Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Parties

He was introduced to Christmas parties the first year he went to work. It seemed like a great idea. The office shut down at the half day mark. The food was delivered and the bottles of wine and whiskey were brought out. He thought it was a great idea. Everybody was happy  Everybody ate. Everybody drank. Everybody loosened up. When the office party wound down many went downstairs to the bar to round out the evening. They drank until they were so loose that many went home together and got to "know" one another much better. The Monday following many were trying to appear as though nothing happened and soon as time went by only the ones involved retained the memories of the Christmas office party.

This practice went on for a few years. Nobody was concerned with drunk driving because then not much was said about it, besides, everybody thought they weren't drunk and could drive better by being careful. How wrong they were. The party in the office was stopped when one day someone happened to open the CEO's office door and found him and his secretary in "flagrante delicto" which led to the banning of all parties actually taking place in the office. This did not stop the practice of office, now called business parties. The parties just moved from the actual office to a hall or club where the exact same purpose was  pursued, which of course was stated to show deference and joy to the season but actually was a yearly excuse for enjoying oneself to the extreme. During the year there are other reasons for having such parties but they fall under different pretenses.such as Training, Conventions, Conferences, et. al..

He personally had no complaints about Christmas parties, in fact he looked forward to going to them. This was the perfect setting for meeting some of the women under circumstances where they had led their defenses down and they got to "know" each other in a way that wasn't related to business. When he first came upon this part of the Christmas party most of the women reacted in a way that led him to know that discretion certainly was the better part of valor. But as the social mores of the society changed nobody seemed to care if anyone or everyone knew of the liaison in fact it was no longer considered an indiscretion. He personally was happy with this progression of social morals. He found life much easier this way. That is, however, "easier" until she came into his life.

She was a new hire and they knew each other just about the year ending. They had not got along when they first came in contact with one another but work projects forced them to spend more time together and the more time they spent together the more they grew to like one another. They dated and then became a couple without officially presenting themselves as in a relationship, but anyone who knew them knew they were in a relationship. There were no limits placed on them and they were free to act in anyway they wanted. So far this had worked out all  OK as they showed restraint and care in not doing anything which would hurt each other. They decided to go to the Christmas party together. They figured they would have a good time. He figured they were together. He knew he had to be on good behavior and trusted that those with whom past Christmas parties led to short liaisons would show good enough deference to whom he was with. The party started  out well. They danced a bit, had something to eat, a few glasses of wine but then she started to switch to Margaritas. One drink led to another and she was starting to get out of control. She was no longer dancing with him but with any guy who asked her to dance. She danced fast dances, and slow dances and no matter what dance she danced she managed to rub sexily up against her dancing partner. He never saw her like this and quite frankly didn't know what to do about a situation he disliked intently yet had no right to say anything. Finally he started to drink Margaritas also and just let all abandon go. He danced with his old sweethearts  as well as with new ones he felt could be possibilities.  For both of them the night became a blur. They went with new partners to new homes and both woke up in beds with heads aching and souls wishing they could have turned the clock back and had a redo of the whole night.

That Monday they came rather sheepishly into the office and got to work on their project. They barely spoke of anything but business. They went home barely saying goodnight. For the rest of the time she was with the company they barely spoke. Finally she left to go to a new job. That year when the Christmas party was coming up he declined the invitation. He just about had his fill of Christmas parties and all the fun they seemed to offer.     


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