I woke up this morning incredibly angry. I don't mean "in a bad mood", I am talking a rip-roaring I would like to crush someone's nose under my fist anger. I do feel much better now, the wife and I went to the mall and got her some shirts, she then got me fed.
I am sure some of my anger comes from no time, finals decompression, and the fact we just got our electricity bill (double what it normally was), it just adds up. Actually I was angry enough that I called up work and cancelled coming in today (and no, I don't want to run a game or have visitors today either, just not in the head-space to share my world paradigm with anyone but W, I love the rest of you, but we had already planned not to play today so this wont change anything except it will give me a breather from all my responsibilities, game still on 23rd). Mostly I cancelled today with work because there is no way I could handle my manager.
There is a lot of ranting, to save your friends page and to avoid making you have to read my inane ramblings I will cut most of it. I will post about school after I get my grades finalized (and that is another stress factor, how the fuck long does it take to grade a multiple choice test)
I will start with the Xmas Party. The wife and I have both been a little tense about this. Anyone who knows me, knows I don't really fit in with the upper class. I like my coworkers, but there is not very many of them I have any similarities with.
The wife and I started Saturday looking for presents. We are supposed to buy $10 presents each for a blind gift exchange. This was annoying because when I signed up for the Xmas party, I was told there were no gifts required. I don't have a problem spending $20 total, but honestly we are still pulling ourselves out of the hole, and I hate the consumerish pressure that gets given out at Christmas.
We end up going to the "Lucky Monkey". It's downtown, and its a very neat little import/kitchey type of shop. After several minutes of looking for two $10 gifts we end up getting two identical presents, they were little wooden gift boxes with different types of tops (different designs). In each one we bought a "lucky kitty" statue and a Guatemala Worry Doll to fill up the box.
We leave the house at 5:30pm, the dinner is at some restaurant named "Grammy's". We get there at 5:45 (party starts at 6pm). There we met Dr. C and his wife. Dr. C is an awesome older man, his wife is very nice, but I think very aware of her station. We stood around looking scared (wife and I) as more and more people arrived. Soon it was packed with 26+ people, I knew half, the other half were of course the first half's significant others. The wife and I both still kind of stood around, not really fitting in we were talked to by a few of the workers, and my manager, but not for very long.
The wait/cook staff actually talked to us quite a bit more, we all discussed the world and how things were going and in short I was pleased with the mingling we did with the staff.Dr. C's wife seemed a bit put off by the fact that wifey and I did not drink, we asked for non-alcoholic drinks (which the staff happily gave us).
Dinner came (an hour after the party officially started, we were starving). We sat next to P and her husband G (names hidden for their privacy). They are both pretty nice (P is the one who works my M-Th shifts now that I am in class). Her husband works as an engineer for a security firm and they both seem very down to earth. L (a dental assistant), El and her Husband (also a dental assistant sat with us along with Dr. C and his wife).
Dinner was awesome, I take my hat of to Grammy's. True, Gabe cooks better, it by no means diminishes how well they did. I had a vegetarian alfredo dish with Portabello Mushrooms. It was good (but would have later effects I may or may not go into). Dinner at the table went by relatively smoothly, the wait staff kept checking up specifically on me and W and I think it annoyed Dr. C's wife that they didn't ask her nearly as much if things were going ok. Its sad, even though I know in my future as a CPA I will have to go to shindigs like that, I would rather be on the other side of the register (working as part of the staff), I am just not comfortable with the official dinner like proceedings.
Oh I forgot to mention the wife and I never approached the appetizer bar before the dinner, it was surrounded by coworkers/significant others and they wouldn't let the work staff in to refill the appetizers, it was like they didn't even notice the work staff. I always wondered if thats how it was (you hear it sometimes in movies and books that the help are "invisible").
After dinner Dr. C's wife announced that three of the plates (one at each table) had a note under it saying "Merry Christmas" it meant whoever had it won the christmas center piece at each table (really was looking to me like a Kmart center piece of red and green, although I am sure it came from a upper income store). For some reason at our table no one had a note, so Dr. C's wife had us all pick numbers.
I ended up winning it, however just as I won it, someone at another table had a second note (the notes were not evenly distributed). I told Dr. C's wife by all means give the center piece to that person, they won it fair and square. Later El commented how gracious I was, I neglected to tell her I thought the center piece was horrible looking and I didn't want it to begin with, she didn't need to know that.
After the meal we were informed that we were to go back to Dr. C's house. The wifey and I got outside and found it incredibly funny to see all these new cars (Lexus SUV, Mercedes Sedan, brand new Ford Ranger pickup) and then there was our rusted out 1989 GMC pickup. We were amused because we knew out of 13 cars, we had the only one paid outright. Sometimes I just look at the money people spend on "high end" products, I just don't even understand.
We got to Dr. C's house and it was huge. It was wired for outdoor music, and literally couldn't have been smaller then 5,000 square feet (and I am sure it was quite a bit bigger then that). It was on prime beach front property and the inside everything was "Neiman Marcus" style. The only really funny thing was there were pictures of their dog "Buster" everywhere.
Now, during this whole time Dr. C would go out of his way to entertain everyone. Please do not confuse my amazement at the height of consumerism going on to imply that Dr. C was nothing but a very genial host who made sure to talk to us repeatedly and to try and make us feel welcome (Dr. W and his wife also were very very nice, Dr W's wife was a very down home kind of feeling to her, I like her alot).
Dr. C went out of his way several times during the night to offer me and W something first (refreshment, pie, etc). This was going fine and there were numerous tiny conversations we had with others that will probably get talked about over time. Eventually there was the "gift giving" phase. It consisted of us setting all of the gifts in the middle then drawing random numbers. The idea was, when it was your turn you could select a gift and open it. There were two additional gifts (given by Dr. C's wife), one was a "very good gift" the other was a "gag" gift. Those gifts could not be opened. A person would select a gift they wanted. The next person in line could then either take the first person (or any previous person's) gift or take a new one. There were lots of funny moments (the digital tire air pressure gauge was very popular and even though it was taken from W by Dr C's wife (who didn't even really want it, she just did it to stir things up) I was able to get it back for her and secure the REI card.
It was a cut throat game though, I didn't think anyone would really push to get those two "unopened" but I saw no holds barred greed as people kept grabbing for those two gifts. Actually it kind of made me sick, it seemed inappropriate for a "Christmas" party, somehow I think Jesus would not approve.
As the party wound down I talked with Dr. W about what I was doing next week. He mentioned that we were very short on time and things had to be done in 10 work days. I looked at him confused and mentioned that the manager had said it would take much longer. Dr. W's wife looked unhappy for a brief second that my manager thinks that. I then reassured Dr. W that I would take care of it. for him
This means I may be working a lot of hours next two weeks (although part of me wonders if it wont be that bad).
The wife and I then left, came home whereupon I spent most of the night with my stomach/reflux killing me.
So here I am exhausted, in a bad mood from lack of sleep and unable to do anything but nap.