a little party with a good DJ and danced to SuperFreak. Bor, my funny-ass next cube neighbor who always brings up the raddest 70's references at work like Shields & Yarnell, and who was drunk off of Jim Beam and Vermouth (whoa), left us half way through the song and snagged a festive center piece on his way out. He ran out looking like the Heisman trophy. We then floated into the Grand Ballroom that was the size of a football field. A band was on break, but that didn't stop Bor from running across the miles of dining area, across the huge dance floor and hopping on stage to see if the mic was live. It wasn't or we may have been arrested right then and there.
We went back to our own party room to discover that pods of our company had also gone out to discover more action, including Husband who was now partying hard with our broker crowd. I went back to the Grand Ballroom to discover Boss B and SJ involved in most uproarious Dance Off. The band was playing a decent version of the holiday favorite, AC/DC's Back in Black and Boss B started to do a Blues Brothers fancy foot dance until he flopped down right onto the floor. I mean, the man kinda bounced off his side. I was dumbfounded until SJ -- these are men in their 40's -- slid across the floor on his belly, arms outstretched over his head. He then preceded to do, quite possibly, the funniest holiday-party solo dance in the history of man. He sashayed around the gigantic dance floor, interweaving between the real guests of the party. He pirouetted and posed to give the Rock On sign. The Open Bar had unleashed the free spirit of a typically conservative sales guy. He started pointing like a motivational speaker to other dancers in the crowd. "You. You. You." At this point half of his shirt was untucked and the real party goers had cleared room for him. He turned up the juice now that he had the ENTIRE ballroom enraptured and he RAN the perimeter of the dance floor with his hand outstretched to high five anyone that would bite, like he had just hit a home run. I seriously nearly peed my pants.
Finally, all of us ended up at the Little Party with the Good DJ. The DJ announced, "It looks like this company just got a bunch of new employees." We formed a Soul Train circle that even Husband entered and did his thang. We hopped around and laughed a ton. I did the Robot . . .We danced with other people from the party including a woman that apparently fell in love with me . . .maybe I'm exaggerating, but she kissed me and shouted in my face, "YOU'RE A BAD ASS AND I LOVE YOU."
Here's a picture of SJ continuing his shenanigans by trying to dance with some lady he didn’t know. She doesn't look too thrilled about it, but that look on SJ face kept me bustin' up for hours. Fyi, he was seen the next morning strolling through the hotel lobby in a bathrobe. This is a guy that sends out motivational emails every work day about Hope and You Are a Winner which in general grates on my last nerve, but after Saturday night, I have a new love for this guy.
We left the party when I realized Husband had contracted a slur. We are not drinkers and we have only seen each other tipsy a handful of times. I've only been flat-out wrecked one time in our 10years together which was the night of my 34th birthday. We had gone to a flamenco/tapas bar in Long Beach with some friends.
On that birthday I did which of the following:
a) Climbed on stage to flamenco with the resident man-orexic flamenco stud.
b) Double fisted cosmos for a good portion of the night.
c) Verbally accosted people on the street as Husband rushed me to our car.
d) Vomited violently on the front lawn of the most quietest of suburban streets. It was like vomiting into a megaphone inside a stone church.
e) All O' the Above. (Correct!)
So, when I realized Husband was blitzed, it was time to go. The drunker he got, the more pictures he took. Just snapped them left and right without looking into the viewer. "I enjoy candid shots," he slurred. About 450 pictures are of the tops of people’s heads and the ceiling, but some came out pretty funny like this one of Boss B bum rushing the camera.
Or of this one, which is how I spent most of the night, doubled over, laughing.
We stumbled upstairs and Husband hugged the toilet for a bit and I feel asleep chuckling.
When we awoke, this was the view from our balcony:
Thanks to The Job for a great night!
*So, the new blender . . . I had decided that instead of buying a ton of presents for family and friends, we would Adopt A Family for the holidays and blow all our Christmas money on them. Coincidentally, after I bought my new blender, I received the Wish List from our adopted family. The mom asked for . . . a blender. By the by, the kids asked for a school back pack, deodorant and hair gel. That’s it. Funk that. I’m hooking their shit up as best I can.