Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Party Number Uno

Friday night was Ross' Christmas party and let me tell you.... it was some party! About 800 people work at North American headquarters here in Portland, and each person was invited to bring a guest. While of course not every single employee came and brought a date, a large majority did. We were in for a treat, and here is our story...

Of course, like all girls do, I stressed for the entire week about what to wear. I was set on a high-wasted short skirt with a silk blouse and ankle boots (on advice from one of my co-workers), however Thursday night Ross informs me that the attire is semi-formal and he overheard other girls at work talking about glittery cocktail dresses. Glitter? AHH! My sweater tights would definitely not be appropriate. I was stressing over finding the balance of conservative, professional wife and hot, fox.

Oh goodness. I finally settled on a little black dress (every girl's go-to) with tights and suede booties. I thought I was all set... until it came to deciding tights. Blue, silver, black, neutral? I ended up walking around the house for 20 minutes with one leg in black tights and one leg in silver tights with the spare legs of each trailing along behind me. Real classy.

By 7:30 we had strapped on our fancy-like clothes (in case you were wondering, I decided on the silver tights) and welcomed our friend David over to our house. As a fellow employee and living just two blocks away, we all decided to meet up before hand and ride the bus together.

We waltz into the hotel and realize that the entire 6th floor of the hotel was rented out, featuring multiple bars, a DJ, two photo booths, black and gold lights and decoration (very Appalachian-esque), and soul-food galore. The night had begun.

We grab a quick beer and make our rounds around the room, smoozing where appropriate and quickly walking in the opposite direction when we saw someone we didn't want to talk to. Thankfully, Ross and I have similar taste in the people we like to hang out with, so we both knew when to run.

The food was delicious but rich. My favorite dish (of the two that were not 100% meat) was the deep friend mac 'n' cheese. It looked like a tater tot filled with macaroni and cheese... I guess because it was a tater tot filled with macaroni and cheese.

As the party started to get cranking the big feature of the night, Kids These Days, starting rocking the stage. And when I say "Kids These Days" I am in fact referring to the name of the band, not their ages, although they were the only ones in the room under the legal drinking age. They were a talented group of youngsters, probably late teens, with soulful voices and great instrumentation. Their only downfall? They were obsessed with where they were from.

"We're from CHICAGO!" they exclaimed as their introduction, which at first was pretty cool. By the 8th time they yelled "We're Kids These Days from Chicagoooooo!" and made a "C" with their hands I was about to freak. We get it, you love the Windy City. That's great... but you don't have to tell us after every song. I couldn't help but think maybe there is another band out there called Kids These Days who isn't from Chicagooooooo and they were trying to differentiate themselves? Who knows.. but they did tell us to Google them under "Kids These Days from Chicago." I really wanted to go up to the lead singer after their performance and say "Wow, y'all were really great. Where are you guys from?" but I realized they may not get the joke and then I would have to hear them say Chicagooooo again. So I kept my sarcasm to myself.

Kids These Days (from Chicago) played pretty good dance music, so Ross, David and I made our way to the front of the room to get the dancing started. Little did we know, we would be the ONLY ones doing the dancing. David, having a couple more beers than us at this point, went straight for the center of the floor, and started getting his groove on. About 30 seconds into the song he realized he was the only was shaking it on the floor and motioned for me to join. Now if I was concerned about what to wear to look the most appropriate, I can guarantee you I am not going to have ALL of the party-goers focusing on ME and ONLY ME on the dance floor, so I stayed respectfully in the corner of the dance floor and let David take the shining spot light. After a couple of minutes Ross and I realize that nope, no one is catching on, it's just David dancing. So as the good friends we are, what do we do? Join in? NO! We escape to the bathroom.

