Tis the season: frumpy girls take note

In the notice for the company’s Christmas do, the only instructions regarding dress code was “No denim and no trainers.”

Looking into my closet, my choices were t-shirts and jeans, two summer dresses and one little black dress. Seriously, it’s the middle of a frigging winter. So I decided to wear my normal office attire.




Come 6pm and I was going about getting some last minute work done, I walk past girls coming out of the toilets all glammed up in shiny dresses, killer heels, full make-up and smelly perfume. All the guys had shirts and trousers on.

As I rushed past, they called out, “Dora, you’re not coming to the party?!”

And I thought, shit, how am I supposed to know “no denim and trainers” is supposed to be translated as come in your best sexy outfit?

A little later, someone else asks, “When are you changing?”

I was later horrified to find that one member of my team had went to the salon to have her hair done, and everyone was caked in their finest make-up, slinkiest dresses, and highest heels. I showed up feeling every bit like the cleaning lady.

Frump. Frump. Frump. Frump. That word kept running through my head.




It was only the next day when Nasty’s mom tells me that, oh, it doesn’t matter what the flyers say, girls ALWAYS dress up for the office Christmas do. To which Nasty chimed in yes, that is true. At which I said, then why for fuck’s sake are you telling me that NOW?




To give myself some credit, I did have make-up on, which in itself was an incredible feat, because that was the first time I’ve put on make-up since that ballet performance in kindergarten when my teacher did my face up for the stage and I was so horrified by the way I looked in the mirror that I never touched make-up again. I don’t see the point in spending my hard-earned money on looking like a South American parrot.

So my workmate decided to play make-up on me and instructed me to look this way and that way and to smack and pout my lips like so. But when it came to mascara time, I am apparently too make-up-handicapped to be able to look up, keep your eyes open, and STOP BLINKING! Seriously, I can’t not blink when someone is brandishing a stick with black icky muck millimeters from my eyeballs. She eventually gave up exasperated and solemnly declared that mascara has failed and stop rubbing your eyes!




By the end of it, it wasn’t bad at all, but I felt I look exactly like what I would normally look like after I’ve had a few drinks and get what Nasty calls the “Asian Glow”. Maybe I should just start having a few drinks in the morning, then I’d be all set.




But anyways, the message here is, to anyone as unsuspecting as I am in matters like these: Girls ALWAYS dress up for the office Christmas do.

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4 thoughts on “Tis the season: frumpy girls take note

  1. The other night I had exactly the same experience when I was invited to my husband’s work Christmas do. I was the only girl wearing my usual (very old and fairly past their use-by date) baggy cords and a charity shop top. Correction – two charity shop tops (turning into three at leaving time), it was freezing cold.

    There also seems to be another unwritten rule about those dos that no one tells you about and you’re left there to find out the hard way: a Christmas do that is officially due to start at 7pm DOES NOT start at 7pm, nor does it start at 10 past 7pm either. More like 8pm at best. Thanks to that I had a lovely walk in pitch dark and freezing cold along the sea and by the port and with practically no one around towards a nearby attraction that turned out to be a not-so-nearby not-very-much-of-an-attraction. The funny thing is, I enjoyed the walk way more than the Christmas do (ever feel like you definitely don’t belong?)

    And if I have a chance I’m going to repeat the same next year, only maybe adding one more top into the equation…

  2. Work dos are always a bit of a mix isn’t it? I showed up really out of obligation and, most of all, for the free food (which was great)!

    With the things that happened that night, I thought I was in some TV show where all the cliches that could happen at a work do did – the overly drunk employee who made a fool of herself; the boss’ cringing dance moves; the overly drunk employee saying the wrong thing and totally embarassed the boss; the guy who I’ve always suspected was gay got too drunk and told me that, well, he’s gay.

    Other people were basically the entertainment for the night!

    However, one thing I DO know is that these things always start late. Esp. if I don’t know many people well, and want to minimise that awkward while-we-wait-around small talk, I almost always arrive deliberately late!

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