Chaos Attraction

Stealing the Prize

2003-12-10, 8:03 p.m.

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So, today we had the holiday work party. As I may have previously mentioned, this time it was during the day instead of starting around 3 p.m., and it was upstairs in the conference room. (Which may have been a bit too small with all the people in there...) I had finished my holiday jewelry set, which came out great.

It was a Mexican potluck, which I have to admit I've been wondering about ever since it was announced. After all, the last party we'd had had been Mexican potluck, and for Christmas? Food for a Christmas potluck should be finger foods, samplers, stuff that goes well with sugar cookies. While I must say that the Mexican food this time was good, I really just couldn't eat cookies for dessert after eating that.

White Elephant gifts were dumped along the middle of the table, and I hid mine in with a bunch of others. Surprisingly, most of them were really large, so I knew right off the bat small wasn't going to go well. (Next time, wrap a small gift in a really large box and fuck with them, I think....heheheheh.) Oh well, who cares as long as nobody knows what I got, I thought.

They did have us play games. The first one required twelve people sitting in a circle, passing around a hat box. When the music stopped, instead of playing duck duck goose, you took something out of the box and put it on. The last one to get an item (or alternately, the first one to remove an item at the end after everyone lost!) won. I volunteered right off the bat at the idea of putting on silly things, and ended up wearing a froofy scarf bracelet thing (think fairy costume item) and a big beaded necklace. I enjoyed posting for pictures afterwards, and was all "Can I keep them?"

The other game was one of those word puzzles- you know the ones where they give you pictures and you're supposed to figure out the phrase. Well, this was one with holiday songs, and I did the second-best in the room (my boss was first). It was fun, and I need to mail one off to Mom.

As for the White Elephant, they had us draw numbers. I drew 24- my lucky number, heh. I hadn't played this game since oh, the third grade or so, and was all, "Well, I must be at the end, means I get a crap gift." "Oh, no," someone else (we'll call her M. today) said, "that means you get your pick of all the presents." They were playing it that anyone who went later could steal a gift from anyone ahead of them in the queue. Since the number of present-givers was about 24 or so (though they screwed up the number count and passed out 25 numbers and lost one, so I was really second to last), this was looking pretty damned good for me.

Much to my shock, it turned out that well, most people there had no idea what "White Elephant" really meant, i.e. crappy gag gifts. People went out and bought NEW stuff, I think. Most of it was in packaging, what have you, and it was huge. My end of the table was all, "Wait a minute, weren't we supposed to be giving crap? Wasn't that the whole point?" The most-stolen gift was a set of fancy candles. I'd say about 60 percent of the crowd had brought very nice gifts. Candles, a coffee grinder, fajita spice mix, picture frames, an album, a towel and bath stuff, a VHS tape of The Thomas Crown Affair...stuff like that.

On the crappy gift side, the ultimate prize was a donkey cigarette holder that, of course, dispensed the cigs out its ass. I thought about getting that one just for the novelty, and perhaps to pass out in Dave's town to see if that turned off anyone from smoking (hah). I was very proud that my cubicle neighbor, a quiet guy, stole that gift. We were practically swooning over it after the party. Another gift was a funny combo- a DVD of Beavis and Butthead Do America and a book, 30 Days To A Better Vocabulary. Heh.

I spotted the gift I wanted when it was opened by the girl next to me: "Make Your Own Opoly." Make your own! I nearly swooned! I actually made my own rinky-dink Livermoreopoly as a kid with an old checkers board. This was perfect! But I felt guilty about stealing when I saw her hunch over it and mutter "Please, no one take it."

But it was taken, by the aforementioned M., and suddenly my guilt factor went away. I happily made off with it at the end, nearly skipping in public, I was so happy.

As for my gift of the light-up necklace, it was the Dead Last Gift. (Big surprise, eh?) They were out of people, so they let numbers 1 and 2 do a little stealing themselves. #1 had lost 3 or 4 presents by then, and took one of them back. #2, who had gotten the Beavis, ended up with it. (Phew, at least a girl got it. Woulda been inappropriate otherwise.)

So I was in a bouncy, happy mood after that!

Then I went home and found that my jewelry from Kethrai had come in! For example, I now own this exact necklace and earrings set. It's HUGE! I had no idea it was that huge! But it looks great with the outfit I had on today for the party, as you can see. Then there's the fabulous wire wraps, here and this. Soooo beautiful. And then there's the big shiny stars set. And oh my god, those ear cuffs are HUGE! Big fat WOW!

I am amazed! :)

On a completely different note, I forgot to mention Average Joe when I was updating last night.

I find it depressing that the entire outcome and premise of the show (as originally advertised) was "pretty girl gets shlubby normal guy," and that didn't happen. I feel cheated. The pretty boys added more drama, but I would have rather they not been in so we didn't end up with an ending where most of America watching it feels pissed off because it ended just like everything always does in real life and they "promised" otherwise. Not that they could really help who Melana picked in the end after a certain point, I suppose, unlike Joe Millionaire I which uh, seemed contrived to say the least.

To be honest, I did like Jason, I thought he seemed like a nice guy. I liked Adam too, and personality-wise they were both fine choices to me. Lookswise Jason had the edge, but I still think Adam's pretty cute. But regardless... if she picked the pretty boy, it was going to feel like a cheat. Yes, we all know it's true that pretty people pick pretty people, but for a brief few weeks we let ourselves think for once that might not be true.

And, well, I fell for Melana a bit. She really seemed to suck it up and go with the flow on the first night, and from that moment on she really did seem like she wanted to get to know the guys, or at least be cute and friendly and nice to them. She seems like a nice person, like one of the friendly popular girls that I went to school with that would actually talk to non-popular girls. And she did seem torn about which guys to go for, and that it seemed like she did like them even if they weren't hunks. Until The Twist, when suddenly she looked like she'd been handed three vats of chocolate and she couldn't wait to dive in. If I'd been one of the Average Joes I probably would have walked out right then.

I thought it was prudent of her to go date the new boys exclusively since she hadn't dated them before and she'd dated the rest alone. It made sense. And I was proud when she weeded Ooky Alex out of the bunch for red-flagging. Mike was cute, but rather happy-go-lucky puppy dog. But with Jason, well...from the first lip lock she was swoony, and there you go. Though I think part of why she didn't pick Adam was that Adam needed more reassurance that she really did like him. I think that's why she dumped a lot of the guys on this show. I can't say I blame her because that could be stressful, but then again, if you were dating someone out of your league while she was also dating pretty boys, wouldn't you too?

Oh well, it'll probably all work out for the best. Melana and Jason most likely have broken up before the show finale even aired in the grand reality dating show tradition (then again, separating a couple for months with little contact will kill a relationship anyway even beyond meeting on a dating show), and Adam will probably end up the fifth Bachelor.

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