We are having our office holiday lunch on Friday.
In less frugal times, the organization hosted an evening party - a holiday cocktails and dinner affair, to which you could bring your significant other. They were food-filled, boozy affairs.
The last one was 2007. I'd invited Nick last minute, mainly because we'd just gotten serious - hell, we'd practically just met. And also because, well, you just never know what people will say. And colleagues are not like family. You can't tell them to behave.
Although now that I write that, I realize it's so pot-kettle of me.
Nick, to my great relief, was unable to come. He was out of town for work. And it was so lucky for me that cell phone reception in that hotel was abysmal.
The evening was a fun one. There were cocktails before dinner, and plenty of wine poured at the tables. And then a number of us migrated up to the bar afterward.
Chuck was still alive then. I think it was he who started the passing around of the HR Director title. We each took a turn saying, "I'm director of HR. And here's who I'm going to fire." And that was seriously the least of it.
But earlier in the evening, much earlier, when not even that much wine had been consumed, I wound up chatting with the relatively-new president of our organization and his wife. They were making the rounds.
We mad polite conversation about the holidays, family, and such. His wife asked how I liked working at our organization.
I said, "It's the most bizarre place I've ever worked. It's like being on another planet." I turned to her husband and asked, "Don't you think?"
To which he replied, "Oh, look! People are heading in the other room. We should go mingle."
And that was that.