The Christmas Party

December 18, 2002

The first thing I need to discuss is my shopping trip before I went to the party. I bought a lovely Poinsettia plant in an ivy hoop kind of thingee. The reason it is significant is the Feng Shui it awakens. The last time I had a poinsettia was about 5 years ago and it banged me upside the head with its results! You see the plant is red, it grows in the south and it awakens “fire”, which is “fame”.

Five years ago this plant brought in a phone call (which I still have on a cassette) from a Fox TV producer who wanted to know if I would like to be on a show to meet or beat the world record for belly dancing! And no, I didn’t do it: it’s five days long! Now that you have this background, I’ll resume my story.

This year I was deliberating whether or not to go. Larry was pretty set on it for some unknown reason. Five years ago the party was dull, I wasn’t feeling well, and I had nothing to wear. I was facing the same damn thing this year and I wasn’t looking forward to being in a room full of people who barely knew me and were dressed WAAAAAAAAAAAY better than I would be.

I schlepped over to do the grocery shopping in my usual drawstring pants and a crappy t-shirt. I came back and decided, “what the heck” and went into Winners. I looked at the evening gowns. I got stupid and picked dresses in size 3-4 and a 5-6. Last time I bought a dress that was my size: sigh. I won’t tell you the size I finally wore but suffice it to say I was astonished that it was the dress I was looking at about two months ago and that it was the last one in the store. Perfect fit!

I went out to dinner the night before the party for my birthday. Since I got to the restaurant almost a half an hour early I popped into the Bay and went up to “wigs”. I looked at those little hair thingees that you pin around your ponytail and found a flawless match for my colour. I bought it and hoped I knew what the hell I was doing with it! When I bought the festive dress I came home singing flippin’ Christmas carols! I then discovered another reason – a monthly reason – not to be in a party mood. Just an added repeat of five years ago.

I waited for Larry to be coiffed, wash his hair, face and slick himself up. I said, “tuxedo, Mister!” (He’d been planning on a “nice shirt”). I then started to dress. Wash hair, slap on goo to hold hair. Put on dress. Pile up hair on head, add hairpiece. Slap on make-up and throw on shoes:and hey! I can walk in them and I didn’t have to buy new ones! Shove everything known to man in tiny evening bag.

So we get on the Handi-bus and I swear the driver had a booze bottle open in the truck – it reeked – so I got nervous about the driver on top of everything else.

We arrive at five minutes to six. We are the first people there. Even the meet and greet big wigs haven’t shown up yet! The kitchen staff are gabbing at us to pass the time! It’s soooo quiet.

So, people show up over the next hour and a half and a few people stop over to say “hi.” Most of them I don’t know. Every time we suggest they join us, they have an excuse not to. I’m beginning to question whether I really bathed! I know Larry is fresh too! Sheesh. I get to the point where I silently look out the windows and say mentally, “I’d give anything to be popular and in a positive way. What will it take?” I finally decide being a giant lottery winner just isn’t going to happen to us. We’re cursed or something.

My stomach is growling when they announce dinner is starting in five minutes. There are three of us at a table for eight! We are sitting with a lonely Chinese man who works down the hall from Larry. Surprisingly, that’s where things start to get really good. A young couple decides to ask if they can sit with us. They introduce themselves as Linda and Dave. Interestingly Linda is the company president’s right arm: she is his personal assistant. And as she is sitting down she asks me,” How are things going with this alternative therapy you were doing?” I’m thinking “she’s on top of who’s doing what!” So we chit chat about Cranio and Reiki. We chat about the two articles in the Herald and the company not helping us. Apparently the president is very concerned about where money goes in charities. She told the president: “this is something that has a history to it and we should keep an eye on this.” She didn’t seem to be “slicking” me.

I was surprised. I stated concern about a company decision against helping Larry raise funds for an impressive treatment in the States. She seemed to be very attentive to my argument. She asked Larry how much the therapy program would cost. Larry responded about fifteen grand: a fortune to us. Her reaction was, “that’s a drop in the bucket!” (I guess for a company it is!) I genuinely thanked her for bringing the subject up and said that after two articles in the local newspaper and not one phone call I didn’t think anyone cared. She was quite adamant that she wanted to keep on top of this. I pointed out that the pictures of wild dolphins coming in from the sea and a big banner headline saying SPINAL INJURED MAN’S COMPANY HELPS HIM WALK AGAIN, could not possibly get a brush-off from the press. You had to watch her eyes to know she was truly listening. I don’t make guarantees anything will change instantly from the treatment but an 80% success rate can’t be found in traditional medicine. Man, I’m nursing my poinsettia heavily now!

Anyway, moments later there was an announcement from the podium that this year they forgot the bucket to draw for the door prizes:as a result they were opening up the floor for competition for the gifts! I was too busy yapping over the ‘blah, blah’ in the hall to hear the first announcement and the second one (flowers for a year) went the other side of the room. DRAT! That was what I wanted!

They came back to our side and I woke up. I saw a man get up and dance the most amazing Russian dance. He looked like a real pro!! I heard, “Any other competitors?” You see this coming? I jumped up, flung my napkin over my head and strutted up to the dance floor. A few “OOOOOOOO”s later I belly danced my way to a computer bag we didn’t need!! Little did I know that this woke the whole place up!! All night people kept saying either, “congratulations” or slapping Larry on the back and saying, “You LUCKY bastard YOU!!!” It never ended. The receptionist who’d not spoken to me for a year suddenly said “way to go, Laura!!” I almost fell over at all this. I haven’t had a night like this since I was princess of the formal in grade 8!

I have no idea if there are any photos of my dance. But we have one of us taken together.

I also danced with the charming president of the company. Larry had the guts, if you please, to tease him with, “I’m gonna give you $#&* for not buying me cowboy boots in Texas!”

You had to see the nervous response of:”Uh uh… I’ll buy you some boots! What’s… what’s your size?”  Too funny! How many people can joke around with a great company president?

I told Linda that I was impressed that the man knew who Larry was and that I wasn’t sure he knew his name!! You know:the little guy in the wheelchair. She assured me that the president works very hard to know people’s names.

Anyway, I danced with a hunk or two and had a drunken dance with Larry. The first time he’s ever danced with me” a seven-year wait! This was a really BIG night!! Now if we could just find out the name of the country and western song we danced to and the artist. I’ve heard the chorus before: Is it the Two-step Boogie–the singer is belting out? Maybe he’s saying, “Tube steak”?  I dunno!

Well, by the time we got home it was just shy of eleven and we yapped and yapped about the amazing night. Thank you’s to the company, and I’ll bet joke or not the company president really will get Larry some boots in Texas! The company made the cover of MacLeans magazine on the Top 100 Companies to Work For issue, and they threw the party to make me convinced of the moniker.

Have a good holiday this year whatever you celebrate:and put a nice red poinsettia in the south for some extra fame energy!!

Laura Seymour first published herself at age 8. She has since gone on to publish a cookbook for the medical condition of Candida. She is working toward her B.A. (Psyc).

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