This month has been crazy – can’t believe it’s almost the end of the year!
On December 14th my direct boss had her annual Holiday Party for her direct reports (there are 10 of us). Last year I went single because, if you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you’ll remember that I was alone, having pushed Blue Eyes and the asshole who worked at Nike away from me. At the time I think I was actually trolling the Internet looking for a friend with benefits, but I had not yet found the Young One. This year I am happily in a relationship with Blue Eyes so I asked him to come with me to the party and he, of course, said yes. I was a little worried for him.
My direct boss is one of the most amazing women I have ever met. She is the senior vice president of a utility company and one of the first women executives (ever) at the company (now she’s one of 3). She is brilliant, witty, and high-powered — yet warm, caring, unassuming and the most loving and encouraging boss I have ever had the pleasure of working for. I will gladly work for her for as long as she will have me and I will be thankful every day. At her parties, however, she likes to play games to encourage conversation and getting to know one another. Blue Eyes, as I’ve said on other occasions, is an introvert and does not like to be the center of attention. I imagined him turning red and possibly fainting while everyone looked at him as he talked – I even imagined him throwing up under the pressure. Yes. I’m a neurotic worrier – but again, if you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time you KNOW this already.
He didn’t throw up or pass out. In fact he was absolutely charming (as he always is) and when she started the games, even though I tensed up a tad, HIS stories were better than mine! Last year we played the 2 truths and a lie. I had told him this to kind of prepare him and possibly have him start thinking of some truths and lies, and then my bosses executive assistant told me she likes to change-up the games so he shouldn’t waste his time. Ha! She was right! On the first round she wanted us to tell a story about a pet – on the second circle around the table we had to tell of our most embarrassing moment ever in our life. I won’t bore you with the details, but as I said HIS stories were better than mine! He totally rocked the party.
Last year for Christmas my boss gave us all Ipads. It was my first Christmas with her and I was a little shocked when I opened the gift. I think my jaw actually dropped. I was more prepared this year and this year she gave us all coats. Not the same coat, different coats that were all pretty much exactly what we would have chosen for ourselves. I haven’t taken a picture of myself in the coat, but I found the coat on Nordstrom’s website. So you could see it.
For the direct reports who worked for her the entire year she gave us an additional gift. The additional gift for the women was a wallet. Mine was a lovely Michael Kors wallet.
My boss has a rule about the gifts she gives us. We can take them back. She will not be offended, what she wants more than anything is for us to be happy with the gift. The only rule about taking the gift back is that we cannot take it back and use the money on someone else, we have to use it for ourselves and we have to tell her what we bought so she can enjoy knowing what she “gifted” us. There was no way I was taking the jacket back. It was love at first sight. The wallet, however, wasn’t something I would use for a variety of reasons so I decided almost immediately I’d take it back. Now I have $200 to spend on whatever I want and I’ve yet to decide exactly what that will be, however, I’m leaning heavily toward entry fees to a couple of marathons I’m running next year. Lame, but appreciated all the same.
Saturday after the Holiday Party Blue Eyes and I drove over to Manzanita. It was a wonderfully stormy weekend and driving over the mountain we ran into some serious snow. I was driving and was not prepared for the amount of snow and got a little tweaked out when I felt the loss of control in a couple of spots along the highway. But we made it over to our lovely room at the motel (actually one of the only two motels in the small town of Manzanita) directly across the street from the ocean – I had been praying for a storm all week because the only thing better than perfectly sunny weather at the Oregon coast is a hellacious rain storm. I was not disappointed!
Here are a few pictures after the initial storm.
Blue Eyes generally works on Saturdays but he had this Saturday off so we were able to leave by 10 for the coast and arrive by noon. We checked in, flipped the switch on the gas fireplace and sat on the couch watching the rain and wind play with the ocean. It was fabulous. Seriously. There was a lull in the storm so we spent some time walking down the main street of Manzanita going in and out of the shops and then we had dinner at one of the few restaurants in town after which we walked over to the only bar in town and drank beer by their huge roaring [wood] fireplace. We closed the bar, which would sound scandalous if it was anywhere OTHER than Manzanita, but since it was Manzanita we’re talking 10 p.m.
We slept in the next morning and then headed home through Astoria so we could avoid the elevation of the mountains – I did not want to run into snow again – but just in case I asked Blue Eyes to drive (yep, I’m a wimp). We never hit any snow but there was plenty rain. We drove home by way of Astoria and stopped at the Wet Dog Café and then he took me up to the Astoria Stack to see the view – it was a little cloudy but I got a nice panorama view from my new camera.
All in all it was a lovely, lovely weekend and the perfect way to start my 11 days of vacation. When I got home on Sunday night it was all about packing for Hawaii since my boys and I were leaving first thing on Monday morning. I got no sleep that night because I wanted my house really clean before we left for vacation. I tried to lay down at 1:30 a.m., but while I was laying there I was thinking about all the stuff I wanted to get done before we left the house at 6:30 a.m. for the airport so at 2:00 a.m., I was up getting it done. Crazy.
Alright. One post down. Stick with me . . . Hawaii Part One is next 🙂