December 11, 2005

I clean up nice

That's what I've been told. I was in much need of a haircut and a new outfit. Just in time for my husband's company holiday party. This is the first year I've ever gone to one of Richard's work parties. At his prior job there were different reasons why I managed to get out of them. Most of the time the reasons were legitimate, but there's no secret that I'm not the social butterfly in all situations. I'm the anti-social butterfly. I don't feel the need to say things unless I really feel like saying them. I don't bother with the small talk. What's the point? I'm not uncomfortable by silence. I just don't feel the need to talk, just for the sake of talking. I know you don't care and either do I, so let's just skip it. To me, it's even worse when you don't know anyone at all and everyone there works with your husband.

I prefer to people watch and listen. I tend to observe and analyze everything around me, and when I really feel like talking, then I will. These people are his co-workers and I have a policy about co-workers and neighbors. You either work with them or you live next to them. They aren't friends. Friendly chat is one thing, but when you start acting like the drunken fool, talking about ex-husbands and how you need a raise, then I'm about ready to make like I'm friends with the wait staff.

Determined to please my husband and get out of the house I spent all of Friday getting my hair cut, buying make up, and finding an outfit. My husband actually came along with and by the end of the day I was sure he was about to divorce me. Men just DON'T get that you REALLY have to try on 12 pairs of pants before you find one that will do. It also takes just as many tries for a top, if not more. Shoes? Don't ask. I felt confident in going in something that was nice and comfortable. Never mind those strappy dresses in below zero weather. I don't like having nipplage at company shindigs. I found some sassy black pants, a gold satin shirt with a beaded bust & a sweater with faux fur. Richard said I "clean up nice". There was a photographer there and I'm hoping our pictures turn out good. I love taking the pictures, but hate having my picture taken; the pictures never do me justice.

The company party was at the fabulous
Midwest Express center. (*picture from their website)The air was frigid and the ground looked like it was covered with a dirty gray slushie. The second I tried to gracefully shuffle through the dirty slush in my black leather boots I was thankful I wasn't the woman next to us in the spaghetti strap dress with barely there shoes.

I checked in my coat, we dropped off our canned goods, and Richard headed for the bar. Each person was given two tickets for drinks. Soda and water was hosted, but after the two tickets were gone, then drinks were five dollars. I rarely ever drink and when I do I'm at home or at homes of my close friends. I gave Richard my tickets and responsibly took on the role of designated driver. We dined in the ballroom which was as big as it was beautiful.
Here is a link to check out pictures.

Women wore everything from gowns to slacks and sweaters. I was so glad to see a wide range, and especially glad I didn't go too dressy. Even though some women did have on gowns, there were very few and I'd rather not be one of 20 women in a gown while everyone else just has the standard Christmas party attire.

The lighting was dim and complimentary. There were tables with crisp white linen and white glowing candles. There were many food stations, with two tables of each. We started with the gigantic shrimp. And I do mean gigantic. I have never seen shrimp cocktail that large. Followed with the typical relish tray with raw vegetables, roasted asparagus, dips, fancy olives, and herb infused breads.

There was also scampi and chicken skewers. Then there was the potato sundae bar. They had martini glasses arranged and everyone chose between mashed red potatoes with skins or skinless yukon. We scooped potatoes into our martini glasses and built our "sundaes". There was ranch dressing, sour cream, chives, cheddar cheese, bacon, onions, black bean salsa, picante sytle salsa and other dressings. No party is complete without the pasta bar. This one had greek pasta and creamy pasta with peas and prosciutto, ceaser salad, and breads.

There was also a table with fresh fruit, quick breads, cookies, mini quiche and other goodies. We totally missed this table and by the time we realized it was there, we were both too stuffed to try anything. The main course was prime rib and pork loin with four cheese au gratin. Richard and I were laughing when we discovered we'd need a knife to cut through some of the still very hard potatoes. Nothing is ever perfect, everyone knows something has to go wrong at these things. Considering how much food was served, everything was fabulous and no expense spared. Except for the two drink limit of course.

The real star was the dessert table. I was in heaven and I'm not even that fond of sweets. They had MINI eclairs. Can we say cute and delicious? Caramel apple cake, carrot cake, pies, fudge tart, cheesecake with ganache, mini fruit tarts, mini chocolate raspberry tarts, mini cheeecake slices with dark chocolate, and everything else you can think of. None of this was substandard. We're talking decadent.

Entertainment consisted of a cover band and sports comedy. It was a great night full of fun and terrific food. I'm so glad I went with Richard and he finally got to go. The year before last he was a contractor and they aren't able to come to the parties. So this is the first year out of three years of employment with this company that he attended. Before we left Richard and I snuck off so he could have one last drink while we chatted privately. He told me how how glad he was that I came, how thankful he was that I was driving, and just how nicely I cleaned up. I took him home and took advantage of him.

I guess work parties can be fun after all.