The bathroom was a whole new adventure. Of course, 9 out of the 10 girls in the bathroom were only in there to "powder their noses" and primp their hair, so all of the stalls were open. I head into the first stall, because of course, it's open. I walk in and the toilet flushed. SWOOOSH! I shake my head, thinking about how much water is wasted by auto-flush toilets, and turn the knob to lock the door... but the door is so fancy you can't see that it bolted. Normally it wouldn't bother me too bad to not be able to lock the door securely, but I kept having flashing images of one of Ross' close coworkers walking in with my tights around my ankles and my dress hiked up around my neck and then I would get startled, trip over my tights, and fall backwards and into the toilet and then I would walk around for the rest of the night is a damp silk dress smelling like potty water. I stick one hand hand out, hoping to block the potty intruder and hoping that these are just irrational paranoid thoughts, and look down to see a pair of tights on the floor. Apparently someone else was afraid they would trip over theirs too and abandoned them in the bathroom. SWOOOSH! The toilet flushes again. I chuckle. Then I realize I am chuckling to myself in the bathroom. Great, now I am the weird potty giggler. I squat. SWOOOSH! I stand. SWOOOSH! I pull up my tights. SWOOOSH! I pull down my dress. SWOOOSH! In the 67 seconds I have been in the stall the toilet has flushed 6 times. So now I am the weird girl who is laughing to herself and flushing the toilet every 15 seconds. Awesome. Clearly, the primping girls at the mirror are going to think I had to go Number 2 and am giggling at my own bodily noises. Ugh.

I unbolt the door (it was locked after all), SWOOOSH! goes the toilet (just for good measure that time) and walk out of the stall. I make straight eye contact with a pretty blond girl who was no doubt thinking "Dang that girl flushes a lot." I wash my hands quickly, and walk out, head down.

Back in the main ballroom, David is still tearing up the dance floor. Solo. At this point crowds have gathered around the black rectangle marking the appropriate place to boogie, but no one stands actually on the floor. Couples stand close, oh so close, but no one makes a move. They look at David. They watch the band. Several people sway or dance in very compact moves that wouldn't draw attention to themselves. No one steps a toe on the dance floor. It is like every one is afraid they will burst into flames or that a spot light would magically focus on them and them alone should they move forward. So every one stays a respectful distance from the dance floor. The band yells, "Thank you everyone! We are Kids These Days and we're from Chicagoooo!" one last time and the lights fade for just a moment. Every one looks around casually, waiting for someone to tell them what to do. The DJ breaks the silence with an overly upbeat version of a Top 40 hit and as if on cue, the masses rush the dance floor and the dancing begins. No one burst into flames and the spot lights remained flashing sporadically around the room.

After a few songs Ross and I decide that as David is now surrounded by an entire mob of dancing co-workers and it is probably safe to leave him alone for a few minutes. We set off to find Ross' boss.

I should probably explain that with every party ticket, all individuals are granted two free drink tickets, after which you are required to pay cash for all subsequent drinks. However, higher up employees and supervisors are granted a VIP Unlimited Drink Ticket. Ross' boss (we will call him Mr. Boss) was one of these select individuals.

We find Mr. Boss outside of the ballroom, drink in hand. He offers to buy us a drink. I laugh (where he can't see me) knowing that by "buying" us a drink he will just flash his Unlimited Drink Ticket. Nice gesture either way. We go to the bar, and he asks what we are drinking. Ross says Pale Ale and I say Pinot Grigio. We both still have 1/2 a drink in our hands. Mr. Boss orders Ross a Pale Ale, and he trades out his half-consumed bottle for a cold, fresh beer. He doesn't order me a new glass of wine. I keep the one I had. We go our separate ways.

Ross and I dance a few more songs and decide to call it a night. We grab our belongings from the coat check and are handed our complimentary cab voucher. A free ride home! Hey, it's better than the $2.10 per person for the bus fare. We double check on David, he wants to stay to dance, and we head out.

As the cabby drops us off we hand him our voucher and he informs us that with vouchers we are allowed to tip generously... the responsible company doesn't mind unless you are excessive, like $100. We add $4.50 to the total (it was 20%!) and hop out. We can tell the cabby was disappointed we didn't give him a 1,000% tip.

So that was our night... some parts slightly exaggerated and some details omitted, because honestly I had to make the post a bit more interesting. But I promise the band did say CHICAGOOOOOOO way too many times, and yes, my toilet flushed all 7 times when I was in the stall.

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