We were supposed to bring a gift??

A guest picking out a gift.

Last night we had two holiday parties to attend, both from Anthony's end of the friend/work spectrum. Not having seen the invitations myself, as a woman, I automatically needed to know two things: 1) what's everyone else wearing so I can fit in, 2) do I need to bring anything?.

I knew from Anthony that both were relatively casual, the first being an Apple folks party and the dress code at work is, well, very relaxed to say the least, so I didn't think I needed sequin or anything to fit in. And the second was with Anthony's motorcycle safety instruction peeps. So I chose some jeans, a black cashmere sweater (I scored it at Old Navy, otherwise cashmere would never have touched my body), and high-heeled boots.

:: Ok, got the attire taken care of!

The first party requested that everyone bring a pot-luck dish, so 30 minutes before we left I whipped up my staple party dish of tomato-basil bruschetta topping that always gets rave reviews.

:: Check! on the food!

Mom and Terry came over right on time and we were out the door with a wave over our shoulders and sparkling we-get-to-have-grown-up-time-eyes.

We end up arriving an hour late, but luckily no one seemed to notice. Everyone was really friendly and there were several familiar faces in the mix. All the ladies had on nice jeans or pants and nice sweaters, just like me. Anthony's sports coat was also in good company with Polo button downs and shiny belt buckles.

Our bruschetta mixed well with the other treats, dips, crackers, and fare on the shiny counter tops.

We mingled, we chatted, we even competed in a Mario Go Cart Wii tournament.

The Christmas tree in the corner glittered with lights and there were little boys and girls running around with bows in their hair and their shirts tucked in.

It was the epitome of the holidays and I felt like I had really done my job as the wife of the guy everyone knew: I fit in, everyone loved my food, I was killing it with my small talk and witty remarks about fuzzy sweaters. Anthony was comfortable and relaxed, too, and I could tell he was really enjoying himself as well.


Until our hostess calls out to everyone, "Ok, it's time for the White Elephant!" and all the guests moved towards the tree and grabbed comfortable seats for the gift-giving fun. I turn to look at Anthony who is rigidly staring straight ahead. "Shit," I think the very moment the hostess comes by with a little bowl with folded pieces of paper on it and asks, "Did you guys bring a gift??"

"No," Anthony replies, "we didn't."

"Ok," she answers and then begins to explain the rules of the game to the other 25 people there who did bring gifts.

:: Big fat ZERO for reading the ENTIRE invitation goes to Jessica and Anthony!!

Oh my God, I was so... I don't even know what. I just felt like an idiot as we sat there with smiles plastered to our faces as everyone opened and stole presents back and forth laughing and cajoling each other in front of us for the next 30 minutes.

I wasn't embarrassed or pissed or anything like that, I just felt like a jerk. Anthony did, too. I really just wanted to laugh my ass off for about 15 minutes, but obviously couldn't.


Then Anthony spent the next 10 minutes looking through his email to find the invitation in hopes that maybe it wasn't included and everyone else attending just "knew" to bring a gift. Alas, he was shit out of luck on that one.

It's just such a man thing to do - yes, I'm doing that thing where I throw all men under the bus because of my man - but really, it fits. The invitation was written by a woman and was quite long, by a man's standards, and so Anthony read about a third of the way down, saw we needed to bring some food and thought we were good. He was so proud of himself for even reading that far!! hahahah OMG, this just cracks me up so fucking much!

In the end we made off with a gift that some friends of ours just couldn't bear to bring home. They made the pass off in the driveway as we left so as not to hurt the bearer of their gift's feelings (although, given the nature of the White Elephant gift I don't think the giver would have minded our friends unloading it to us). We have a White Elephant party coming up this weekend and it will be put to good use.

It comes with full Santa-on-the-pot acoustics, too.

And we decided to skip party #2 - turns out Anthony had RSVP'd us as "maybes" anyway. It was probably for the best. I wouldn't want to know what we forgot to bring to that one, too.


  1. OMG -- my last partner's close reading/listening skills found us in similar predicaments on more than one occasion.

    Re: wanting to laugh loudly but can't...there is something sort of delicious about finding yourselves in uncomfortable social events as a unit. It sort of highlights the fact that you're a team.

    I remember the first Pampered Chef party we were ever invited to. First, we didn't realize it was a "buy something" event. Second, the woman doing the "demonstration" managed to make everything look both cheap and useless. I think at one point, there was chocolate in her hair AND on the ceiling.

    So my bf says, thinking it's the only opening he'll have to say something supportive, "That's a pretty cool bowl, how much is that?" To which the hostess said, "That's my bowl. I got it at Walmart."

  2. Note to all the ladies: Please put a "To Bring" list at the top of all invitations. Preferably a bulleted list. Boys like bullets (everyone knows that). Please don't sprinkle to-brings throughout a paragraph of text like so much pixie dust. We will miss it, and we will end up spending some amount of time in the doghouse. Thanks!