Friday, December 7, 2018

One holiday party down


On the way to Blaine’s firm’s holiday party, he asked,  “Would you like to go to the Nutcracker tomorrow night? I can still get tickets but they won’t be great seats.”

With his eyes on the road he couldn’t have caught my knee-jerk yeek expression. “If you would like to,” I answered brightly.

He glanced over at me . “I will go for you, but please don’t say yes just because I asked.” I wonder if he was remembering the symphony.

“Then I’m going to decline but with heartfelt thanks for thinking of it and offering.” Every 10 years or so I decide I might like ballet if I gave it another try. I’m not sure when I last attended, but I know this isn’t the year for the next try.

I asked Blaine if he was trying to boost my Christmas spirit. He said he wanted to help if he could. We’re in the sweet spot of a relationship. I know it can’t last but it’s awfully good right now.

The holiday party was nice, certainly extravagant compared to what I’m used to. It was held in the same historic building where we attended the murder mystery but this time we were in a ballroom with a lot of old woodwork, marble and chandeliers. The room and tables were decorated with greenery, clear lights and gold accents.

I met more people than I’ll ever remember. During the cocktail hour I visited with Shelley, Blaine’s assistant, who was attending by herself because her husband is deployed. She’s someone who can talk to anyone, which, as someone who doesn’t have that gift, is my favorite type of person to meet. For the most part I stayed with Blaine.

One slightly awkward moment occurred in the restroom. I was washing my hands, and two women were grousing about work in the way that employees often do. But then one of them mentioned something specific enough that I knew they were grousing about Blaine. I can’t decide if amusement or protectiveness was the stronger feeling just then. I didn’t say anything, of course, but I did compliment the dress one wore with the hope she would notice me and then later notice me with Blaine and have an “uh oh” moment. This is how an introvert orchestrates what passes for a take down.

There was a short program between dinner and dessert. It was the year in review--major accomplishments, a few accolades, a bit about the great things that will occur in 2019--and the distribution of bonuses. I must admit I’m curious about the amount of Blaine’s but also know it would only depress me. I’ve never worked for a place that gave bonuses. I’ve never even received a canned ham.

So, that’s one holiday party down. Two more to go.


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