The Democratic Party sure has a lot of parties.

I'm generally able to avoid going to Christmas parties. My until-now-secret technique for avoiding them depends on three things:

  1. I'm an atheist. (Therefore, no religious functions to attend.)
  2. I'm usually unemployed. (Therefore, no business functions to attend.)
  3. I'm antisocial. (Therefore, no friends' functions to attend.)

The secret technique didn't work so well this year. The Democratic Party keeps inviting me to Christmas parties. I guess they need a token Liberal Atheist Democrat for old times' sake. Anyway, a pointless party breakdown:

November 30, Congressman Dingell's holiday party: I got invited to this one by e-mail the day I after I agreed to go to Louisiana for a run-off election. Dingell isn't my congressman, but I worked with some of his people during the fall campaign, so someone thought to inviite me. Unfortunately, I was expecting to be on the road to Louisiana that night, so I RSVP'ed that I couldn't make it. As it turns out, I could have gone, because the DCCC took too long to get my travel plans together (I need to tell that story soon, but it's got to be it's own entry). Stupid DCCC.

December 9, Downriver Democrats/15th District Organization party: Held at Crystal Gardens, a local banquet hall institution. This party was the day after I got back from Louisiana, so after amusing a couple of DDO colleagues with the story of the southern deputy searching my car for Xanax, I ended up at a table with some people I barely knew. I had to keep reintroducing myself, because my nametag kept falling off the jacket I bought at Men's Wearhouse.

I discussed international trade with a laid-off autoworker named Bruce (who looks so much lot like Tony Hale from Arrested Development that I kept wanting to call him "Buster"), a laid-off autoworker named Andrew (currently temping as one of those guys who holds signs in front of stores having big sales) and a derranged greenhouse worker named Sue who tried to convince me that illegal immigrants are the cause of traffic jams in the United States. (There's a politically incorrect joke about carpooling and pickup trucks just begging to be written there.) Sue brought her college freshman daughter along. All I remember about the daughter is that she didn't think any of my jokes were funny. I find that creepy in a girl.

I'm kind of glad that I don't live in the same congressional district as most of these people. I made a vague promise to stop by some of the District Organization's monthly meetings, but forgot to ask when they're held.

December 11, 14th District Organization Party: I didn't get invited to this one, which is only worth mentioning because that is my district. Go figure.

December 16, Trenton Democratic Club Christmas party: The invitation for this showed up while I was in Louisiana, but I RSVP'ed in time. A small gathering at the club president's house. (A house which does not have its address anywhere on the outside of the house. I ended up knocking on the door and having to ask the host's daughter if I was at the right house. On the plus side, the fact the host had a daughter meant that, for once, I wasn't the youngest person at a meeting of the Trenton Democratic Club.) Discussed the Washington state recounts a lot, spilled some punch, and made two odd discoveries: Everyone in Trenton hates the house across the street from mine (it's apparently become a symbol of annoying rich people blocking the river with big ugly houses), and the club president has read this weblog (she thought the caucus story was funny). I may have to start being nicer to people in Trenton.

December 18, Congressman John Conyers' holiday party: Finally, a party with my congressman! I got invited to this one while I was at the Trenton party, apparently because the Trenton club had been asked to make sure lots of suburbanites showed up. (Until 2002, Conyers' district was almost entirely in Detroit. Redistricting added Trenton and some other suburban cities. In other words, everyone was worried that the white suburbanites would be afraid to go to a party full of Detroiters. Unfortunately, that's not a silly a fear as it sounds. I know one guy who skipped the big parties for just that reason.)

The congressman's party was held at the same hall as the Downriver Democrats' party, but in a bigger room. (Same meatballs at the buffet, though.) I sat as a table with some of the Trenton crew, and a nice couple from Detroit, Elana and Arnold. Surprisingly little discussion of politics -- mostly Arnold and I discussed our jobs (he was a contractor). My nametag kept falling off my jacket again, leading me to wish aloud that the Men's Wearhouse salesman had warned me he was selling me a nametag-proof jacket.

I finally got introduced to Congressman Conyers (who was wearing a metallic tuxedo jacket that made him look very stylish for a congressman) and told him Keep on `em about those recounts. Later on, he joked that his staff asked him not talk about recounts, because it was a party. I know how that feels. I get accused of bringing down parties a lot, too. But I'm done for the year, unless somebody somehow manages to invite me to another party. I rather hope they don't, because I'm officially Christmas'ed out.

Posted at 11:52:05 PM EST on 19 December 2004 from Trenton, MI