Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Christmas Party That Wasn't

Ever since I started working at my present job, I've been part of the Party Planning Committee. I do it because...well, most of my other co-workers won't. I've helped plan the open house we hosted when we moved to our current location, and I've been a part of planning the Christmas Party (now called the more-PC Annual Company Dinner) for several years.

This year it was going to be a grand affair, with our budget more than what we've spent before. We found a very fancy restaurant (they have baked Alaska on the dessert menu!), reserved a private room, and set up a several-course dinner featuring several different types of appetizers, a choice of entrees, and a dessert platter, with the menu custom-printed for us. We were even going to cover valet parking.

Then...the first winter storm of the season came through the Midwest today.

It took Eugene twice as long to get home as it normally does. Even going to the grocery store with Alex was hazardous (and I don't think he was too excited about experiencing snow for the first time). My parents were planning to come down from Wisconsin to babysit Alex while Eugene and I went to dinner, but obviously that was out of the question. So Eugene said he would stay home with Alex. That left me with a dilemna: should I drive to the party by myself or stay at home? Although I felt guilty about it, I decided it was best to stay home. If the main highway Eugene took home was slick, how bad would local roads be? I felt guilty knowing the fancy dinner would go to waste, though. But then my boss called, checking to see what our plans were. It turned out that only three people would be able to make it, so I doubt the dinner (which was scheduled to start at 8:00 p.m.) went on at all. I'm sure the restaurant will charge us full price anyway; they reserved the room for us, so they won't be able to make any money off of it tonight otherwise. In a way, it's too bad; I doubt we'll be able to reschedule anything. But I have to admit I'm glad to be home with my family, in casual clothes instead of worrying about what to wear (most of my clothes are in storage, so it would have been either a summer dress or black jeans with a nice sweater), baking cookies, copying music to my computer, and just relaxing in general. And I suppose in the long run, it's better for my company if we all show up Monday morning in one piece.

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