The Company of Friends

Text & Photos by: Shannon Kelley

I think it’s safe to say that most of us have a love/hate
relationship with the company holiday parties we are obliged to
attend each year. As is the case with any party, the company party
holds the potential for fun and, in equal measure, the potential
for disaster. But the stakes are higher. What might be a minor faux
pas among friends could be cause for termination if done in the
boss’s presence. If you hit the sauce a little too hard and wind up
praying to the porcelain god at a friend’s house, your rep as the
evening’s drunken idiot is nothing a can of Comet and an apology
can’t fix; at the work party, who knows who might walk in, or how
long you’ll be labeled the company souse.

Posted on a pal’s refrigerator, a xeroxed copy of your rump
might be appreciated the morning after, while the same naked bum
might land you in an uncomfortable conversation with your HR
enforcer, were it to appear on the mailroom bulletin board. The
random hookup is a minor item for the post-mortem gossip agenda
when it goes down in the company of friends; at work, as is the
case with all such minor indiscretions, these delicious tidbits
have a much longer shelf life. So, while all the potential for
career destruction easily explains the hate part of the equation,
where does the love come from? The answer, I believe, is really
quite simple. Try as we might to deny it, everyone loves drama.

So, what happened at ours? The return of The Indy’s annual
holiday bash to El Paseo was met with excitement, and rumors of
quality sustenance spread like wildfire; ergo, everyone showed,
right on time. (If you’ve ever wondered how best to get on a
reporter’s good side, the answer is free food. And if that food
includes a make-your-own-nachos station, you’re golden.) My
normally undershaved, overcaffeinated, underdressed, overstressed
coworkers shuffled in, disguised as proper civilians — and rather
attractive, civilized civilians, at that. Some came in sequins,
some came in velvet, one came wearing a belt buckle bearing the
image of Jesus Christ.

Artists, politicos, News-Press expats, the mayor, The Palm,
everyone was there. All were greeted by the fabulously bedecked
door-ladies, given their drink tickets, and sent on their merry
way. The early swell of staff and friends-o-The-Indy clogged the
entrance to the bar, yet, curiously, didn’t seem to put a damper on
anyone’s buzz, least of all those privy to the secret champagne
stash housed upstairs, thanks to a certain someone who shall remain
nameless, as I’d prefer to remain in her good graces. DJ Matt Armor
spun for a spell, eventually giving way to the band, which sent
many (at yours truly’s insistence) onto the dance floor, inevitable
knee pain notwithstanding (when a girl wants to dance, a girl wants
to dance). Some got down, some got off, some got busy, some got

There were unexpected kisses, inappropriate comments, and a
bizarre finger-sucking incident. The chocolate fountain was a total
loss. But you’ll get no names from me. These people are my friends.
And besides, I’ll have to face them all at the office tomorrow.

Where will your peeps be? Email For
more peeps, visit


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.