Everyone has a holiday party story. All are memorable even though there are some we’d like to forget. Following the Vegas rule of, “What goes on at the holiday party, stays at the holiday party,” brings us peace, comfort, and joy knowing that it’s a no holds barred evening.
Something happens to adults at holiday parties; we relive our youth by doing and saying things without a care in the world. I’ll never forget one year I started drinking and didn’t have anything to eat, the usual thing that happens at parties, and found myself where I began to slur so I began to eat cheese and crackers to keep myself in control. Yes, I had fallen victim to the typical holiday party excuse for the way I was feeling; I blamed everything on the fact that I hadn’t eaten. As the night progressed, I met new people, danced my ass off, and had the time of my life; all accomplished on cheese and crackers!
Making my way for “one more” at the bar with my new found friends, it hit me. I had crossed over to the point of no return. The place where you think you can function at a normal state but there’s no way in hell you can. So the only way to make it through the rest of the night is to plant your ass on a chair and watch the show that, at this point, mimics an LSD trip and you wait for a ride. At this party in particular, I swear I saw someone dancing with a plastic doll that looked like Mrs. Claus.
But at that point, my vision was impaired and my speech was best to be kept at a minimal because I sounded like the elephant man. Unless there was a speech pathologist in the house for translation, mum’s the word. I just prayed to God that I could get up and not have to be escorted out of there via wheelchair. After I left I was never able to justify what I saw even when I get flashbacks in February of visions of plastic dolls dancing in my head. There’s nothing I can do and no one I can ask because, “What goes on at the holiday party, stays at the holiday party.” After the party, all of us seem to always have the same wish; that we don’t see someone from holiday parties past who will break the rules by asking questions like, “Do I know you? I feel like we have met before but I can’t seem to pin point where?” Or bluntly say, “Hey. I remember you from that party, you’re the one that….” Yup, it’s the “fuck me moment” that none of us ever want to encounter and we deny that it really was us even if we were at gun point.
One afternoon, while visiting the doctor for a sick visit, I had to be seen by another doctor because my doctor was sick as well. As the new doctor walked in there I was faced with an “oh my God, what the fuck” moment. There, standing in this 2×4 examining room with me, was my holiday party flashback LSD trip. He was the one that was dancing around with the plastic doll and I thought I was hallucinating. I tried as best as I could to not make eye contact. All I kept repeating to myself was “Breathe, just breathe. Everything is gonna be okay. Thank God this isn’t a gynecologist visit.” I played it cool and so did he. Both of us following the “what goes on at the holiday party stays at the holiday party rule.” Hell, we’re adults and professionals. We know when we gotta work and we know when we can play. After he asked me lots of questions and made his diagnosis he said, “Well here’s some medicine, I’ll save you a trip to the pharmacy. Just go home and rest. And there’s no need to make a follow up visit you should feel fine in two days. He then escorted me to the front desk and told the receptionist that I was all set my co-pay is taken care of by him. He shook my hand and said, “It was a pleasure to meet you.” Then he gave me a wink and walked away. All I kept thinking to myself was, “That son of a bitch knows damn well who I am just as well as I know who he is.” But we play by the rules and I really like and respect him for that. So next time our paths cross again at another party and he decides to dance with a plastic doll, I don’t give a damn. At least I know I’m not hallucinating, and if I am, it’s good to know there’s a doctor in the house that will have my back. Ahhh, the holiday parties! All I can say is ya gotta love ‘em!