I’m still feeling the pain brought about by celebrating the holidays heartily at the office party on Friday. I’m not much of a drinker, so this doesn’t mean pounding head pain. Rather, my knees are all out of whack because I danced and danced and danced some more.

Last year the party included a karaoke contest, this year the contest was broaded to be a talent show. This was nice because it let people do more than just sing along with pre-canned tunes and people who can’t sing could be included. We had a couple of dance numbers and some humorous entries as a result and it helped to keep the pace going as the contest unfolded.

I sang again this year, (Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide) accompanied on the guitar by R. one of my co-workers. R. is a lot of fun to hang out with – he reminds me a lot of my younger brother, except that he’s almost ten years older than I am, so it’s sort of like having an older brother. We’d barely practiced ahead of time – he didn’t bring his guitar in until the day of the event so we only got to run through the piece for about 20 minutes before we had to leave for the party venue. It still turned out really nicely and it was a lot of fun to perform on stage with him. We didn’t win, but we still did well and I’m glad that we finally got around to performing together because we’ve been talking about it for years now.

It was after the contest that the floor opened up for dancing. Everyone converged on the stage and kicked up their heels. The DJ was pretty good this year and I was really glad that there was time for dancing since that’s what I felt had been missing from last year’s party. As fun as it all was though, at times it seemed kind of funny to see people who would normally be quite professional and reserved, cutting loose and mingling on the dance floor. There were Board Members and Customer Service reps, IT geeks, Managers and Mail Room staff all mixed together, the lines of the office hierarchy erased for a single day.

Later on, at the after party in a nearby bar, the uglier side of a rousing holiday party reared its head for me. Other people who were very drunk said and did some things that made me uncomfortable and took a little of the hot air out of my euphoric ballon. I had danced my way out of the party hall around 4pm, 35 minutes later, I walked slowly and carefully down the hill to BART feeling more pensive and glad that I’d only had two glasses of wine and a single serving of Bailey’s at the bar.