This morning I got an email from work inviting me to our annual "Christmas Luncheon." Imagine my devastation. See - I've been a student for most of my life and while I've held jobs in the past I haven't held a "professional" office type job with policies and dress codes and the like. I thought as a thank you for unduly raising my cortisol levels every day with their petty office politics and driving me to benzodiazapenes I would at LEAST get to experience my first real holiday party.
You, however, strapping young professional male*, can help. Take me to your Christmas party.
Here's some reasons why this is a good idea:
1. First, a warning. It's more than likely that I will not have sex with you, no matter how drunk you get me. I am saving myself for Phil Collins. I think I have a good shot because I have some similar features to his last wife Orianne (at least in one picture) and I'm much, much younger and hotter than his current girlfriend, news anchor Dana Tyler. Plus, I'll bet she doesn't use fresh herbs when cooking, change her hairstyle often to "keep it fresh" or knit scarves. I hear it's cold in Switzerland.
2. I will probably spend HOURS getting ready for your party. I will wear a neat hairstyle, great holiday cocktail dress, those "classy" closed-knit kind of fishnet stockings and new heels. I will probably smell like a tropical nymph and sparkle like the morning dew. I will continue looking this way for at least the first half of the Christmas party. By the second half, I will have worked the dance floor so hard that I lose a few bobby pins, have a smear of makeup here or there and have to walk to the car without the heels. But I'll still smell good.
3. I dance. You don't necessarily have to, though it would be nice. But if you don't, I will allow you to choose my dancing partner. For instance, if you want that annoying guy a couple of offices down to show everyone his Rambo dance moves (even though he said he didn't want to) I will coax it out of him. I will dance with your boss and casually mention between songs that you were once on the PGA tour and can build a computer from scratch but you would never say so because you're just so humble from all that time you spent consulting the Dalai Lama on how to improve his stock portfolio.
4. I sing karaoke. Unabashedly. For this occasion, however, I will tone down my usual antics and be captivating yet demure -- unless you've already put in your two weeks notice and you couldn't care less if I slide across the floor on my knees and grab the CFO's pant leg while singing, "Hold the Line" by Toto. Sidebar: if you actually are about to quit your job, couldn't care less about your behavior at the Christmas party and engage me in a level of debauchery that should never, ever take place in a fancy hotel ballroom, I might MIGHT rethink the Phil Collins thing.
5. I like drinks, any drink -- and I know how to hold them. So, if drinks say a lot about someone's personality, you can choose my personality for the night. I can hold a martini glass real sexy or drink a scotch (neat). I love egg nog and I know that you should always hold a champagne flute by its stem and never the bowl. Sidebar: I also know that the only real champagne is that which comes from the Champagne region of France and that Moet of 'Moet and Chandon' is pronounced "moe-Et" and not "mo-AY." I know many useless things such as this.
6. I know many useless things. I can chit-chat about most anything. I have anecdotes, idioms, fun-facts and witty puns that are suitable for any occasion. I know how to diffuse a heated political or religious conversation ("Well, you can say both sides have a point, ha ha ha, so have you seen the newest Wes Anderson movie? I definitely held higher expectations but overall I thought it was well done.")
7. If I actually end up liking you, perhaps you can take me to see the newest Wes Anderson movie. It's called "The Darjeeling Limited" and it stars Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman. If I'm not that into you and you do ask, I'll probably be honest and let you know that I had a blast at the party but that I'm not interested in anything further - and expect the same from you. It can only save both of us a lot of time and really is the most mature way to handle it, don't you think?
8. I have a lot of credentials to establish that I do in fact deserve to rub elbows with your fancy work crew such as a BS from an Ivy League, a JD from a top school, above average grammar skills, a wide vocabulary, an understanding of complex concepts and an attractive look. I also know how to avoid mentioning/calling attention to these things as some type of offensive move in some hopeless attempt to be accepted. In fact I'm more than happy to nod and smile and when asked say that I'm a flight attendant (on international routes of course) or an elementary school nurse, which, without knowing the above you may tend to think anyhow.
9. I will help the drunk girl in the bathroom, no questions asked. I will probably be excessively concerned that her boss doesn't see her, that she knows where she lives, has extra cash and a cell phone and gets into a cab without being groped and/or followed.
So there you have it - the short list. I do have some requirements of you. You should be a genuine person with a good sense of humor and the ability to go with the flow. You should have a solid reputation at the office (i.e. you don't leer at your female co-workers, polite to others, avoid making strange/gross sounds, don't know-it-all people to death, etc.) Looks comparable to mine would help to avoid the awkward, confused, pathetic stares of your co-workers - since some women do actually do this sort of thing for a living (I'm NOT one of them, see point number 1). You might also want to be tall, since I'm 5'7 and will be wearing heels...though if you dig the Hugh Hefner/Danny DeVito dating style be my guest.
I also have some requirements for your Christmas party. It should be on the soiree kind of level, not one of those where they line up those fake wood tables at the fire hall and cover them with those plastic pointsettia tablecloths. Here's a rule of thumb: will they be using actual glassware at the party? Will the lighting be fluorescent? If so, it's probably not what I'm looking for - although I will accept some respectful convincing if it's going to be fun nonetheless.
I'm pretty sure we can work out the details on whether you're a sexual predator, a wreckless drunk with a temper, married, meth addict, etc when we speak further...there will be tests, background checks, interviews etc and I'm good at spotting a fake. It goes without saying that having these issues will exclude you from participation in this fun experiment -- though I might have a few web resources to point you to if you're looking for help.
Otherwise, let the games begin!
*I will also entertain lesbians who would like to come out at work but just haven't found the time.