Ah, the holidays.
Slack off a little, eat up and take a nip from that flask in your bottom drawer. It's the time of year when we appreciate loved ones, colleagues and even 'round-the-way faces just a little more. It's party time.
Beware the pitfalls of the holiday party, however. Be it work-related, bro-promoted or simply at the club, memories of a good FAIL at the festivities can last a lifetime. Here are the six holiday party fouls we see way too often in L.A:
6. Being super late. Southern California's skewed scheduling can throw off even the most worldly of travelers. Wait: The invitation says 8, but if you show up before 8:30 it's considered a faux pas? Yes. But way too many of you go too far in the other direction — you show up for a 7-to-10 party at 10 or later. Not cool.
Even worse, the excuses you offer. Let us translate your texts into what they really mean:
Leaving = Just now jumping in the shower.
On my way = Just getting into the car and turning the key.
Almost there = Still a few blocks from your own house.
Here = Halfway there.
Trying to find parking = Just got off the freeway.
Where are you? I don't see your car = Making a stop at the 7-Eleven a few blocks away.
Sigh. By this point, the person waiting for you is already drunk. Alone.
5. Using parties for free therapy. You're a little lit. Or maybe you're even well-toasted. But now is not the time to reveal to the coworker you just met that you were molested, served prison time or were severely bullied as a kid. And what's even worse are the only-in-L.A. stories. Your nanny won't work after 9 p.m.? You can't find a good personal assistant in this town? Echo Park used to be so cool (before you got there, no doubt)? The horror. Save it for your therapist, Debbie Downer. Remember, party people throw their hands in the air. Party people just don't care.
4. Going “Drunk Uncle.” The boozer who starts his conversation with racist views or extreme political rants is a rarity in SoCal these days. But he exists. How about those Mexicans. They keep comin'?! Speak English! Pete Wilson was a great governor! and, Those of you who voted for Obama are idiots! are not things you say at an L.A. party. Trust us. Keep your fighting words to yourself, no matter how sad you are about the state of America.
3. Making your pitch. Really? Now? Some folks (especially in L.A.) have no sense of occasion. You can tell by the way they dress. But that also means that any social gathering is an opportunity to pitch a screenplay, throw out a story idea, or beg for a job. If you spy a prospective employer at a shindig, introduce yourself and kindly let them know you're on the market. Just don't corner people with stuff they consider work. Remember, this is off-the-clock time.
2. Rehab comparisons. You did your time, and like any hardened California party person, you want to show off your (emotional) scars. But there's something just a little sacrilegious about comparing your
adult spa rehab experience — Malibu or Mexico? — while holding a highball glass of scotch and passing a blunt filled with L.A.'s medicinal finest. This conversation ultimately leads to a debate over who has done the most LSD. You're scaring the rest of us straight.
And L.A.'s top holiday party foul for 2013 is …
1. Nudity. Unless you're at the Playboy mansion or one of those freaky parties in the hills where most of the hot young women and/or men are being paid to be there, please keep your clothes on. Leave sexy to the professionals. Jumping in the pool is an '80s teen movie cliche. And in California, despite our decent weather, those pools are often as cold as the coldest night. Sounds good on paper, but this is a lawsuit in the making. If you live. Death is not festive.