The paper instructed the reader to indicate how many would be attending the company Christmas party this year. Some people had taken to putting lines for numbers (like || for 2), some actually wrote numbers.

Of course, this is a problem - I’m not going.

I will be badgered by our receptionist, who seems to have organized the fiasco. Obviously, the people I work with have yet to determine what a “good time” is for someone who is 20-something. It definitely does not involve getting dressed in a suit on a weekend night to drain a couple brewskies with your boss while some insipid DJ insists on suckering you into stupid musical chair games with your date for the evening.

Um… No.

On the other hand, it’s really the only time of the year when people at work can hang out in a friendly, non-work atmosphere and get to really hate each other as people. I mean, you might think that you dislike someone on a professional level, but it takes an out-of-the-office excursion to truly learn to despise.

Usually, I don’t even mind so much going to work Christmas parties. How can you pass up free food and booze? How often do you get to see the owner a little tipsy? And can you really pass up an opportunity to see who would marry that guy from accounting? No way!

Unfortunately this year I have too many other obligations to attend the party. My weekends are normally packed with activities (not those that I necessarily enjoy, but those inflicted on me by societal norms, like mowing the lawn, visiting in-laws, helping old ladies across the street) and the holiday season is even moreso than usual. Everybody wants to see me for some reason. I guess it’s to get their fill for the rest of the year.

Anyway, I put my big red zero next to my name (the first zero in the list, mind you), and returned it to the receptionist. I could hear her scolding me as I closed the door retreating into my office.