Thank goodness we're almost to the 25th because I went to my third Christmas party in a week tonight and I can't keep this up forever. Actually, I don't mind the dressing up part in the least. And I enjoy meeting new people and having unexpected conversations. And as for the gratuitous drinking, well, there are bigger crosses to bear. And staying up late on a school night, well that really has no relevance whatsoever to my life. But the eating! These holiday soirees can put you in a food coma if you're not paying attention.
Tonight's festivities included a white bean, onion and herb spread, assorted cheese and crackers, meatballs, a Jarlsburg/Gruyere cheese fondue, crudites and dip, pork tenderloin in a shallot butter sauce with a cooked apple sauce, sauteed squash/zucchini medley and an obscenely rich mac and cheese. For dessert, there were radar bars, lemon chess squares and chocolate fondue with mini bananas and croissant chunks for dipping. I think I had 2 1/2 plates of food, but the Food Police may have noted more. All I know is no amount of wine could compete with so much of a food base.
The general conversation somehow took a turn to the subject of things I personally don't do. Specifically mentioned were the facts that I don't wear jewelry. And that I don't wear jeans. And I don't have a cell phone. As inevitably happens when that last topic comes up, someone immediately said to me, "Congratulations!" and actually sounded sincere. Within minutes, though, a friend said, "I'm buying you a cell phone for Christmas." Do you know how many times someone has said that to me? So I was simultaneously applauded and pitied for my lack of 24/7 communication availability; no one seems to understand what a deliberate choice it is for me.
One woman, whom I had met just a few months ago, asked if there was an update on my job or love status. No, I said, everything was pretty much the same. I may have made a self-deprecating remark or two about the state of my affairs and she started to get visibly upset. "That makes me want to cry," she said.
Which made me laugh out loud because what earthly good would it do to stay upset about the turmoil that has defined 2009 for me? Sure, I'd change it all if I could, but none of it seems to be in my hands. Okay, I wouldn't change the no jeans, jewelry and cell phone parts.
And the self-deprecation is just part of the package, I'm afraid. But the rest could certainly use an overhaul.