Many people have wondered why there are so many pictures of Yoda drinking beer on our Facebook page. That long and dark story that starts with one of the most out of character decisions that I have ever made in my life. Shortly after accepting the position with the brewery I received a phone call from the boss inviting me to the annual Christmas party. It was an ugly sweater party that would be held at Roma's Italian Restaurant in Dover. I was informed that it would be a great way to meet all of my new colleagues. Completely against every reaction in my head, I said that I would love to go.
Now, you are probably wondering how going to a Christmas party is against anything that I have ever done. Well, for one, it was an ugly sweater party. As a recovering homeschooler, let me tell you, we tend to eschew ugly sweater parties, as we just refer to those as "every day that I was being homeschooled"(You think I am kidding? I have pictures. No, I will not share). Secondly, the party was in a location that I had never visited before with people that I had never met before. As the world's biggest introvert, this was my least favorite type of situation ever (Small talk with strangers is my Achilles heel. I try to prepare three topics in advance to small talk about: brunch, vikings, and something current eventy).
|When you Google "Homeschooler" this is the picture that shows up.|
Before I could even arrive at the party, I faced the difficulty of finding an ugly sweater. Despite the plethora of hideously themed clothing festivities, Goodwill and Salvation army failed to be carrying anything even remotely vomitous (which leads me to believe that people who buy ugly clothing grow attached to it and save it. Then they take it out and wear it around the house on those evenings that no one is home to judge them). I eventually found myself at K-Mart, where I was able to procure a blue sweater vest, size XL, with mittens and ice skates on it and a gold snowflake turtleneck. I knew it was the right decision when the cashier, sans prompting, encouragingly told me how much she loved the outfit.
I eventually arrived at Roma's, and that was when the total awkwardness started for me. The Boss and his right hand man, Casey, were super nice and welcoming. The problems came when they introduced me to people and left me alone to talk to them myself. After attempting a few light conversations about children and hobbies, I ended up trying to find a corner to stand in for as much of the evening as possible. It is hard to hide when you are wearing an ugly sweater that blends in with nothing.
Shortly thereafter, we commenced playing White Elephant. Of all things, there is nothing that I loathe as much as White Elephant. The reason for this hatred is because of people like me who think it is hilarious to gift wrap a box of bricks (true story) or who go and overspend on the gift just to watch people devolve (also, true story).
It was a good game of White Elephant overall. There were a lot of great gifts and people were generally quite civil about stealing presents. However, that only lasted until someone opened a box that held a storytelling Yoda doll. Many in the brewery are giant Star Wars fans and based on the reactions, you would have thought that the crown jewels were contained within that little box.
|No one but the woman on the right knew that it was an ugly sweater party|
We were playing the game with a three steal limit. After the third steal, whoever had possession got to keep the gift. Yoda was on his second steal, in the hands of Brewer Chris, who was talking about how excited his kid would be to have a talking doll, when I realized that I was up next.
I looked at Yoda and could not stop thinking about how awesome he was...
And how he would go great in my office at home (aka, the Fortress of Solitude)...
And how Chris had stolen the doll second, so if I stole it third, no one could take it from me....
Then I thought about how I was the new person that nobody knew and how much of a jerk move and bad first impression it would be to take a doll from a toddler. I had made up my mind to just go for one of the still-wrapped presents, when I got to talking to one of my new coworkers. They told me that if I wanted to doll, I really should go for it. And that it would be a total "power move" to steal the present as the newbie. The last thing I wanted to be was weak. So I went for it.
I wish I could say that things turned out ok. But to this day, Chris cannot talk to me without mentioning, in the voice of an 18-month old, what his child said when he did not get a Yoda doll. And how every time he is on Facebook, he shows his child my picture and tells him the story of how I am the bad person who stole Christmas.