|Christmas in the post-War United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Today was the day for my office Christmas party. It wasn't going to be a major affair. Just lunch and for those that wanted to participate some games and a gift exchange. Typically, I do not look forward to these affairs. My plan was to go to the party, sit with a couple friends, grab a bite to eat, and quietly watch the festivities.
I consider myself to be quite the introvert. So much so that if you look it up in the dictionary you just might find my picture. As an introvert, I tend to dislike being put in social situations that make me uncomfortable or anxious. Even at church, I hate the dreaded "greet your neighbor" portion of the service. Today ended up being one of those situations. When I get forced into one of those situations, I tend to withdraw and am easily agitated.
It takes me a while to get comfortable around most people. Once I do, I can be very friendly and talkative. Until I reach that point, however, I tend to clam up and not say a whole lot. When I arrived at the party today, I was handed a label with a picture from a Christmas movie. I was told that there was assigned seating and we had to sit at the table that corresponded to the label I was given. The idea was to force people to mingle with people that they wouldn't normally sit with. That was strike one.
Normally, I get to the office pretty early, usually an hour and a half to two hours before everyone else arrives. Since I get to work so early, I also eat lunch earlier than most, usually around noon. Today's party was supposed to start around 1 pm so I was already hungry when I arrived. It took a while for everyone to arrive. Then there were the speeches from the bosses. They didn't want everybody to flood the small buffet line, so they sent one table at a time to the line. So even though my table was closest to the buffet line, we went last. It was nearly 2 pm before we got to the line. Strike two.
I grabbed a paper plate and plastic cutlery and got in line. Whoever was responsible for ordering the food didn't do a very good job. When I got to the front of the line, there wasn't a whole lot to choose from. The vegetables did not look appetizing at all. The ham looked very dry, and you really couldn't get anything from it as all the slices were gone and there was nobody to slice more and no knife to cut it. The chicken was gone. That was strike three for me. I left without eating, went back to my desk, and finished up my day.
From what I hear, I didn't miss a whole lot. My best friend in the office told me the food wasn't very good. And my observation about the ham being dry was accurate. I wish that I could feel more comfortable in these situations. Unfortunately, like Popeye, "I yam what I yam." Even to this day, after 23 years of marriage to my wife, I still am uncomfortable when all her aunts, uncles, and cousins are at events. I'd say maybe someday, but I doubt it.