I survived the first of these Christmas parties this past Saturday, and it was definitely no easy accomplishment.
Usually everyone I know that have these Xmas parties recommend that all their guests either stay over or bring a designated driver if they plan on consuming copious amounts of liquor, which I obviously do on a regular basis this time of year.
I was very fortunate to be able to catch a ride with my good friends Kevin and his wife Samantha who, unfortunately for the two of them, were sadly going to stay sober as they had an early appointment the next day on Sunday morning.
We all headed over to Jean-Paul's place to indulge in a night of Christmas cheer and his famous traditional French-Canadian cuisine prepared by him and his new girlfriend, Patricia.
As we were driving, Samantha casually asked both Kevin and myself if either of us had met Jean-Paul's girlfriend before. She had only spoken to her over the telephone a couple times and said she sounded 'very sweet'.
Neither of us had, although I recall seeing a picture of her from the hockey banquet last month and it was certainly not a very complimentary one. Although I could only see her head in the photo, it seemed to me to be a very large head indeed and I feared that either the rest of her was also quite large as well or she would look like one of those bobble head dolls, with a tiny body and oversized head. Either way, it could not be good.
"Let me guess." Samantha responded to my statement. "The time when you saw this photograph, you were really drunk, right?"
I remember the night in question distinctly, and indeed I can proudly say that I was totally wasted. Pissed drunk or 'leg-less' as my Dad always refers to it. Of course I could not admit that little fact, even to my friend Samantha for fear of losing my credibility, which I know all my friends look up to me for.
"Well, I will admit to having one or two that night" I responded, somewhat stretching the truth. "But my statement still stands, I am never too drunk to correctly evaluate the physical looks & attributes of any female on this planet. It is what I do."
Samantha started laughing at my clearly blatant lie and simply responded "Well we will find out shortly, we're here!"
Jean-Paul greeted us at the door and ushered us all in. I had been over to his house a number of times previously and it could always be described as an average, non-descript home. Tonight however, it was very different. His home had been totally transformed into some kind of elegant festive party scene with numerous decorations, colourful lights and a beautiful scotch pine Xmas tree in the front room.
"Wow" was all I could manage to gasp once I had a good look over the entire place. "You really went all out tonight, JP - It's amazing!"
"Well I can't really take the credit for this metamorphosis." Jean-Paul responded smiling proudly. "It was all Patty. She did everything. Magnifique, eh?"
Just then I noticed that a rather large girl had entered the room and was making a beeline toward the four of us.
"JP, there you are! I have been looking all over for you." she blurted out to Jean-Paul. Then looking at our group, she asked "Aren't you going to introduce me to your friends?"
With that, all of my fears came true as Jean-Paul introduced this rotund individual as the infamous 'Patty'.
As she thrust out a pudgy claw to shake each of our hands, I gave a 'knowing glance' to Samantha, who gave me a nasty cold look in return. Kevin had that ridiculous smirk on his face which I knew would turn into a hilarious outburst of laughter if he wasn't able control himself quickly.
After the brief introductions, Kevin immediately and wisely excused himself to go get a beverage before laughing in Fatty's, er rather, Patty's face. JP and Patty also moved along to greet other new arriving guests.
Samantha turned to me angrily and said "Where did that moron husband of mine Kevin run off to ? Both of you are so damn immature, laughing at someone because of how they look. I would kick both of you in the groin if I thought it would wise either of you up. How old are you guys - four?"
I knew Samantha was right (she usually is right in most things) however she didn't have the history with Jean-Paul that Kevin and I did.
You see ever since we have known him, Jean-Paul has always been the star athlete at almost any sport he attempts and is usually voted the MVP of the league. On top of that, he is known to always be the one with the hottest, model type girlfriends which he would blatantly flaunt the fact. This change is totally out of character for him. It is something none of us would have imagined nor expected.
I attempted to explain these simple facts to Samantha, however she did not seem to 'get it', so I let the matter drop and went on to the things I do better, such as drinking profusely.
Totally unrelated, but kind of seasonal....
Click above to play Sober Santa2
(use your arrow keys to move him)
Throughout the evening, I noted that Kevin kept an unusually low profile and was uncharacteristically very quiet. He obviously knew Samantha was watching his comments and actions and would be reading the riot act to him later if he was not on his best behaviour.
Unlike poor Kevin, I actually had a great evening boozing it up with some old friends and playing a bit of pool. I heard Jean-Paul complaining aloud that he had thought they had enough shortbread cookies to 'feed an army' as there was at least ten dozen on hand to begin with. "Where did they all go?" he questioned.
I can't speak for the rest of the guests that evening, but my gaze immediately stopped on Patty as he spoke those words. No need in looking any further, I thought to myself.
I actually almost did call her 'Fatty' once by accident, late in the evening when she kindly brought me another Guinness. Thankfully being a mature individual, I was able to control myself.
This was much unlike many years ago in high school when I had a shop teacher by the name of Mr. Woodcock - now that was pretty damn funny. I could never even talk to the guy without bursting out in laughter and I even chuckle about it to this day. It is a very funny thing. Hmmm, well perhaps not, now that I re-read over this. However, I digress.
The rest of the evening was rather uneventful although I must admit I had difficulties accepting the fact that a good friend of mine was now dating a huge fat girl, a real porker.
I am not sure if I found the whole situation quite sad, rather repulsive or extremely funny. In any event, it was certainly the end to an era. The only thing I did know for sure was that I was extremely drunk and feeling very good. Christmas is definitely an excellent time of year, I mused.
As Samantha, Kevin and myself were driving home in silence, I speculated on the entire situation.
"I mean what do you say to be nice?" I questioned innocently. "What kind of compliment is appropriate in these type of situations? She's 'fat-alicious' or perhaps, 'nice face shame about the rest of her, she's bloody huge!' or do I simply lie and say 'Way to go man, good catch' trying not to snicker or burst out laughing in tears? I mean we all know that my filthy lie would fool no one, especially JP."
Samantha still would not nor could not understand my 'male perspective' as she put it, on the matter.
"You don't know anything about her. Maybe she has a great personality and much more importantly, a good heart." Samantha suggested, clearly forwarding her own personal belief.
I know that I may be a Dick at times as well as immature, but thankfully I always know when to shut-up. This definately seemed to me to be one of those moments.
Finally after hours of almost complete & total silence, Kevin finally sat up in his seat and spoke. His words were both profound and riveting.
"Bah", he replied sarcastically, waving his hand in the air laughing. "Who would know if she has a good heart if it's buried under 200 pounds of her pure disgusting whale blubber?"
The conversation ended after that.