1. normal music at the holiday corral
I’m smushed into a white van, on the way to the company holiday party, with Andrew, some co-workers, and their significant others. It’s Friday night, and I’m wearing an inordinate amount of eye makeup (Nars eye shadow duo in Babylon, if you must know – smoky violet, frosty champagne) and listening to the Trixie in the front seat scan through the radio stations looking for ‘normal’ music. I lean over to Mo, the only other person of color on the van apart from me, Mo’s wife Kate, and the driver, and ask “Excuse me, but what the fuck does she mean by normal?”
Mo: “Yeah, I was wondering about that, too.”
Me: “Uh huh.”
Mo: “Glad to know I’m not the only person who caught that.”
The van pulls up to the A. Finkl & Sons foundry, which some of you may remember is where the holiday party took place last year. Andrew and I spill out of the van, check our coats, and find Joe and Jacinda in the illegal smoking corner. Officially, smoking was relegated outside, in the cold. Unofficially, the smokers lit up in the reception area next to the photographer. I sipped the dregs of other people’s drinks before I dragged my arse upstairs to get myself some dinner.
This year’s party was, I thought, going to consist of the following activities in which I engage at every company holiday party:
- make fun of HR girl’s outfit
- pine after CuteBoyinOps while he hangs out with his cool girlfriend
- dance around like a fool
- hug Theresa and sigh about the fact that I never see her anymore
- make stilted conversation with one, if not both, of the company owners
- photograph MattD giving JeffR a backrub while JeffR’s wife laughs her ass off at both of them.
- dance my ass off
- gossip with LizB, JeffR, and GraceK
- ogle Jeremy in his suit
- Get danced on by hot new co-worker – he was, as the French say, drunk, and he was getting all ‘Dirty Dancing’ on me
- Get all flirty and weird with cute-as-pie co-worker who insisted I keep kissing him (on the cheek, thank you) so the lipstick marks matched
It felt just like seventh grade, only with alcohol and not-as-good music. And I didn’t learn anything, just that I shouldn’t kiss somebody just because he tells me to. Even if he is really cute.
2. breakfast at Arturo’s, Jacinda at Barney’s
I dragged my ass out of bed, woken up by my alarm right before the end of my dream, where it looked like I was going to finally make out with cute co-worker. I had breakfast with Maria at Arturo’s, where she told me all about her new job, and her new co-workers, and it was so very exciting to hear her talk about it. I invited Maria to come to Barney’s with me so Jacinda could pretend try on Vera Wang wedding dresses/really just buy some tiny accessories, but Maria begged off to nap at home and really rest for the first time in two weeks of working 14 hour days. I didn’t blame her, but I had some shops to hit with Jacinda, and a few hours to do it before Chris & Sarah’s holiday party that evening.
After waiting in a narrow hallway where suave Barney’s employees stepped over my lint-plagued self in chic black, Jacinda arrived and we ogled the beaded combs, jeweled hairpins, filmy veils. Jacinda found this sort of tiara thing that wasn’t princessy at all, it was just gorgeous. Afterwards, we went to Arden B. to find Chanukah presents for Joe’s cousins, then Bloomingdale’s where there was shit in the way of bridal footware. There, were, however, these Steve Madden shoes that just had “Get It Here” written all over them. I nearly fainted, these shoes were so sweet.
Jacinda and I set off to find something cheap to buy so we could validate her parking ticket. We found Peggy, regional makeup artist for Tony & Tina, who shared her own experiences of being mistaken for Margaret Cho at The Cheesecake Factory (and getting a free meal out of it), the eternally annoying “Where are you FROM?” question, and how much she loved doing makeup. She made me up for Chris’ party and I have to say: I looked really hot. Ask Jacinda — she’ll tell you. And I know she’s biased and all because she’s my friend, but still. Peggy and Jacinda had me laughing superhard, but my makeup still looked good. Jacinda took Peggy’s card (she does wedding parties!) and off we went again, this time to look for shoes at Filene’s Basement. Filene’s was no good, so off to Urban Outfitters where Jacinda bought my Christmas present and I played with the humping dog doll and ogled the tea light chandeliers. Urban Outfitters was full of annoying North Shore teenagers buying ‘JESUS IS MY HOMEBOY’ trucker caps, which are *long* past their fashion expiration date. When will these children learn? Aberhonky & Bitch stops putting out their porno catalog, and these children hardly know what to do with themselves.
3. northern lights
I’m walking through the produce section at the Co-Op on 47th Street when I am stopped by the ‘I Love You’ Lady. Imagine me – smoky eye makeup, stiletto boots – standing in front of a cocoa woman wearing layers of colorful rags and a face made up with the words “I Love You” written on her face in black eyeliner pencil. “I love you. You are so beautiful” and she drops a hear-shaped bead in my hand. I acquire some champagne and panettone and skip down 47th Street to Chris & Sarah’s apartment, where friends are waiting to see me. Kevin, Kathy, Adrienne, Chris, Sarah, Thom (who was going out with a gay Mormon after the party – who knew they existed?), Will, and Robin. Chris did all the cooking, except for a delicious cheesecake made by Sarah. Salmon. Ham. Shrimp. Sushi. Chocolate Bundt soaked in rum, chocolate mousse cake. Mashed sweet potatoes and mini crab cakes. Other lovely friends who I don’t spend too much time talking to because I must drown myself in the supas, for I miss them very much. One moment we’re discussing Democratic presidential candidates, the next we’re singing Kelis’ “Milkshake” and drinking cosmopolitans. It was a splendid time.
After the party, after Adrienne has driven me all the way up to Logan Square because, well, she’s a goddess like that, I am at the Green Eye drinking Grain Belts with Foster and Frank. It’s Maria’s birthday drinks party, and she’s catching up with her former co-workers while I bug Frank about why he didn’t go to the holiday party on Friday night. He knows why, I know why, Foster knows why. I still think it’s bullshit, his reason, but I understand so I don’t give him too much shit about it. I tell the boys about my near-miss makeout, after which I realize that nothing was ever going to happen as cute co-worker was drunk and besides, I make it my business to never dip my own pen in the company ink. Or, as GraceK put it, never let my ink get dipped by the company pen. Or something like that. And Saturday night I went to bed again, and this time I had a different dream about the same cute co-worker but Sunday dawned bright and cold, and my alarm clock woke me again before he could kiss me like he meant to, like it was real (boo hoo).
4. administrative stuff
- It was Maria’s birthday Saturday. And it was Nate’s birthday, too. Happy birthday, Maria. Happy birthday, Nate.
- I’m going to take a solo vacation some time in the spring. It may, in fact, be a weekend in Boston, though I’ve committed to a weekend in Philadelphia so JeffR and GraceK can take me to Morimoto and I can hang out with Grace and her fellow sociologists. So may be Boston will wait until fall.
- I got a manicure today – Essie Ballet Slippers, a pale pink. It’s gorgeous.
- LaurenB sent me the most gorgeous present last week. And I’ve been getting holiday cards, so far from Laverne, EricM from work, and Rozi. Whee! I love the holidays.
JET – Are You Gonna Be My Girl?; Madonna – Music; Blossom Dearie – Manhattan; Fugazi – Waiting Room