So, today was the company holiday party for the place where I work. Last year I was all excited about being able to bring Tom along and introduce him to everyone. Then I found out they hold the parties in the middle of the day on a Friday, and I was appropriately bummed because he probably wouldn't be able to go in that case.
"Um, you know spouses aren't allowed anyway, right?"
"What?! No, I did not know that. How stupid. What kind of company Christmas party doesn't let you bring your spouse? I thought that was kind of the point."
Au contraire, mis amigos. The story goes, many years ago, the parties were your standard evening events, complete with booze aplenty (or at least, booze enough). However, after too many incidents involving employees' spouses being drunkenly informed of various workplace dalliances, and the ensuing drunken fistfights - "too many" meaning "more than one or two," which seems just absurd...seriously, people, keep it in your freaking pants for god's sake - the new party arrangements were adopted. Middle of the day, employees only, no alcohol. (It's also possible they just decided it had gotten too expensive to feed everyone AND their families, and the claim is that the dusty, way too hot company picnic at the weird dirt ranch in Chatsworth serves the "everyone meet everyone" function. But I digress.)
Anyway, the point is, the holiday party is for employees only. However, as it's held in a hotel ballroom in the middle of the day, I could really only go if I brought Soren along, but I figured it wouldn't be a huge deal. I mean, he's not really mobile yet, so it's not as though he'll run around bothering people. He wouldn't take up an extra chair, not if he's sitting in my lap or being passed around among all the people who want to meet him. He's certainly not going to eat any of the food. Where's the harm? Surely if I just show up with him strapped to my front they will see reason. What are they going to do, turn me away, after I've gotten all dressed up and driven all the way over there?
Alas, that is exactly what they did.
Did I mention the dress code? I didn't. There's a dress code for this party. I had to wear a dress. And since it's been kind of chilly lately, I thought I'd go for tights instead of nylons, since they're a bit thicker. I went to Target and picked out a nice outfit for the boy (since his "fancy clothes" were all in the hamper from earlier this week) and got myself some plain black tights to go with my black dress and black boots. And then I thought about it some more and decided that was kind of a lot of black; I couldn't see any reason not to embrace the holiday season and get myself some festive tights. I still got the black ones, in case I wimped out at the last minute, but I also snagged myself some red ones with silver snowflakes on them. Festive with a capital F, people. So with Soren in his adorable little corduroys and collared plaid shirt and green sweater vest with a train on it, and I in my dress and boots and festive tights, off we went to the Christmas party.
And we were promptly turned away. Well, the first lady tried to turn me away when I went to pick up my name tag and raffle ticket, and then I appealed to a nicer HR lady who said of course Soren could come in, and here is your stuff, and have a lovely time. And then the nicer HR lady's boss (I think he's her boss) let me get about five steps into the ballroom before escorting me right back out.
"Blah blah, precedent, mur mur mur, rules are rules, blabbedy bloo, I'm a big fat meanie head."
(I may have paraphrased that last bit.)
Well fine. I stood outside the door to the ballroom and got my friend M to go in and fetch the people in my department so they could see Soren. I hung out around there for a little while, visiting and taking pictures with people, playing pass the baby. All the same things I would have done had I been allowed inside, with the exception of eating food. (The big fat meanie head offered to have the kitchen make me a plate of food, but I saw very little point in sitting there outside, hunched pathetically over my plate, so I took my festive tights and my son elsewhere.) We got some lunch at a restaurant nearby and then met up with Gram Gram for some pie, since she lives just down the street from where the party was being held. Soren charmed everyone in sight, as usual, behaving like a little angel despite being hauled about for most of the afternoon. We had a lovely visit with Gram Gram, whose necklace Soren found utterly irresistible. And then he slept in the car all the way home.
All's well that ends well, I suppose.
Edited to add:
Here they are. Festive!