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Here we go again ...

7 replies

Ooopsadaisy · 08/12/2010 11:13

With the festive season upon us (again) I am faced with the annual problem which might seem really silly to most of you but I'm hoping someone might understand.

DP's work Christmas do.

I am invited and say yes because I like to spend time with him and it's an opportunity to go out without the children. I am a sociable person and love food, booze and music. I also like buying a new dress and making a bit of an effort.

However, once the day comes I always get a panic on. I always hate the way I look. I suddenly get tongue-tied and feel awkward and uncomfortable. I don't know what to say or do. I end up drinking too much because I feel so awkward and am not talking much. Then I get this angry feeling because I realise I'm drunk and want to dance like an idiot which is inappropriate because DP is the boss, but I don't know anyone enough to let off steam.

I don't want to share this madness with DP because it's all in my own head and I ought to be able to manage it.

We have been away with his work too, and I have behaved quite badly out of self-consciousness and inablity to handle myself.

In a nutshell, how can I stop myself from getting like this and actually enjoy these occasions. I am not like this when I go out with my friends.

OP posts:
PrettyCandlesAndTinselToo · 08/12/2010 11:21

When I go to any of dh's work dos I drive him nuts for days beforehand interrogating him on the names of all the colleagues I'm likely to meet, their roles and relationships with him, any interests or anything else I feel I should know about them. I rehearse it back to him over and over, even on the drive to the do. Dh thinks I'm potty and that this is all quite unnecessary.

But I need to do it, I need to know who I'm meeting and how to relate to them. I'm appallingly bad at remembering names and I feel very strongly that I need to present myself well in order to reflect well on dh. And it's not so much being physically well-presented as socially. So this knowledge gives me the confidence to enjoy myself, and not need a prop (in my case over-eating, as, paradoxically, can't drink alcohol if I'm anxious, only if I'm relaxed!).

Do you think that is a strategy that might help you?

Ooopsadaisy · 08/12/2010 11:26

Pretty - I have gone with the intention of staying off the booze but when I get there I panic and think "I'll have a quick drink to calm myself down".

I just seem to end up feeling inferior and a bit unworthy. I know this is utter crap because I am a good person with a gsoh. I'm intelligent and love to chat (normally).

OP posts:
ohforfoxsake · 08/12/2010 11:31

I find I stop cringing once the hangover has subside (usually after about 3 days). But I don't get out much, and I do like to kick my heels up.
my solution is to hammer the drinks early on, peak early, then stop. You'll sober up nicely whilst everyone else gets more drunk. They'll be worried about what they said/did and where/to who.
If I were going to the do, I'd be looking forward to seeing you. If you can't get pissed and make a twat of yourself at Christmas, when can you? Grin

Ooopsadaisy · 08/12/2010 12:07

I like your style ohforfoxsake, and usually I would feel the same but it just doesn't feel right when it's DP's work do.

I don't even enjoy myself when I'm making a twat of myself. I just hate myself.

When I'm out with the girls I'm fine.

Perhaps I just shouldn't go????

OP posts:
Wottknottandmincepies · 08/12/2010 16:26

Don't think of it as something to enjoy, you can have your fun with your friends. Work dos are to be endured, generally by everyone. Think of some good topics to chat about before hand and try to have a long drink like a spritzer, so you can 't drink too much without needing the loo. Needing to loo gives you a chance to escape and and collect your thoughts, add some lippy, take your time and rejoin.

PrettyCandlesAndTinselToo · 08/12/2010 19:55

Wottknot is right. Don't think of it as a party, but as a performance, or a business meeting, or a job to be done.

Enjoyment is incidental. TBH, if you set yourself an objective for the evening, and achieve it, you will probably find that you enjoyed yourself - or at the very least have a satisfying sense of achievement.

Whatever you do, don't have a drink to help you relax. You know it won't work and will get in the way. Promise yourself you won't have a drink until the meal, by which time you will have found your feet and feel much more confident. Besides, people are far less intimidating when you are sitting down eating together, than when standing around trying to work out what to do with your hands and how not to fall off the heels which you are out of the habit of wearing!

Do your prep. Ask dh about his colleagues. Say one of them is an amateur actor, there's a conversation opener. Get people to talk about themselves, then all you need to do is be interested and they will think you're fantastic. And if you can't remember which one is the actor, then you can just ask the group something like "Dh said that one of you acts, but I don't know who.". The actor will almost always identify themselves and you can ask a question.

If you know something about the people you are going to meet, you can prepare yourself. You can even write some notes before hand and tuck them into your bag to refresh your memory when you nip to the ladies.

northerngirl41 · 08/12/2010 22:33

Can you ask DH to invite you out to lunch with his secretary or some of the other coworkers beforhand? This is also very good for prepping his PA on what you want for Xmas. I always get LOVELY presents from DH because his lovely PA buys them! (Not ideal I know, but the sentiment is there to get something I'll really like, she just gives him really good suggestions and organises whatever he chooses!).

Also at the party have some generic topics of conversation in your brain - what did you think about I'm A Celebrity this year? Which dept do you work in? Oh, do you enjoy that? Think open ended and very, very accessible. They are probably all going "Oh no, that's the boss' wife - quick SOBER UP!" Xmas Grin

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