Holiday parties and me do not mix. Or they do -- too well. With whiskey.
My drunkest holiday party was the year that the stock market crashed, and News Corp. stopped having their big blowout at the Hyatt, which years past had always been an absurdly overblown extravaganza with every room "themed" and Rupert Murdoch there to partake in all the fun. You know it's a party when Murdoch's in the house.
Not in 2007, though. Everyone was broke. No corporate holiday party, guys, sorry. But not at The New York Post, boy. It was actually kind of awesome. The entire newsroom rallied and coordinated to gather at Langan's, the unofficial Post bar right around the corner from the newspaper. And somehow, since this was now the "unofficial" party it made it even more exciting -- and potentially sordid. No limits. This shit wasn't even HR-sanctioned.
I invited my then-boyfriend at the time, and by the time he arrived, I was already half in the bag. It was too late. There was no going back to the shore now. I was ready to fucking party. I started with Maker's Mark followed with the responsible floater choice of more Maker's Mark and well I don't want to be rude if the boss is buying, more Maker's! I immediately felt the rush of warmth and ease throughout my body as everything, everybody seemed to flow. Fuuuuuun. The first thing I noticed out of the corner of my eye was the concern in my boyfriend's face when he arrived. I laughed a little too loudly, was a little too friendly, starting to get a little too loose. One coworker who had dated a guy I once slept with in college (and knew this fact, but we never really spoke of it) came over to make small talk. I decided now was the perfect time to talk about it! Because that's not awkward at all. Remember that time we slept with the same guy? Merry Christmas!
The red-faced sweaty flush was overtaking me now. My boyfriend gripped my arm and squeezed it a little tighter.
As the night went on, I flitted around the bar, flirting and laughing and talking and telling stories that I shouldn't be telling. Who likes secrets, you guys? This was the best kind of party. And like any kind of apocalyptic-tinged, economy-collapsing-all-around-us party, it was all engines go. Who knows what bank would fold the next day, and we were getting drunk. I don't want to say it was pretty much our job -- but it was pretty much our job.
Countless whiskeys in, I was sitting on the barstool, half listening to my boyfriend talk to an important editor's girlfriend. "Hey," I interrupted the two of them mid-conversation, way too loud, way too aggressive, way too close talking, "Listen up. I don't 'know you' know you, but I want you to back off. Because he's MINE. Mine." They both looked at me nervously, nodding. Don't poke the tiger, folks.
Luckily for them, my attention then drifted to a male editor who was talking to a ladyfriend of his next to me. Now this was an editor who I had once given an intensely hard time to when he somewhat flirtatiously reached into my hand with his fingers and then sort of tickled them around on the palm of my hand for a minute. It was unprompted, harmless, after another late night at Langan's. My response at the time (when I was not half in the bag) was to say, "Oh that's your move, is it? Subtly sexualize the situation and show women how you'd diddle their vagina?" He turned bright red and withdrew his hand from mine in horror. So this little experience was still lodged and starting to come up, come up, come up from the depths of my increasingly besotted brain. I didn't say anything as I watched him like a hawk. I just watched him. I was coming to some sort of conclusion. I watched as he jabbed his hand to make a point to the woman he was talking to. I sat there, watching his index finger as he tried to make his point. Jabbing, jabbing, jabbing, making that point. And then I --
-- bit his finger.
Gently. Just kind of took it, and put it in my mouth. My teeth kind of gingerly clamped onto it. It was nothing more than a nibble, really.
He and the woman he was talking to froze in utter disbelief.
"Mandy?" he asked.
What, can't a bitch bite a finger of one of her bosses at the holiday party? IT'S CHRISTMAS.
My boyfriend swooped in. "Uh, maybe it's time we switched seats," he said to the editor politely. I let go of the editor's finger and smiled. Now it was a party!
Like a queen overseeing her subjects, I sat there and swiveled and talked and laughed and drank and drank and drank and then --
-- BOOM. I was on the floor.
Like as in, I just fully slid off the seat, unprompted. Flat. Onto the ground.
My boyfriend kind of smiled to everyone, again, incredibly polite, and they smiled and nodded back, as this was obviously the universal language for saying goodbye and may the spirit of Jesus Christ be with you all. He dragged me reluctantly to a cab. But why? Why did we have to go? It was just getting fun!
Now I don't remember this next part, but he very helpfully filled me in the next morning. Apparently, because this is always a good way to cap off any evening of holiday-themed merriment, I kept insisting, with increasing volume every time: "Let's fuck in the cab! Come on! Come on, I want to fuck in the cab! Let's do it!"
He declined. Politely.
Outside his building then, I did what any excellent girlfriend does. As I uncertainly exited the very relieved cab driver's taxi, I struggled to gather my balance, I then stumbled and, yes, there's a good place. Right there. That will do.
I doubled over and proceeded to puke all over the street. In front of his building. In front of his doorman. In front of his neighbors.
Good show, Mandy. Good show.
Of course, nothing came of any of it. Well, besides the whole getting sober thing eventually a year later. But no consequences with the editor whose finger I gently gnawed. I have not kept in touch with the barstool. And the editor no longer dates the woman who I threateningly bore my teeth at for making small talk with my date. In fact, in terms of Post holiday parties, I would say my behavior would probably earn me a gold star. I had weaved a story. I had made an impression. I had become tabloid-fodder-worthy even. "Drunk reporter bites finger, falls off barstool, begs boyfriend to bang in a cab, then brings it home with a spirited vomit finale."
I would read that.
So that's my wild holiday party adventure. But I know you have one to top it. And a national TV program does too, so they approached xoJane to ask us to solicit our awesome readers to potentially get you on their segment about this time-honored tradition. Did you Xerox your boobs? Sleep with your boss on top of a stack of mailbox crates? Set a cabinet filled with internal documents on fire?
It's your turn to share below, and please for the love of all that is red and green and wrapped with a bow, please email HolidayHorror@xojane.com so that a producer can share the wonder of your antics with the world. Do it for the spirit of Christmas. Do it for the spirit of whiskey. Do it for the spirit of Human Resources administrators everywhere. (And don't worry, the producers don't have to use real names. Just your stories!)
So let's hear it, kid. Spill.