Office Christmas Party: Unrealistic Expectations
Disclaimer: All the names and dates in this story are completely fictionalized and any resemblance to real life persons, dates or stories is pure coincidence.
Office Christmas parties epitomize the end of a working year, where everyone can celebrate together before they go away for the holidays. They are often the most highly anticipated event towards the end of the year because it gives everyone a chance to go wild and release their inhibitions. This was certainly the case for Laura, as this was the year she was going to pay more attention to Christian. She had confidence that their relationship had progressed from their shy beginnings and in her mind she had built up the relationship with them becoming something more.
Laura was the perfect girl, well mannered, hard working, reliable, highly intelligent and a quick learner. Her colleagues never truly understood or appreciated her beauty and nor did she. She had a child like innocence about her which partly stemmed from never having been in a relationship. She wore circle rimmed glasses that didn’t really do her face or her hazel eyes justice. Her light auburn hair was often tied back in a professional manner or tucked behind her ears with minimal to little effort placed on make-up. She has been working at Ax Accounting firm for 6 years, having first started out as an intern. The firm was extremely impressed with her that they decided to hire her on a full time basis offering all the perks.
Within the 6 years, she became comfortable with her job and routine but it wasn’t until Christian that something in her awoke. She only really started noticing Christian in the last 2 years. When he first said hi to her in late November 2015 in the office kitchen. She was struck by his boyish good looks and well mannered speech. But it was the fact that they had never had an interaction previous to that one that had her in awestruck.
Christian was what some would call classically handsome. In fact to say that he was handsome would be an understatement. His black rimmed glasses greatly complemented his strong jawline but hid his baby blue eyes. He was a family man, intelligent (having graduated from Yale Law Sigma Cum Laude), likeable, funny and had all the attributes of the ideal guy. Although he was a bit of a geek for having chosen to work at an accounting firm instead of Law, the fact that he was a social butterfly compensated for this. He was beautiful on the inside and the outside as he was well built once having told Laura in one of their many conversations, that he takes his gym routine seriously. This proved to Laura if anything that he was driven and the results of which proved to be very irresistible for Laura not to stare at.
The interactions between them thus far had been small but constant. Everyday she would wait in her cubicle on the 3rd floor by the stairs just to get a glimpse of him coming down from the floor above. One of the more significant conversations between them happened in the February of this year when they were both working over time. Christian was making his way down the stairs carrying a stack of papers accidently trips dropping the huge stack. She rushes over to help him collect them and that’s when he breaks down in front of her. He is over worked and over stressed and tells her he’s considering quitting. She comforts him and listens to him vent his frustrations. She had never had a guy be this vulnerable and open with her before and it both excited and confused her. They sat on the stairs as she comforted him making him laugh to cheer him up. They shared a moment, gazing deep into each other’s eyes and to make things more complicated after he thanks her for helping him, he says to her “you know you just made my night, I’m so lucky I have you”.
The following week, their contact is back to normal
At the 2015 Christmas party, she was both relieved and disappointed when she found out that he couldn’t make it due to a family obligation. When Laura’s gal pal Mindy inquired as to where Christian was, Simon replied obnoxiously and semi drunk with “he had to visit his sick gram, but who cares? I’m here!” Simon was the office sleaze and Christians co-worker from the floor above. Simon was the type of guy who wasn’t ashamed to badmouth his co-workers behind their back and was generally the type of guy who would get so drunk at office Christmas parties to hit on women. Wherever Christian went, so did Simon, like sheep following his Shepard. Simon’s interactions with Laura were uncomfortable on a daily basis as he would often make inappropriate comments just to rile her up particularly in front of Christian. Laura didn’t care though as the only highlight of her day was seeing Christian.
The 2016 Christmas party Laura, knowing Christian was going to be there had determined things were going to be different. All of their flirtatious interactions and small conversations throughout the year had given her the courage to be different for this upcoming party. While getting ready for the party that day, she was replaying all of the times he had noticed every little change about her. Like the fact that she got a haircut in April and he told her how pretty she looked. Or how she treated herself to a spa day in September for her birthday and he told her she had this glow. Laura knew this Christmas party was her chance to make a move and for things to be different. She slipped on her little black dress, applied blush on her flawlessly made up face, slipped on her louboutin pumps (which she keeps for special occasions) checks herself one last time and leaves for the party.
When she arrives at the party, the atmosphere is already crazy as she sees co-workers drinking, laughing and having fun. When they see her they approach her complimenting her of her dress, shoes and the fact that she looks amazing. They were surprised at the fact that they had never seen her look this good. All though she was grateful for the attention, all she could think of though was Christian and what he would think of her. She had placed a lot of effort into her look for the party just for him and as she eagerly awaited his arrival she started to grow nervous. Then she hears it, Christian has arrived! …but with a guest. She plays this off in her mind thinking he just brought a friend. Until she sees them together with his arm wrapped around this “friend’s” waist. She was wearing a velvety red dress, red pumps and her hair looked effortlessly perfect tucked behind her ears. Feeling embarrassed Laura was ready to leave when Christian spots her and makes his way over to her with his guest. Looking cool as ever he complements Laura calling her beautiful while gazing at her and then introduces his friend as his girlfriend. After the introductions are made Laura excuses herself, puts on her leather coat and walks out, leaving the party with thoughts of disbelief and anguish.
As she solemnly sits on the train, making her way back home, her thoughts keep replaying that introduction. Thinking to herself, how much of an idiot’s she’s been for reading in to every little conversation they have had thinking it meant something. She went over in her head all the signs that she could have missed. Such as the fact that he compared her to his little sister and the need to protect her as such thereby friend-zoning her. Then she realized all this time how much she misinterpreted every little aspect of their contact.
Was it her fault for reading in too much to his actions? Was it his for being the way he was?
The moral of this story is; don’t waste your time living in this fantasy analyzing every little thing and placing significance on it. Your time on this planet is short, so if you are not sure about something, confront it. Over analyzing is our biggest problem because it limits our chances of taking the plunge.