Xmas Party Date. Wait. What?

Avatar for cfk_3
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-1999
Xmas Party Date. Wait. What?
7
Thu, 10-31-2013 - 9:38pm

My boss said the other day:  "Oh, you're just in time for our Xmas party.  The Dr's take turns having it at their homes every year.  This year it's Dr. X's turn.  Who you gonna bring as your date?"  I told her that I likely wouldn't have one and she told me that it was okay, that she was recently single again.  However, I can tell that she is one of those who can't and won't go long without having a boyfriend.  She'll have a date at the very least.  So anyway, I'm figuring out that everyone else has a significant other.  I'm already stressing out.  It's rediculous.  Do I go alone?  Do I bring one of my nieces?  Do I bring a friend?  Ugh!  It wouldn't be as big a deal, but in larger groups and especially when I don't know people very well (the party is the first weekend in December so I'll know these people for roughly a month) I clam up.  If I do try to make conversation, it doesn't come out very confidently and of course not making conversation is awkward for everyone.  I can only hope that they are game players because I could do that . . . I know they're doing the xmas gift swap thing but that isn't really a game per se.  I'm thinking ahead to the dinner, too.  Is it formal?  Lord, I hope not.  I will be a nervous wreck.  I can't not go . . . I mean, I could but I don't think that would be wise.  What if they pass out the bonus checks that night?  LOL.     

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 10-31-2013 - 10:18pm

I would not bring anyone to this party and I think you should just go alone and use it as an opportunity to get to know the people you work with & their families better.  How many people are there that you work with?  I used to be at a law firm that had only about 10 people working there and we also had a Christmas party at the house of one of the partners.  They had a really nice dinner and gave out some joke gifts and it was a good time.  I was married at the time but because it was a house party it didn't really matter if people were married or not.  

I think the kind of parties where you want a date are those huge company parties that are at a restaurant and there is dancing.  So speaking of those kind of parties, my 2nd DH works at a company that employs about 80 people.  The 2nd year he worked there they had a party at a country club, a very fancy dinner, we each got one free drink plus they had little boxes of chocolates as favors.  It was fabulous.  They also had dancing but since my ex was a party pooper we went home before the dancing.  I think the next year they said they didn't have enough money so they didn't even have a party.

My office is totally lame as far as Christmas parties go and honestly I'd rather have $20 extra from my boss than have to spend any  more time with him than I have to.  A few times we have gone to a restaurant & it was decent, but he never plans anything.  He's a single guy & has no idea how to have a party.  Once he decided to get food brought into the office which would be ok except that we don't really have a place that's big enough for everyone to sit down & eat if we invite the families, plus he bought some uncooked food that he expected the secretaries to cook!  I guess he didn't get it that it's not really that fun of a party for them if they are doing the work.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-2006
Fri, 11-01-2013 - 1:40am

well, if everyone brings a date, you should too, but a female date that way you can have a wing woman in case there are any single guy. Ask you boss about the dress code and deck out.

I love Xmas party but in the pas couple of years haven' gone bc I usually go way out of town or the party coincided with my b-day and my family and friends already have something planned for me.

Avatar for cfk_3
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-1999
Fri, 11-01-2013 - 7:21am

There are 20 of us.  If everyone brings someone, the potential total is 40.  If everyone showed up solo, I would be more at ease but being around that many people who I am just getting to know, then an additional 20 that I don't - thinking about it makes me anxious.  I guess there's no point focussing on it because I always stress about these sorts of things and once it's all over I think, that wasn't too bad.  Those who know me and know I have social anxiety swear that I fake my way through those situations well, but I don't know if I believe them, LOL. 

There was a patient who came through yesterday.  She looked like she was 20 but she must have been a little older because she was a nurse.  Anyway, she breezed through and was chatting with everyone effortlessly.  I could tell that even though there were a lot of people around (even several she proabably had never met), she could have cared less.  I thought:  man, I wish I could be that relaxed!  Most people are envious of a nice physique, thick beautiful hair or maybe something material like a nice car or a pricey, name brand purse - I envy people who are naturally outgoing ;)

     

Avatar for floridagirl52
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-2006
Fri, 11-01-2013 - 8:53am

Heck, I'd just go alone. Be the proud single woman you are, to h-ll with what anyone thinks. I guarantee there will be married people there who will be so jealous of you!

Just be the warm person I know you are.

Avatar for slah54
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-04-2012
Fri, 11-01-2013 - 1:10pm
There are more of us around than you know. Shyness is something that is with you your whole life. It has to be a conscious decision to fight it or things never improve.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Fri, 11-01-2013 - 2:22pm

iF you think about it like oh no, I'll have to talk to 40 people, then of course it will make you nervous.  In another month, you will have gotten to know the people that you work closely with, so they won't be all strangers.  When you get to the party, look for someone you know, then that person will introduce you to someone.  Believe me, I'm pretty comfortable socializing when I know people but it's still intimidating to me to go places where I don't know anyone.  Yet I have gone to meetup things where I have not known one person.  I have forced myself to go up & talk to people and I just find out that people are generally friendly.  I also think it's a lot easier to go up & talk to a woman because you're not worried about rejection or will this guy like me, plus you're not there to get a date anyway.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-08-2011
Sat, 11-02-2013 - 9:30am
The first thing to remember - no matter what, there will be at least one person feeling more uncomfortable than you could ever feel and that will be whatever poor sap your boss finds to bring as a "date." Not only will that guy not know anyone else and have to awkwardly dodge questions about being a couple, but he will have to pretend to want to get to know those people just long enough to make a good impression to try to diddle your boss.
 
So for entertainment value, that's something to look forward to watching.
 
You're right, games are a great way to connect without needing effort, or it can be concentrated on if the party isn't happening. The sad truth is that there rarely is enough good conversation in the world and it's even worse to try to pretend other people are interesting when they aren't.
 
So I always have an exit strategy already prepared - "I'm going to try to stay, but...." Learned this from a friend who used to breeze in and out of parties and still be well liked. Make a deal with yourself that you'll make an appearance, but if it feels like people are too coupled up or boring, kick in the excuse to leave. It takes away the pressure of feeling like you have to face a whole evening of potential boredom.