Blame it on the FOMO

Consequences of FOMO: Getting thrown out of a club. Shutting down an office. Cashing your pay check in dollar bills.

BlameIt

Chapter 2 – Fear of missing out on debauchery by way of alcohol

There are a few seconds of clarity that happen between lifting the toilet seat and expelling my life into the porcelain bowl.

It is during this short time, while my body prepares to release the demons inside, that I retrace my steps.

Also, it’s when I realize that I’ve made it home with only one shoe. It’s when I remember that my credit card is at the bar, holding open a tab. It’s when I understand why I never stood a chance at winning a beer pong tournament against four Swedish tourists. It’s when I suspect that an ugly drag queen spiked my drink, as it is impossible that I got that drunk that fast. It’s when I recognize that suggesting a seedy strip club as the happy hour spot with my co-workers wasn’t the brightest of ideas.

And, it is when I accept the fate of my sickness and pain because what got me on the cold bathroom floor was totally worth it.

In no way am I glorifying alcohol-induced debauchery. It is messy, smelly, and, without a designated couch and/or driver, possibly deadly. But, when it’s done right, it can live in infamy, burned into the remaining brain cells of its participants – and those of some unsuspecting bar patrons.

In my modest estimation, I was the Wilt Chamberlain of these types of nights, which is why I hope to one day create a second volume of “Stories of FOMO,” just for these tales. However, for the purposes of this (dysfunctional) family friendly volume, I’ll take you back to a time when I had a lot of bit too much and still missed out on everything.

( { ( { ( { SUPER WAVY FLASHBACK EFFECT ) } ) } ) }

“Miss! Miss! Wake up! You can’t sleep here.”

I struggled to open my eyes. Maybe it was the 12 hours of drinking. Maybe it was the excessive mascara that made my eye lashes stick together.

Upon regaining consciousness, I focused on the very tall and wide bouncer before me. He was in a dark suit, complete with a customary secret-service-style ear piece and a menacing look on his face.

“You can’t sleep here. I’m going to have to ask you to leave now.”

Behind him I found three familiar faces, not only because I knew them, but also because they looked like the hear no evil, say no evil, speak no evil monkeys. Only one had her mouth completely ajar, the other had his hand on his face, and the third was squinting so hard it looked like he was passing a kidney stone.

It was the party of the year. All of my friends were in attendance at our favorite club to dance, drink, and debauch to the beats of a celebrity guest DJ. Clothes were purchased for this occasion. Money had been saved. VIP tables were reserved. And, I hadn’t been there for more than 7 minutes, five of which I spent passed out on a couch.

“Do I really have to leave?” I asked in a tone that resembled a 10-year-old.

“If you can’t stay awake, you have to leave,” he responded sternly.

At this point, one of my friends took over and assured the club cop that they would take me home.*

*That’s the good thing about homosexuals. In embarrassing situations, they react like seasoned PR professionals, quickly working to cover-up mishaps and disperse a crowd of lookey-loos.

As one of my friends practically carried me out of the club, I looked over my shoulder to take in the night that would’ve been.

“Nooooooo!” I yelled in my mind, as I dramatically stretched out my hand in an attempt to take the disco ball with me.

She eventually stuffed me in a cab and under the light of a street lamp, I looked up at her. She looked like an angel. An angel in black. A sexy angel. I thought it was the appropriate time to tell her that she looked stunning. And, she, before closing the door to the cab said, “You could’ve had me tonight.”

I watched her disappear as the cab pulled away. I wasn’t even sleepy anymore. I was too overwhelmed with FOMO. Too drunk to muster up anger. So, I crossed my arms and slammed my head back into the seat in a failed temper tantrum.

“No vomit in the car!”

“Don’t worry,” I told the driver without looking up. “I’m fine.”

As we picked up speed, the street lights flashed over my face, so I shut my eyes and thought about the events that led me to missing out on this night.

{ ( { WAVY DREAM SEQUENCE EFFECT ) } )

Earlier that day, my alarm woke me at 8. I ran through my morning routine of washing, bathing, and eating. I stared at my closet for 30 minutes, hoping an outfit would jump out and dress me like a vintage Disney movie. I drove to work and performed boring work duties. Then lunch time rolled around, and everything went to shit.

It’s the boss’ birthday they said. We’re closing down early they said. It’s going to be fun they said.

Cars filled to the brim with employees arrived at a lunch establishment. It wasn’t long after that when colorful pitchers of beer, margaritas, and sangria kept appearing, disappearing, and reappearing. The alcohol ignited office sexual tensions, animated the office flirt, and separated the sloppy from the controlled. After three hours, it seemed like we were millions of miles away from the cold, glass building that housed our organizational chart and employee manual.

At one point, the women decided to kiss the boss’ face, effectively marking him with their lipstick. The lady from legal left her mark dangerously close to his lips, while his secretary sat on his lap to comfortably leave her stain on his neck. When it was my turn, I kissed his ear, which made him cringe almost as much as I did.

All of this over the mantra-like chant of the vice president, “What happens here, stays here.”

Not all the mints, gum, and Bath and Body Works splash in the world could cover our collective stench of alcohol. And, not all the espresso-laced Adderall could sober the group. So, after three hours of nonsense, a decision was made to roll the celebratory lunch into an office happy hour.

The cluster of the party moved to the restaurant bar. Cliques were formed, some around the hightop tables, a few others out on the patio, and the remainder saddled up on stools and held on to the ledge of the bar for fear of falling. Drinks were spilled. Laughs were had. And personal space boundaries were non-existant. There was so much to take in. So much potential for wrongness.

