Friday, December 16, 2016

Holiday Party '16

Holiday party #8 at my practice was held at a local entertainment complex centered around that entirely unglamorous (but great fun) sport of bowling. Revolutions opened a few years back at CityPlace in West Palm Beach, occupying spaces that had previously been several stores and restaurants.  35,000 square feet.  Twenty lanes.  Two full bars.  An arcade.  Several screens, including on the lanes.  It's a place to "eat, drink, and rock & bowl".

We ate crispy chicken tenders, soft pretzel bread rolls, and this sorta Asian eggroll/quesadilla thingy, along with chips and dips.  Two free drinks were allotted.  I drank a few draughts from Due South, a local brewery.  John Cougar Mellencamp and Tom Petty videos filled the two hours my co-workers and I bowled with varying success.  Without bragging, I can tell you I, with a score of 130, beat the pants off my teammates, who rolled several gutter balls and those damned splits.   I hadn't thrown a bowling ball in years.  It was an activity I'd always enjoyed, dating back to my childhood when I hung out at Fair Lanes in Palm Springs and Verdes Tropicana in West Palm.  It's perfect for a party as you have plenty of time to chat between turns. Alcohol and bowling also seem to be a natural mix.

Enjoyment was had. All but one of our medical doctors showed up. One of my dearly departed audiology colleagues, who retired two years ago after a thirty plus year stint, was also on hand.  That was a very pleasant surprise.  She mingled well with the new folk, a much younger bunch than with whom I started seven years ago.

This party was on a weekday night, which limited, at least for me, how late the festivities would last. Though the place was rented for only two hours.  Our lanes shut off promptly at 8:00.  A few bowlers' final turns would go forever unscored, the balls finishing their journeys on the wood in the dark, unceremoniously knocking down the pins.  Two of the ladies I work with decided to start dancing on the lanes at that point.  A sort of twerking.

We used to close the office at lunchtime on a Friday and party all afternoon, with the inevitable evening after parties.  If I focus on the food from this year's celebration, well...this was the first holiday party with this office that wasn't a full meal, some of which were quite good in the past.  The snack table was a poor substitute, honestly. I also suffered some serious indigestion later that night.   But it was all about the bowling.  Such a social sport.  Really brings everyone's personalities to the forefront.  It was fun to root for your co-workers when they picked up a spare.  Interesting to see when someone finally got a strike and was disappointed to find that no one (on their team) happened to be watching at that moment.  Some of the previous shindigs did not encourage more than chatting with those who were sitting near you, though dancing did occur here and there.

My workplace has changed dramatically in the past two years.  Very little of what made it so unique and special remains.   I won't elaborate here and now.  As they say, it is what it is.  But I've rolled with the changes and while I miss my old compadres the newer ones are dedicated workers and good people.  We do have a lot of laughs at work.  As they also say, you have to laugh as to not cry (or go insane).

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