Holiday Motion

Oh, yes. It's that time of year again, time for another tale of the office holiday party. This year's fell a little later than last year's, which worked out for me. About two week's prior, I was given the assignment of designing scratch-off cards as party favors for all attending. Even though I'd be using existing logos and design elements in coordination with graphics other people had already created for the event, time was still needed to put it all together and get about 400 cards printed. So, the extra time worked in my favor.

It also gave me time to recover from a brief illness I suffered last week, no doubt as a result of being run down from my Atlantic City adventure. I was still getting over it when I had to shovel snow for 5 hours. So I wasn't expecting much activity at the party this year. I was going to take things slow, chill with my friends and sip drinks, and certainly not do anything remotely like this:

It takes a certain combination of music, alcohol, and people to get me on a dance floor, but most of all it takes Newton's first law of motion. If I'm at rest, I'm more than content to be a wall-fella, and just observe. But once I'm in motion, it's like a wild and uncoordinated animal has been set free to flail limbs and have seizures.

It's happened before. Office parties. Weddings. Karaoke. Concerts. And once at a fashion show in a major Manhattan night club(a story for another time). So when the DJ approached a friend and I and asked if we'd participate in some kind of competition, I was wary. Last year, a ton of people got roped into a dance-off/race that, among other things, including riding on a miniature tricycle. I needed full disclosure before I agreed to anything, and assurances that he was telling the truth when he said it was a free throw competition. Sure enough, as he pointed out, a plastic net was sitting behind his DJ equipment. We just needed a third person to be a team, so I waved over one of our writers. And when the DJ asked us what our team's name would be, I said the first thing that naturally would occur to someone like me:

The Avengers.”

I swear, if I don't learn to do the opposite of my natural instincts, I'm going to be single forever. In my defense, I'd had a few drinks at this point and wasn't making the conscious effort to mute my geek voice. One of my supervisors who must have overheard merely rolled his eyes, while the DJ stared, blinked, and proceeded to ask our writer what her name was. He then tacked “...and The Studs” to the end of it, and an embarrassing team name was born. And after a few teams had their shots and it was our turn to line up and take ours, the DJ naturally made fun of us: “You call these guys studs?” Ass.

Every team had 60 seconds to sink as many baskets as possible, and the highest score had been 5. My competitive nature boiled to the surface in the wake of the public humiliation, and I contributed 2 or 3 of our team's 9 baskets. We had a solid lead, and laughter had turned to cheers. The next two teams fared not as well, but then the final team, also two guys and a girl, proved to be a threat. The guys didn't even put their mixed drinks down, shooting with one-handed indifference, in stark contrast to my racing around like it was the NBA. 1, 2, 3, 4....before we knew it, the score was tied and they had a few seconds left! But the last shot bounced out and we were still in! It was time for a tie-breaking round. Of course, this is exactly when I choked. My first shot flew clear over the net and almost into the bar at the far end of the country club. Some kind soul in the crowd chucked it back, and thankfully my teammates each sank a shot. I fired again, this time hitting the backboard, but putting too much force into it. A brick! The pressure was too much! We only had 30 seconds for the tie breaker, and I had wasted so much! My partners didn't let me down, and in the end we had a score of 4. The other team was much more relaxed, almost overconfident, taking their time with their one-handed dismissive tosses. By some miracle, they only scored 4 as well, and in a fit of mercy, the DJ decided not to do another tiebreaker, but award us all prizes. In the end, a $25 gift card made it all worth it.

I was exhausted and triumphant, albeit by association. I needed another drink, and probably some food. At that point I'd only had appetizers. I lingered on the edge of the dance floor trying to figure out my next move, when some ladies I'd worked with at my last job as well as this one invited me to join them on the floor. One dance wouldn't hurt, and honestly a crowded dance floor isn't that intimidating, even to someone as shy as I am. I'm realizing that no one looks at anyone in particular at these things, that it's just a blur of people jumping around and waving their limbs. Sometimes it's okay to just let go, be a little silly, not care, and most importantly have fun.

And other times, you might get carried away, not eat anything, and be a sweaty, dancing mess for three hours in a routine that includes jazz hands and The Batusi. Not that I'd ever do anything like that, of course....


Blogger b13 said...

OOHHHHHH! Now it ALL makes sense! LOL

12/24/2009 2:36 AM  
Anonymous Krispy said...

Merry Christmas to you and the whole Whorenelli clan, from a fellow wall fella.

12/24/2009 7:02 AM  
Blogger Lorna said...

Merry christmas---love the arm action in the definitely-not-you-dancing pic

12/27/2009 1:49 AM  

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