This is an enormous improvement over a couple of years ago when they finally closed us in the middle of a white-out. I almost drove into some 3 ft. high topiaries that were the same color as the ground, the sky, and the air. Then I had to guess where the road was and drove about a quarter of a mile an hour for the duration of the storm. I am all in favor of pre-emptive strikes. That's why we have the science of weather forecasting.
Also, we had the holiday office party last night, which is something I usually dread, and somehow this year, I managed to sail through it, and even, dare I say, enjoy it.
Suprising Fact About Liz #1: I have a crippling phobia of introducing people in groups. No matter who they are, I am certain that by the time I get around to the last person, I will have gotten at least one name wrong and created an enemy for life. I could have known the people for 20 years, I could have exchanged my most intimate secrets with them, doesn't matter, I'm sure I'm going to fuck up, and for that reason, I usually do. It makes the back of my neck prickle and my hands go all clammy. And this fear is totally justified because there are people I have worked with for years now, who I know by sight and definitely email with, but I couldn't match their faces to their names if I had a loaded gun to my head. All week people have been walking into my office and telling me what they're bringing to next week's Yankee Swap, and I'm like, cool, cool, could you just email me that BECAUSE I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOUR NAME IS.
Suprising Fact About Liz #2: I have no friends at work. For real. I told my friend Shannon this, and she said, But you're LIZ - the only way you don't have friends at work is if you work with a bunch of a-holes, or if there is a HUGE age gap between you and the others. Oh, if only that were true. I don't think I work with a single, solitary a-hole, and there are easily a dozen girls my age. It's just that I really don't give a shit, except for two days out of the workyear when I am reminded that I have no friends. I used to eat at the cafeteria here, but the all-you-can-eat mentality, coupled with the dismal food quality, was making me fat so I stopped. Beyond that, my work requires little to no interaction with anyone except students, or people who are literally passing through my office. There's no room where people hang out and drink coffee, not that I drink coffee anyway. So no friends.
I think I warned Justin of these things last year, and he refused to believe me, until he got to the party and I was a shrinking violet all night, and he said something tactful which my brain translated to, OMG I never would have believed it, but you really *are* totally friendless. And then he proceeded to talk to my very nice co-workers who by the end of the night were offering to find him jobs in the film industry. So yeah, it really is just me.
But this year's party was the surprise hit of the season for several reasons. For one thing, I have been here for awhile and I've gotten to know more people than I realized. The first year I knew no one but didn't care. The second year I knew no one and felt like an ass. This year was helped in part by the fact that word has gotten out about my acting and recent Nia training, which is great because people can always ask me for the latest updates. So I guess I have established a little bit of repartee, which made my trips to the buffet table less treacherous.
Secondly, thanks to Phil's pathological promptness we were just about the first people there. This could have been Panic Attack City for me except, hooray!! the only other couple there was this sweet comp teacher who I've actually hung out with at a party in JP, and her husband. What a gigantic relief. This meant we actually got a place to sit, and good people to talk to. It felt more like a double date than the Helliday party I was anticipating.
And thirdly, Phil was wonderful. He talked books with the comp teacher, computers with her husband, made my boss laugh, and knew all the punchlines to the cheesy drummers-are-losers jokes this other professor was telling. And despite the open bar, he did not get drunk. It was like he was a graduate of some James Bond charm school. If he had told me that he had decoded all of our encrypted files and murdered an Albanian assassin on his quick trip to the bathroom, I wouldn't have been the least bit surprised.