My coworkers are like the Von Trapp family. The front page of the company’s website should be them dressed in calico-printed curtains, holding hands and frolicking together in the Swiss Alps. In this photo they will be belting out “Do – a Deer” in a state of rapture due to their unfettered love for each other. And then there will be me attempting the “frolick” – which will be more like an awkward half-gallop, wearing normal clothes, and looking uncomfortable.

I know, I should probably just go hang with the Von Trapps – they would be a good influence on me. But I can’t help finding inter-office love to be a little nauseating. I prefer to designate my Friday nights to excessive drinking, poor judgement, and the kind of thing that will still have me smiling to myself when I’m old and on my deathbed.

And it’s not that I don’t like my coworkers, it’s just that they are incessantly doing shit together and inviting me. Really underwhelming shit like mug-painting parties and “inspirational quote” sign-making parties to put up around the office hood. Apparently, posting flimsy poster boards with positive quotes framed in flowers and butterflies will “uplift the neighborhood.” In actuality, it probably just annoys the general public that the elementary school doesn’t seem to have enough wall space for the kids’ lugubrious art creations. Or on a really wild night, an office party might even entail a painfully awkward game of Rotten Apples with my boss laughing uproariously at all of the PG-rated sexual humor. Gross.

The Monday after a work party, I guiltily crawl back to work attempting to recall where I had claimed to be over the weekend. When I step off the elevator on the 10th floor, I am met with a slew of coworkers whose faces turn sorrowful when they spot me.

“We missed you on Saturday! We don’t see you enough!” they say with saccharine remorse while laying out their painted mugs on the break room table.

But, alas, I just can’t change my misanthropic DNA. Group-painting, group-cooking, board game marathons – all of these coworker fun-times make me want to stick my head in an oven. I know, I am a terrible human. And a really selfish one.

Generally after I have convienently been “out of town” about a dozen times on the date of the party, I start worrying about being called into the boss’ office for not being a team player. So, begrudging, I accept an invitation with mock enthusiasm.

Last month we got a new front desk guy. His name is Mike. I thought Mike was dope when I met him. I, in fact, thought that Mike could, per chance, be an outsider like me, a covert renegade who conveniently had made “disk golf” plans during all of the office parties.

Unfortunately, within one month, Mike, had adopted the bright-eyed and-bushy-tailed office bug. He started being just a little too happy when he would greet me in the morning. Then, when I would, for instance, bitch about the rain, he would exclaim with wide-eyed innocence that running in the rain was his favorite thing ever.

And then – the final straw. Mike invited the office gang over for a Saturday night tacos and margaritas. He was one of them.

I was so disappointed. Why was Mike suddenly such a boy-scout? Even more aggravating was the fact that I had already ditched out on an even-dozen work parties. I was doomed to sacrifice my precious Saturday night. Because Mike was a traitor.

Mike was willingly putting on his calico-printed curtain overalls and singing with the Von Trapps.

Maybe this time around I would drink ALL of the margaritas and my “Do – A Deer” rendition would be the loudest of them all.

Mike would be sitting awkwardly in the corner realizing that everyone loved work parties “more” than him. He would be thinking that his coworkers’ enthusiasm for each other was “kinda fucked.” Then, I could lure him over to the dark side. I really need an ally.

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