Party hearty? I’m thinking no.

November 9, 2008

Christmas draws nigh and I shudder. Not because I’m some kind of Scrooge or Grinch. And not just because painful experience has taught me one thoughtless gift will cause Viking Woman to take vice grips to my mistletoe.

What has me breaking out in a cold sweat is that most loathsome of events — the Christmas PARTY!!

It’s not as if I particularly hate parties per se. After all, they do keep breweries and your local dealer in business. It’s just that I’m not much of a people person. Wait, let me clarify that: I’m not much of a drunk/stoned/wasted people person.

This is the same reason why I don’t attend concerts much anymore (well, apart from the fact any music released after 1970 pretty much sucks). I have a low tolerance level for people whose brains are parked in Stupid but still insist on breathing beer/weed fumes into my face and telling me how much they love me/my writing/my tie/my wife/my . . .  *RALPH!!!* Oh yeah, that’s going to leave a stain.

Much like the kid who was bitten by a dog or thrown into the deep end by Dear Old Dad, the dislike for parties dates back to my youth.

Let’s see now — there was the time Ron Nielson took me to a shindig at some dude’s place where I did not know a single person. Other than Ron, of course. So you can imagine my chagrin when he proceeded to vanish into the night like a werewolf in pursuit of a full moon. To my everlasting embarrassment, I had to ask the host — a complete stranger — for a ride home. It was either that or start walking in the pitch dark.

Oh, and then there was the time a particularly adventuresome young lady invited her boyfriend and three spunky lads, myself included, to join her in the bedroom for a little mischief. I declined with a bashful smile and a flippant remark about having given at the office. I’m no prude but I do believe there are some activities that should not involve audience participation.

And so I stayed in the apartment’s living room, sitting on the floor, staring rather intently at the pattern on the curtains. And, yes, wondering why I had bothered to show up in the first place when I had a perfectly good copy of The Hockey News waiting for me at home.

As it turned out, once the young lady’s boyfriend had initiated the performance, he decided that sharing was not such a good idea after all. And so I was soon joined by the other two blokes, the three of us sitting there on the floor, studying the curtains, limp with disappointment.

Maybe part of the problem is that I don’t drink. Never have. Never felt the urge to feel any more wired than I am by nature. Granted, pour five or six Cokes down my throat and you might want to stand back. I’ll soon be demonstrating how I can touch the tip of my nose with my tongue or, better yet, shoving foreign objects up my nostrils. Weird? Yes. Entertaining? Every bloody time.

But that was all in my wild, misspent past. When I still had friends, or at least people determined to torment me every weekend with vague promises of Bacchanalian excesses. Just as soon as I loaned them gas money, that is.

Now I play the cranky hermit as often as Viking Woman lets me get away with it. Moving from country to country for most of this millennium has also prevented social circles from being formed.

But no more. We’ve been in Napier for nine months now and apparently that’s long enough for some people to get to know us. And one of those people has extended an invite to a Christmas party.

What do I wear? What do I bring? Do I shave? My face and my chest?

Do I practise shoving household items up my nose just in case I’m called upon to perform? Is burping the entire alphabet considered impolite in mixed company? Do I have to constantly say “about” so everyone knows we’re Canadians and stops asking us about Obama?

This is all a bit too complicated for me, I’m afraid.

So maybe I’ll simply stay home. Just like when I was a teenager living in my parents’ basement. In fact, I’m fairly certain I’ve still got that same Hockey News around here somewhere (I am, after all, a Sagittarius).

The curtains, alas, are long gone.

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2 Responses to “Party hearty? I’m thinking no.”

  1. Lily said

    OMG! I feel your angst….I KNOW your pain. That is why I love my internet friends so much. They never put you in these dreadfully awkward positions of constantly having to think up embarrassingly lame excuses. I have a history of catching bizarre tropical diseases over Christmas, Easter and especially New Year!!

  2. George said

    John, you really need to get out more. The party will be fun. There will be other sober people there and the drinkers all have to do business with each other, so you’re unlikely to see an spectacles! In saying that, you never know…
    Def don’t shave your chest, wear whatever you like and make sure you bring Viking Woman bc she and I will def have a few wines together!

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