December is a month filled with rich traditions, and it's basically impossible for me to pick a favorite.
There is, however, something about watching your coworkers made poor decisions sponsored by the open bar your company paid for that always manages to put me in the holiday spirit.
Some people might prefer pastimes like "singing carols" or the ever-popular "roasting chestnuts over an open fire," but "gathering blackmail in the dark basement of a bar" is the one thing I really look forward to every year.
I'm not going to pretend I've been on my best behavior during every single office event I've attended, but my imperfections have made me a stronger, better (but not a harder or faster) person.
I hope people can learn from my mistakes -- as well as the mistakes committed by the nameless coworkers who have inspired some of the entries below.
The Person Who Took Too Many Drugs Before
You're already required to be surrounded by the people you work with for at least 40 hours a week -- why would you want to willingly spend your time off the clock hanging out with them?
The answer is pretty simple: free alcohol. But if that prospect isn't enough to make the idea of trying to remember the name of someone you've worked with for a year sound appealing, you might want to ingest something designed to enhance your enjoyment factor.
I've just realized that including the phrase "too many" implies there is a correct amount of drugs to take before an office function -- we're still waiting for science to give us a definitive answer on that topic.
However, the last thing you want to do is show up after smoking too much weed or doing too many spoons of heroin (that's the correct unit, right?) and have to deal with the consequences of not knowing your tolerance.
The Person Who Forgot To Eat
You rushed home after work to shower and change before the party because God forbid you wear the same clothes after dark that touched your skin while the sun was still in the sky. As a result, you don't have time for a normal meal.
"They'll probably have food there," you tell yourself as you burn valuable calories rushing around your apartment looking for the hairbrush you somehow put down in the dishwasher without remembering.
You arrive and realize your mistake and for the rest of the night you wolf down lukewarm cheese quesadillas and steadily-browning guacamole in a futile effort to take advantage of the liquor taking up more and more real estate in your stomach.
The Person Who's Too Drunk To Give A Speech But Tries Anyway
You've got a pretty good buzz going early in the night and have actually had a lot more fun than you ever thought you would. Rachel might not be as moronic as you originally assumed and Ben actually has a personality when you get a couple of drinks into him.
You hear clinking and the room quiets as a higher up, whose role you still don't entirely understand, gives a short speech that definitely involves the word "disruption." You're more inspired than you should be.
"That was a good speech," you think to yourself. "People should give more speeches. I should give a speech."
That thought process might not add up, but it doesn't stop you from climbing on a chair and slurring your way to something that can best be described as "the speech from 'Independence Day' if it made you feel the opposite emotions."
The Person Who Didn't Make It To The Bathroom Before Puking
The new hire who played club rugby at Maryland just ordered everyone a round of Fireball and is not taking "no" for an answer. You see everyone else getting ready to jump off the bridge and decide that you might as well join them.
Unfortunately, your body reacts to liquid hitting your stomach like everyone around reacts when they see your vomit hit the floor in front of the bar.
You've officially become "that guy," and everyone else is secretly relieved.
The Person Asleep In The Corner Using His Or Her Coat As A Pillow
Those glasses of mediocre red wine are starting to catch up to you. It must be getting late.
You check the time to get a sense of just how late it's going to be when you get home and are shocked and dismayed to find out there's still another hour left before the end of the party.
How could this be? You were having fun. Wasn't time supposed to fly?
You sit down, just to rest. The wall behind you is a bit uncomfortable, so you roll your jacket into a ball and place it behind your neck. You close your eyes, just for a second.
One second later, you open your eyes to discover an hour has passed and the picture of you passed out at a table will be sent in an email from human resources as a reminder of what not to do at the company party for years to come.
The Person Asleep At His Or Her Desk The Next Day
When you embarrass yourself at a party, you can tell yourself everyone else might be too drunk to remember it. Unless you work at a company with a very nontraditional office culture, the same can't be said for the morning after.
You might have survived the night, but that doesn't mean anything if you aren't able to make it through the morning after.