Ah, the staff Christmas Party.
How I love thee.
It heralds the end of the difficult downhill run to the Christmas holidays, it presages the final week of desperate effort to keep the students focused, it allows me to wear something sparkly, it’s an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet, and ultimately, a happy opportunity to drink inappropriate amounts of holiday cheer with my co-workers.
Did I mention… an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet? Fa la la la la.
But, it is also yet another event designed to throw that wrench of social stress into an already stressy season. Drinking with ones co-workers is best done in moderation. I remember a Staff Party of Christmas Past when I introduced myself to a co-worker’s husband by telling him I had six-inch nipples from nursing my four children. I hope to avoid these kinds of disturbing revelations this year.
To this end, I have two glasses of wine during the preparation phase of the evening.
I don’t own anything sparkly. Thus, getting dressed for social events is a challenge.
I own teacher clothes.
And, because I teach Art, all of my teacher clothes are speckled in varying degrees with a rainbow of paint and glue and smears of mystery fluid that looks like it might be snot.
But I am undaunted!
I will be dressy!
I don’t get to dress up very often, because it is an arduous foray into the dark recesses of my closet, and my psyche, which usually results in overpowering makeup and nylon runs. This year, I promise myself, I will not look like a whore.
Knowing that hookers probably have mystery smears on their clothes also, I already feel I’m losing the race.
I waxed my eyebrows today, in preparation. This means my eyelids are a vivid pink, and I am missing several clumps of essential eyelashes, and the big wrinkle at the corner of my eye is sticking itself together like a sticky child’s mouth so I have to keep grimacing to unglue it. It looks like I’m winking, which I’m sure is alluring.
I bought new nylons.
I decide to wear my little black skirt, which actually belongs to my youngest daughter who is six inches shorter than me and thirty pounds lighter, but I have a blazer to cover any unsightly bulges. I put on the blazer, and decide it’s not festive enough. Much too business-like. Who wears a blazer to a party?
I opt for a flowy sweater instead, but the flowy sweater requires a belt for the tiny skirt. The only belt I can find also belongs to my daughter… or perhaps a biker bitch from the 1960’s. It has… studs. I wrap it around my middle without bothering with belt loops, just to see what it looks like, and decide that I can totally rock 1960’s biker bitch for my staff Christmas party because I am on glass number three.
The flowy sweater is the one with the mystery smear. And pink paint. I pretend not to notice, and apply a substantial amount of festive cosmetics to my aging visage.
I’ve never been good with eye shadow. Wink, wink. My sticky wrinkle now has crusty eye shadow adhered to the eyebrow waxing residue. Alluring just dropped several notches to disturbing.
Feeling good about the degree of coverage being supplied by my concealer, I take a look in the mirror… that’s weird. There are strange marks on my tiny skirt. Since it’s too tight to actually bend over and inspect the offending blotches, I thrust my pelvic region at the full length mirror and wipe off dots of peachy colored something.
I am bemused.
I wipe again.
There are now random dark wet stains across the front of the tiny skirt, like I am perhaps leaking from some embarrassing area of my anatomy, but the peachy blotches keep appearing, as if by magic.
Ah. Concealer. I wonder for a moment if it’s dripping off my face, but no. Fingers. I wash. It’s all good.
I inspect myself in the mirror and realize that the studded biker belt seems oddly out of place, in a Rebel Warrior Princess kind of way, without some corresponding metal on my upper half. So, I fish around for an appropriate necklace. I find a silver monster I can barely lift from the jewellery basket and somehow manage to bench press it up to my neck. I’m stooping a little, but I figure I just need to totter into the restaurant and then I can somehow wedge myself up against the buffet table, and the necklace will help to anchor me in place.
You have no idea how exciting this is.
I second-guess the wisdom of the tiny skirt, but the only other option is the yoga pants my daughters have suggested aren’t really very professional looking. The flowy sweater will cover my belly as it expands.
I am cool.
I find my heels and take one last glimpse in the mirror before I totter out to where my drive awaits.
Silver necklace, combined with biker-bitch belt, tiny skirt, and spiky heels…
I look like a whore.
My drive honks in the driveway.
I’m off to enjoy a stress-free staff Christmas Party.
It is only on my way across the gravel to lurch into the back seat that I realize I haven’t put my scary belt through the belt loops, and now my tiny skirt is in dire risk of riding up around my hips in a most awkward manner.
Perhaps no one will notice the mystery smear after all.