If you find yourself in a relationship, sooner or later you will also find yourself having to navigate a company function with your significant other. It's anxiety-inducing enough to introduce a boyfriend or girlfriend to your coworkers, but it's a whole 'nother ballgame when it's their reputation on the line and your burden not to besmirch it.
When alcohol is being served (and it generally is), it's important to strike a delicate balance between letting people get to know you, but not too well. I've collected a few tips on remaining collected from personal experience and more than a few mishaps. Here's my guide to being a respectable reflection of your partner:
- Keep pace at about half as many drinks as the rest of the party. Never tie the drunkest plus-one or the homeowner/host.
- Do come bearing gifts. Whether that's a hostess gift or a cooler with enough to sustain you and your date, it doesn't matter — just don't come empty-handed.
- Engage with and acknowledge people's kids.
- (But don't tease them — however tempting that is. Not everyone was raised with parents as sarcastic as yours.)
- Befriend the oldest person there. They are probably responsible for giving your bf/gf a raise, or at the least an influential recommendation. They are also almost always the most fun and often have a secret stash of top-shelf.
- Do not, under any circumstances, discuss politics with this new friend.
- Look attractive and put together, but not so bangin' that you piss anyone off or draw excessive commentary.
- Respond to questions about the assumed imminence of your engagement/marriage gamely with a nudge to your significant other and a polite change of subject, rather than a sharp glare. Never suggest that marriage and suburban child-rearing is not the shared dream of every GOP-fearing American.
- Do find the Margarita maker and learn how to use it. If the event has a bar, always offer to refill or replace surrounding beverages when you go to refresh your own.
- Never make fun of a grown man's drink. That Smirnoff Ice might have a backstory — namely that he has Gout, two kids, a mortgage, an official beer ban from the family doctor and no patience for your shit-talking.
- And finally, make much ado about the meat/glorify the grill.
Ridiculous, in the best way.