Reality vs. Expectation

”I can't wait to read your blog tomorrow,” grinned my friend B13 at our company's annual Christmas party. Maybe the pressure was on. Maybe the fear that thegreek was lurking around corners to get paparazzi shots had me somewhat subdued. At the end of the evening, home a lot earlier than I was expecting to be, I can't say I'm depressed any more than I can say I'm ecstatic. Regrets and realities pounded my brain on the drive home, but compared to other years, I have to say I found this one lacking. 2005 was a great party, and 2004 offered a better tale, the best kind to read with a hapless protagonist who prompts readers to think, “I'm glad I'm not that guy.” There was something ordinary and quiet this year, and while part of the problem seemed to be a smaller crowd and people leaving earlier, I think I may have built up to the annual event too much.

I am a Watcher. I stand off to the side, observing life, sometimes a passenger in my body seeing things I should do or say, but never acting. Life is a television show I occasionally tune in to. Sometimes I behave like a time traveler, like I shouldn't interfere and change the course of history. Yes, I've read too many comic books, and I wish for once my parents had been wrong about something. I was feeling guilty about some ultimately minor, unnoticed things the last few times I'd been drinking, so it was interesting to moderate my own intake and observe other people. I've met people more than once, always to go unrecognized in the office the next day and reintroduce myself at the next alcohol riddled event. I've seen best friends become worst enemies, and worst enemies become best friends, and memory loss is a convenient escape clause.

Honestly, there are no good stories to tell this year. The crowd thinned out early. People danced as they always do, and drunk girls stumbled about executives, as they always do. I mingled more than I usually do, but not as much as I should have. “I saw you sitting over in the corner so I didn't want to bother you,” said one of the girls I should have spoken to, as she was saying goodbye at the end of the night. “OK, we have a ride. Leave. Now.” said a drunk girl, dismissing me after I waited to make sure she and one of my friends had a sober driver to get them to the city. I hope they'll be okay. I wasn't sure the driver was okay to drive, but I waited around until the catering hall literally kicked us all out into the street. I did all I could do, and my good will probably would have been better appreciated elsewhere. When three cards are face down on the table, it's often impossible to turn over the right one.

The food was good. I had Tortellini and Chicken Française and Steak. A few weeks ago, I set a goal to lose ten pounds so I'd look good at the party. I only lost five, but it was still something, so sampling the many courses shouldn't hurt my progress too much. Again, actually training for a perfectly ordinary night eating and drinking with people I like and people I work with may have raised the bar a bit, which is why the “event” seemed like a letdown. I had a good time. I enjoyed the music and had plenty of laughs, but it wasn't anything special. I still remember how small I felt seven years ago at my first party with this company, how lost in the crowd I was in such a big place. The rooms seemed smaller this year, and there weren't as many people. Maybe I've just outgrown the whole thing, which is a little sad because I thought this year I might go out afterwards, and told my mom not to wait up.

I hope some if not all of this was coherent. I'm not drunk, but after two beers and a shot there may be residual rambling as I sort out my thoughts and process all the things I observed. I had planned to write about furniture, but thought this might be more interesting. At the very least chronicling things might provide reference to better prepare me for next year. Or maybe, as one of my friends told me at the party, I should just relax and not over think things.

UPDATE: This just in! I was caught on film by B13:

I'm the one on the left. :) Merry Christmas!


Anonymous theGreek said...

Finally, a reveal. I think it's ok to admit that you are the one on the right and the other handle and blog was a fake.

12/08/2006 2:56 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Nah if he was the one on the right he'd have no reason to whine and complain about not having any luck with the ladies ;)

12/08/2006 4:46 PM  
Anonymous theGreek said...

:: ::

12/08/2006 6:41 PM  
Blogger MCF said...

Choose your own response!

If you think MCF should write,"I do not whine," Press "1" now.

If you think MCF should write,"I'm not sure which one of us she's making fun of..." Press "2" now.

If you think MCF should write,"Wait, your right or my right?" Press "3" now.

Operators are standing by.

12/08/2006 7:18 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

LOL MCF. I'm not really making fun of you. It's just that if that was really you in that picture, all suave and hot and all that, then I don't think you'd have much trouble with the ladies is all.

12/08/2006 7:23 PM  
Blogger b13 said...

Why, thank you Wendy! :) My wife agrees with you :D

And to thegreek... a pox on you

12/09/2006 12:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wendy, your comment got me thinking. Although I can see the "funster" side of MCF trying to pull a prank like posting a photo and leading his readers astray by saying he was not the one in the forefront, I definitely do not see him sporting an earring.


12/09/2006 7:15 AM  
Blogger MCF said...

Yeah, the, um, "suave and hot" married dude in the foreground with the earring is B13. All kidding aside, I'm definitely the one wearing black and hanging back in the shadows.

The "F" is still "MC". :)

12/09/2006 9:31 AM  
Blogger b13 said...

The more I look at this picture, the more I think I look like the Kurgan... not necessarily a good thing.

12/10/2006 2:38 AM  

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