FEEL THAT CHRISTMAS FEAR
Trying to navigate that office Christmas party without getting
into a bind? Just be sure to avoid these characters, and
all will be divine.
He's quiet, stutters a lot, and he smells funny - which would be
fine, except that once you talk to him, he never, ever goes away.
You walk across the room, he's there with you - no matter that you
just met him. Don't meet him.
He just loves to tell a joke, and can't stop telling them, even
though he's about as funny as a bowl of clam dip and not nearly as
tasty. Favorite jokes include meandering stories that hinge
on one stupid wisecrack, embarrassingly sexual topics with no
point, and painfully bad puns. Get stuck with this guy and you'll
be faking laughter or repeating "that's funny" with as much
conviction as you can muster, while feeling alternately violent,
embarrassed, or so sorry for the guy you can hardly stand it -
which only makes escape that much more difficult.
Some hotshot in the office invited her to the party last night
five minutes after they met in a bar. He's off networking with the
bigwigs; she's smiling nervously at your elbow, just because you
made the mistake of politely introducing yourself. Not only can
you forget conversation - she has less than nothing to say, and in
fact, doesn't speak English - but you can also kiss those dreams
of holiday romance goodbye, since those women in black think The
Date is your date - and she is, essentially, but with none
of the taste, all of the guilt.
You're having a perfectly normal conversation, and she brings up
some morbid topic that not only interrupts your train of thought,
but leaves you socially paralyzed for the rest of the night. Avoid
this one like the plague or suffer the consequences.
Within a few seconds of your introduction, he explains that the
only reason he's having problems in his marriage is because his
mother never held him when he was a child. Say something light and move
on, or you're in for a myriad of imagined hurdles, psychosocial
challenges, and mind-bogglingly dull issues, including his fear of
being ruthlessly abandoned at a party, all told in a chafingly
dramatic tone of voice that would put Hamlet to shame.
All this person does is moan and gripe about how much the party
sucks and how utterly full of shit everyone in attendance is. If
it's not the runny salmon mousse, it's the band; if it's not the
band, it's the woman with the gold jewelry who keeps flipping her
hair and referring to men as "boys." Forget having a good time
once one of these assholes is within earshot - everything you'd
otherwise enjoy rots upon contact with these crabby naysayers.
Avoid them like the plague. Luckily, they're easy to identify...