THE CHRISTMAS PARTY POOPER

Sweet, crocheted snowman from a dear coworker.

Crocheted snowman from a dear coworker for whom I did not bring a gift. (Btw, this is actually a toilet paper cozy! Perfect gift for a party ‘pooper!’)

By Lisa Huddleston

I have cleaned the kitchen, folded another load of laundry, and made a pot of coffee since returning from the Adult Learning Center’s Christmas brunch. Now I am drinking the above-mentioned coffee and wasting time on the computer in order to recover some equilibrium in my soul. Parties wear me out!

This morning’s gathering was especially trying as I only really sorta kinda knew the people who are physically in the class I work with. The rest I greet upon entering and exiting the building, but I wouldn’t say I really know them. And small talk with people I don’t know is exhausting. Also many of these folks brought gifts! I know that bringing gifts to a  Christmas party is not really surprising–but some of them were for me! Who knew? Oy. So awkward.

So I stood in line with the rest as we harvested food onto our festive plates from the buffet displayed on classroom tables, and then I found an isolated seat on the stairs–strategic as I could see the whole room and overlook the pained conversation without actually having to participate in it. Waiting a few minutes after consuming my food for the sake of manners, I then stealthily wove my way down the stairs and into the office where I had stashed my purse. Planning to make my get-away, I found several teachers gathered in the front office so I paused for just a few more minutes to exchange more stiff but well-meaning chit chat.

It is funny to observe the differences in people. Some (those holly jolly extroverts)  had a wonderful time today. They brought sweet gifts and cards and asked everyone about their plans for the holiday break–and really cared about the responses. They may still be there, for all I know, visiting and hugging and laughing. Others, tight-lipped introverts like me, silently smiled and answered when addressed, slipping away as soon as it was possible to do so without being too rude.

The food was excellent, the sentiments warm and heartfelt, and the efforts deeply appreciated. Truly, it was a very, very nice party–and it was exhausting.

Now Merry Christmas to all and to all a good nap!

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