It’s 9:30pm. The bar has been open since 6pm, and I mean open–free to order whatever we want without it costing us a dime. Sure, there were appetizers and salad and rolls and entrees and dessert, but they were spread out over the last three and a half hours, unlike the drinks that were downed in a few gulps and ordered again from the quick-handed bartender. Now the tables have been cleared and moved; the floor is bare. Dance music blares from the speaker in the corner. Who is brave enough to dance in front of their coworkers? Correction–who is drunk enough to dance in front of their coworkers?
The answer is soon clear. A man from sales with greasy hair wearing a fancy suit takes the floor; a skinny straw protrudes from the rim of the tumbler in his right hand. He shuffles his feet and scoots across the floor, giving a twirl here and there so the bottom of his blazer spins out from his hips. He doesn’t seem to notice the bystanders lining the perimeter of the room outright pointing in amusement and disbelief.
Soon enough, there’s another middle-aged white guy on the dance floor with him. He dances with more arm movements, probably not trusting his feet to stay coordinated with his level of intoxication. His face is serious; he is clearly focusing on what he’s doing. At first, the two men dance in their own spaces, but once they stumble into each other’s bubbles, they take advantage of it. The first man puts his arm around the second man’s waist, and together they march in a circle.
I sit on a stool at the edge of the room and stare and laugh, but I also tap my toe and nod my head to the beat, jealous that these men have the inhibitions that allow them to enjoy the upbeat music and the wooden dance floor. Yes, that inhibition came in the form of, like, ten cocktails, but they have it all the same. Booze isn’t leaking from my pores, but I still have the desire to do exactly what they are doing–let loose, have fun, blow off some steam without caring what anyone else thinks about it.
*Did you attend an office holiday party this year? Did you let loose or follow social decorum? What does it take for you to allow yourself to have a little fun?*