I butterflied around, as I customarily do, not to miss out on any of the inappropriate behavior. Despite my haze, my internal census count warned me that I had lost visual on two of my co-workers. Consumed by an uneasy feeling, I went looking for them. I thought perhaps one of them got sick, so I checked the women’s washroom first. I prepared mentally to help the victim, realizing I would have to hold her hair and pat her gently on the back. However, I was not prepared to find them in a compromised position. An incredibly compromised position.

“Are you guys crazy?” I asked as I locked the door behind me.

They giggled loudly, which angered me more. Yes, angered. After all, I was the office lesbian, which meant it was a lack of courtesy to not consult or invite me to their trist. But, the anger quickly disappeared when I realized the magnitude of the office gossip I had stumbled onto, especially because one of the members of the dynamic duo was already dating a co-worker. Like good girl scouts we swore to keep this between us and went about our business.

Now, 5 hours into this affair, I knew this was dangerous territory. I had plans to grab dinner and get pretty at a friend’s house for the party of the year. But, there was no way I could miss out on the potential for more debauchery. No way.

Like a Jason Mraz album, we danced, we drank, we made new friends, we sang, we talked, and we flirted collectively, until the sky turned black. One by one they fell. One co-worker got in a tiff with his wife, when he forgot to pick up his kid at day care. Another was seduced by a cougar at the bar, and he left with her. The bosses left. The legal department left. And, the small group that remained included the girlfriends.

Time was of the essence. It was dangerously close to party time, but I couldn’t leave without seeing more, so, I suggested venue change. A place that was of walking distance and perfect for inciting serious debauchery  – The Pink Pony.

Lap dances ensued. Money was thrown. And, as surmised, it served as a catalyst for all sorts of havoc. The girls did end up acting out, and the boyfriend didn’t mind at all. As a matter of fact, the girls made a total of $14. I was quite satisfied with myself, until I went to use the ladies room and realized it was way after 11.

“Oh no!” The panic in my voice caused the strippers huddled around the mirror to look at me.

“I’m supposed to be somewhere! And now look at me!”

The girls gathered around me and, like sexy, fairy godMILFs. I was commanded to wash my face, while one of them went back to the dressing room to grab her make-up bag. The two remaining worked together to take off my jacket and sexified my shirt by unbuttoning it and creating a little side-knot. When the third returned, they proceeded to do my make-up and two wet my hair for a designer look.

In the middle of this, my co-worker girlfriends walk into the ladies room. Their giggling stopped, as they stood there staring.

“They’re helping me out.” I said.

“I’m sure they are,” one of them said.

I quickly grabbed my purse and bid adieu to my new friends with kisses and dollar bills. Conveniently, a cab was parked right outside and he had no trouble double-timing it to the club.

{ ( { REVERSE WAVY DREAM SEQUENCE EFFECT ) } )

“27.50. Hello? Wake-up. 27.50.”

The stickiness of the mascara kept one of my lids shut. With my one good eye, I looked out the window of the cab to see my front door. Then turned my attention to the cabbie’s furry unibrow through his rearview mirror. I handed the man 33 dollar bills and walked across the paved path with my head held high, knowing that this would one day make for a good story.

“Stories of FOMO”

You’ve just read a chapter from “Stories of FOMO.” Here are a few other chapters in case you fear of missing out on them:

Chapter 1

Chapter 3

Chapter 5

One drink minimum

The following are excerpts from my travel journal. They span a year of travels throughout the U.S. and abroad with only one thing in common: I wrote them while slightly intoxicated.

February 20th

Truth: Love is all you need. Note to self: Avoid the gift shop. For they are creepy and rude.

 May 20th (pre-drink)

…I’m actually on the plane right now. My flight was delayed five and a half hours and my period is rearing its nasty head right at this moment when I’m 35,000 feet away from the nearest Walgreens. I’m debating ordering a cranberry and vodka to ease the pain of the next six hours of flight. Through my earphones I still hear the “s” sounds of the words within a conversation a woman is having with her neighbor, but really she wants the entire plane to hear what she’s saying. And the moron sitting next to me is using his iPhone for poker and his iPod for music. You can do it all with one, man! The plane is being bounced around all over the sky. It’s annoying more than scary. I’m flagging down the flight attendant. VODKA CRAN WINS!

May 23rd

…Today I’m in Ketchikan for the second time in my life. I thought Alaska was a once in a lifetime thing. No such luck.

May 28th

…My back is destroyed. I can’t focus on writing for my blog. I’m surrounded by Asians. I’m going to buy a hat.

August 6th

I’m on a bus with plastic seat covers. Someone is playing awful gospel music from their cell phone. No, no. It’s coming from the speakers on the bus. Now is not a good time Jesus…

 September 4th

I am regretting this $17 sugar-free Red Bull and vodka I purchased at the Billy Joel/Elton John tribute. But what can I do? The guy played piano man right when the waiter walked by…

 December 29th

…and “Silver Bells” is playing on the pool deck, which should be enough of a reason to drink heavily. But I’ve heard this song at least 30 times in the last 72 hours, so I’m going to need something stronger. Maybe some Mexican Zoloft?

Where’s the party?

“Happy Corporate Holidays!” This is the second in a series of three blogs dedicated to the holiday season spent inside a cubicle.

If you have ever worked for an international company or are from anywhere else but here, you know that the month of December is a very difficult time to get anything done in places like the Caribbean and Central and South America. For the entire month of December there are street parties and family gatherings and food and festivals and religious celebrations and singing and fireworks.

I know. I know. They are barbaric savages. We have one party. But it’s a really, really great party. With our co-workers, right after work, at the office. Unless the company is doing well and then we get to go somewhere, like a restaurant and/or bar. And if we are doing really well, we get to bring a date and we get two drink tickets to share and all eat hors d’oeuvres and cake for free. Either way, the next morning, we get to talk about how fun it was for 15 minutes at the water cooler. Which is awesome.

Continue reading “Where’s the party?”