The Office Party

So, today was our office “Holiday Party,” a Thanksgiving/Christmas combo designed to celebrate all the winter holidays in one fell swoop.  Although I’m happy for an opportunity to eat cornbread pancakes and peach cobbler for lunch, I’m left wondering if a meal is the same as a party.  If you’re like me and you’re careful about the food you eat, you don’t want to waste your junk food allotment on food you don’t really love.  And, if you’re like most of us, you think office parties are pretty lame (at least the ones with no alcohol!)  How can you make it through?

  1. My first suggestion is to schedule an appointment for the day of the party.  You have a good excuse not to eat or attend a lame celebration.  Today’s party at my office was artfully unattended by my friend who was interviewing for another position at a different company.  Nice one!
  2. Or, you could follow the example of my other friend who notified party planners early on that the menu would ruin her diet and, consequently, she would not be attending.

However, both of these friends have met with repercussions.  The first has not been spoken to in 4 hours.  The second has been talked about behind her back for 2 weeks.  (Note to self:  do not talk incessantly about your diet and then put on 5 pounds.  Even people who wouldn’t have noticed before will notice now.)

I think you might prefer this:

  1.  Attend the party and draw very little attention to the food on your plate.  After all, we’re vegan-ish so most of what is being served will not jive with our lifestyle choices.  (I say vegan-ish because I’m still learning what it’s like to deny myself baked goods made with eggs and creamy stuff made with cheese.)  Fill your plate with vegetables and salad if they’re available, a roll, baked potato, the fruit filling out of a couple pieces of pie.  Almost every menu has something.  Think side dishes! And I do mean pile it on.  An empty plate will make everyone around you think you are dieting.  Nobody likes a dieter.  Dieters make other people feel guilty and uncomfortable. This is a party, for Pete’s sake.
  2. Once your plate is full, walk around with your head high, not figuratively, literally.  Look up!  When we eat we have a tendency to look at our food, and when we walk around parties, we look at other people’s plates too.  Look up!  Notice the decorations, the lights, the faces of the people around you.  Strike up a conversation.  Sip on a beverage like black coffee or tea. A drink will keep your hands busy.


If your parties are like ours, and I sincerely hope for better for you, there’s no dancing or singing karaoke, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have pleasant interactions with coworkers.  Food is not a party!  Repeat that to yourself.   Now, figure out what is and go find that at your next office get-together.  If you’re lucky, you’ll forget about your plate of food and get through the afternoon just fine.



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