The Nightmare Before Christmas (Parties)

Iceland are incessantly trying to get you to shove plastic shot-glasses of (alleged) prawns into your face as you dry your eyes at the manipulative John Lewis advert, so it must be Christmas.

I love the festive season as much as the next sparkly Christmas elf, but this year the whole thing is filling me with dread for two main reasons.

Firstly is the effect the birth of Jesus is having on my marathon training. It is very difficult to run the morning after, especially while trying to cancel out the wine taste in your mouth using the tried and tested combination of hope and Cheesy Wotsits. This year is worse than usual, as my new job seems to consist of wiping out the memories of the working day through the medium of wine….which leads me to the main problem of the season- the Christmas Do.

This year has opened up a fresh world of female hell, from which I have previously been protected. In my previous workplace the celebrations consisted of a pretty dry lunch where, if I was lucky, there was one other girl, and the main excitement came from a surreptitious game of musical chairs as everyone tried to avoid the director who was the biggest twat. In New Work the main excitement seems to be coming from the build up.

Instead of the dry lunch option where the bar bill came to one glass of wine (mine), New Work are holding a free-bar party, with food, and music, and some ‘funactivities’. In Old Work, the dress code was officially ‘as casual as you can get away with without resorting to jammies’. The new code is ‘glamorous’. Bollocks.

So it was with a mixture of self loathing and dread I found myself in a clothes shop on my lunch break. For all you ladies out there, I have done the hard work for you. It appears there are only 2 options this party season – sequins or skin-tight. Right, so with my curvy physique I can turn up looking like a turkey wrapped in foil ready for the oven, or a purple Quality Street. My running has turned my thighs into rock-like trunks, not the gazelle-like limbs I had hoped for, and a diet of Dominos does not produce a washboard stomach, but surely there are other ladies like me who don’t want to turn up to a party looking like Gloria Honeyford bingoed in Per Una?

I fear I may be heading towards the wrong side of Eddie Izzard’s circle of cool (looking really cool, looking really cool, looking like a dick). Then again, being a stumpy, mid-to-late thirties married woman, should I really care? So long as the free bar does not result in me being the crying one or the one carried out by her boss, then the night will be a success regardless of attire. I predict I will not be running the morning after.

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