So, I don’t know what it is about me and Greg, but we seem to find ourselves among a selection of alcoholic beverages and a group of uber conservatives. The first time this ill-fated combo occurred with non-family members was late this summer when I convinced, or rather TOLD, Greg that since the BBQ was at MY friend’s house, I got to drink, and he got to drive. (Frankly, I don’t think I will EVER catch up on how much he owes me drink nights with all the designated driving I did during two pregnancies and months upon months of nursing our children.)
So, there I am, enjoying a nice evening of chatting and drinking, drinking and chatting. And then (dun dun DUNNNNNN), the topic of politics came up. There were about six or eight of us sitting around the table in the back yard when the FBI agent and the stay-at-home mom (that would be me, in case anyone was curious whether or not I had a secret identity) stirred the proverbial pot with talk about the upcoming election and every possible uncomfortable political topic imaginable. It didn’t take long and we were the only two left at the table. For over an hour. Until Greg dragged me away and drove me home.
Since I worry, I figured we’d never be invited to anything by these people again. But I was wrong. Apparently enough time had passed for all to be forgiven because lo and behold we were invited to a Christmas party with the same group of people attending. This time, I told Greg HE could drink because I certainly didn’t want to have a replay of the last time we were all together.
Early in the evening the FBI agent and I poked fun at one another for our previous political pummeling, and then quickly changed the topic to something a little safer. Like the size and shape of the carpet’s loop pile beneath our feet. Or deciding whether the fondue had Gruyere cheese in it or not. Or whether a wookie would crush a My Pretty Pony when trying to ride it.
Then the entire lot of us, uber conservatives and the two token liberals alike, sat to partake in the “Yankee Swap”. This game, which serves as an ice-breaker among such groups, pits one against another for the best gift. It goes something like this:
- The first person picks a gift and opens it.
- The second person can either take the first person’s gift or pick another unwrapped gift to open.
- If your gift is taken by someone else, then you once again can either take someone else’s gift or an unwrapped one.
- This continues until everyone has had a chance to either steal away someone else’s treasure or take a chance with an unknown gift.
It was easy to spot the people who wanted their gifts taken by someone else in order for a chance to get a better one. In fact, the whole exchange sounded roughly like:
The fourth person up heard: “You really NEED a pink tie. Really.”
The seventh person heard: “C’mon. Pink is your color. You NEED this pink tie.”
“Box of chocolates?”
The tenth person heard: “C’mon, you can tie up your husband with the pink tie.”
“Box of chocolates?”
“You skin looks dry. You should take my lotion pack with Lipliscious products!”
The thirteenth person was bombarded with: “Pink tie?!”
“You REALLY want some chocolates!”
“Your wife would really like it if you gave her some Lipliscious skin!”
“Look, with this Buns and Abs DVD, you can start your New Year’s resolution early.”
”But you want the chocolates first!”
And so on…
I’m happy to report I ended up with a $20 gift card to Blockbuster, and Greg ended up with a $20 gift card to Keva juice. We scored. I guess no one wanted to piss off the liberals. You know how we are.
The ice-breaking Yankee Swap in conjunction with the numerous ways in which to imbibe provided the necessary ingredients for our next political run in. Interestingly enough, it wasn’t me OR the FBI guy this time. When I heard “I wasn’t about to vote for a Muslim”, it was my blatant queue to get my ass out of the kitchen quicker than the speed of one of my kids sneaking another brownie from the dessert table. I mean really, there isn’t a damn thing I could have said to that person that would change their mind. Without alcohol pulsing through my veins, my ability to choose my battles is much more spot on. Imagine that. So I high-tailed it out. Except this time, I left something behind. My husband.
This time it was him against all the other men at the party. Minus the FBI guy. So, I packed up our gifts, bundled up the kids, and placed them all by the door for a quick escape. I slyly snuck into the kitchen and tugged on Greg’s shirt. Then I yanked. Then I pulled on it with my heels digging into their tile floor. I was practically horizontal, but damn it all, he didn’t budge. If anything, it made him project even louder. But that’s not really possible, so it must have been my imagination.
As of yet, we haven’t received our New Year’s invite.