Cancelled

Writing 101, Day Fifteen – Your Voice will Find You

You’re told that an event that’s dear to your heart — an annual fair, festival, or conference — will be cancelled forever (or taken over by an evil organization). Write about it. For your twist, read your piece aloud, multiple times. Hone that voice of yours!

I’ve been here nineteen years (this month!) and we have always had one. The second Saturday in December has always been set aside for our company Christmas party without fail. My first couple of years the party was held in our warehouse. There weren’t as many of us then and we (plus our significant others) could fit there with no problems. Just move some equipment aside, bring in some banquet tables, hire a DJ, and we could party all night. Or at least until 11 p.m.

In recent years the party has moved to the country club. The set-up has changed a few times (buffet/sit-down dinner, open bar/cash bar, DJ/employee-made playlists, etc.) but we’ve always had a party. Even during the furlough days when several people did grumble that they would rather have that money back in their paychecks.

Personally, I have looked forward to the party every year. Even when my spouse didn’t want to come with me because he didn’t know anyone, I still went for a little while to make an appearance. When I was going through my divorce and didn’t have someone to bring, I went anyway. Now I’m married to someone who knows almost as many people at the party as I do and we both come and have a fabulous time.

Many companies have done away with the big holiday party. It is not an insignificant expense for my company. It takes a lot of planning and coordinating. I appreciate the effort and cost and see this event as another benefit to working here. This is also when our service awards are given out and we get to clap and cheer for our colleagues who have earned them. Then we sit patiently while we wait to see if we get to go home with one of the many door prizes. (I think I’ve only won once in all these years.)

And then, the lights go down and the party music comes on. The line at the bar grows and the regular crowd (yes, mostly women) hits the dance floor. For many of us, this is the one night a year when we get to dress up, leave the kids at home, have a nice dinner, and dance. I get to pretend I’m forcing my former boss to do the moonwalk when Billie Jean comes on. I can usually count on my husband dancing one slow one with me.

It’s kind of hard to imagine on a week like this one, as the high temperatures and summer humidity bathe us in sweat, that December is coming any time soon but it will still be here before you know it. And I expect that come mid-November my inbox will receive the official email announcing the details for this year’s party. Because they can’t take that away from us now, can they?

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