Yesterday was a big day for press releases about random (ridiculous) surveys, which is lucky, because I’ve been a bit stuck for writing inspiration over the last few weeks (hence why I started writing about my fictional babies), and ridiculous surveys are always a great source for posts.
The one that really caught my eye was the announcement, by cupid.com, that 50% of married men have snogged a colleague at a work do. I must say, this particularly depressing statistic didn't surprise me at all.
Not because all men are cheating bastards, yadda yadda yadda, but because Christmas parties, in fact all work parties, make me people go crazy. They exist in another world where everyone's IQ levels drop by 20 points and wedding rings don't count.
[BIG FAT EDITOR'S NOTE: Cupid.com have been in touch to point out that actually, the survey found out that 50% of men have snogged a married colleague at a work do. Anyway, my point still stands, people go lunatic at Christmas parties... --Rebecca]
I’ve always been envious of people who can attend their work Christmas party get a little bit boozy and then leave at midnight, having had a dance, a few vaguely pissed conversations and consumed their own body weight in mini fish and chip cones.
Because when that person leaves at 23.50pm to catch the last train, I’ll be ordering my 9th gin and tonic, while telling a colleague I don’t really know that well about the Great Loves Of My Life in too much detail, even though they a) didn’t ask and b) are just trying to get past me to go to the toilet.
Normally, either I’ll realise that I can’t actually hold my own head up and stagger off into the night at about 2am, or someone will put me in a taxi after my fall off the table I’ve been dancing on. But not before I’ve done something monumentally stupid and embarassing.
Like I said, Christmas parties are like a parallel universe where perfectly sensible, nice, sane adults became lunatic teenagers who’ve only just discovered booze and hormones. As you may have gathered, I’m the worst of the worst.
And the thing is, I have NO IDEA what I'm going to do until it's happening. It's like my bad twin stole my clothes and snuck in for the free prosecco and smoked salmon blinis.
I might crack on to someone I don’t fancy at all but do have to look at every single day. I might inappropriately tell my boss all the things that are bothering me about my job, even though they a) didn’t ask b) are just trying to get past me to go to the toilet. I might cry, properly sob and tell someone how incredibly depressed and stressed I am even though a) I’m not actually depressed at all b) they didn’t ask and c) are just trying to get past me to go to the toilet.
In Real Life, I wouldn’t accept the advances of a married man again, but in Christmas party land anything can happen.
And even if you take Single Geoff from the post room home, there's a reason why one-night stands that are borne from work parties are hideous on every level. Not only is your judgment so shot to shit because of the Christmas Party Haze, that you’re liable to take home a total horror, but you then have to look at them the next day, and the day after that, and so on and so forth until you resign in shame.
ANYWAY, it’s definitely not just me. At my first ever grown-up job Christmas party, when I was 22, every nice, happily married family man in our fairly small company took the opportunity to gently rub my arse when they spoke to me.
I was pretty spooked out by the whole thing, but I’d gotten over it by the time the next Christmas party came around. A veteran at 23, I barely noticed the groping. Good job too, as our boss decided to give everyone a line of coke as a Christmas bonus, so I was too busy being spooked by that.
By the following year, I flung myself into the Christmas party spirit (both the metaphorical kind and the gin kind), like the massive tit that I am, and haven’t looked back since.
And guess what? It’s nearly party season (ugh, hate that phrase), again. And I’m a bit scared.
On one level I’m really looking forward to the Say Media Christmas party this year, it’s a proper ‘do,’ and my colleagues are lovely. I’m also a little apprehensive because everyone’s lovely, and I don’t want them to think I’m a massive wanker.
Phoebe, my ever-sensible cohort, was put-out to discover that the party goes on until one AM, because it’s a Thursday night and she likes to be in bed before midnight on a week day. I, on the other hand, was wondering if we’ll all end up going to another bar afterwards.
I know the obvious answer would just be to not drink too much, or not drink at all, or drink but force myself to leave early. But WHO HAS THAT LEVEL OF SELF CONTROL???
I have every intention of behaving, not least because it’s really hard to edit a website with a raging hangover (I’ve tried – boy have I tried). But the more I want to behave, the more plans I put into place to make sure I don’t drink too much, go home early, drink plenty of water, the more I rail against myself three glasses of champagne in.
So, I’m handing this over to you, because I’m feeling anxious and getting sweaty palms just thinking about it (much like when I have a hangover, in fact).
How do I curb my excessive boozing on the one night of the year when everyone has a free pass to get bat faced?
And if I do get twerped and find myself telling the sales team the story of how I lost my virginity (it was Halloween, he head-butted me by mistake), how do I realise what I'm doing, stop myself and get the hell out of there?
I really need to know because this is my eighth Christmas party at a job I actually give a shit about, and I still haven’t got it right.
Please tell me how to be a grown up this time. Or failing that, make me feel better – tell me about your worst Christmas party excesses.
Check out Rebecca on Twitter the night after her Christmas party. She'll be live-tweeting her hangover @rebecca_hol.