Years ago—in 1999, when we were living in Las Vegas—JB and I went to his company holiday party. It was a luxurious semi-formal affair that included dinner and music and drinks and whatnot, which now seems like it happened in another lifetime altogether. Not only was it before Marriage and Kids, it was back when companies still hosted big expensive holiday bashes for their employees.

Anyway, towards the end of that evening, we were standing around chatting with friends when the dance floor suddenly cleared. The lights dimmed, all the party-sounds lowered to a curious murmur, and the company CFO strode out onto the floor with his wife. While everyone politely waited for him to give some boring little rah-team speech, a jazzy tune came on and the two of them launched into a well-rehearsed, perfectly timed, absolutely mesmerizing dance routine. I don’t think people could have been more shocked if he had squatted to the ground and birthed a live rhinoceros—I mean, the guy was a little on the uptight side, as CFOs so often are, and seeing him tear up the floor like Fred fucking Astaire was completely unexpected.

I still remember the delighted awe that swept through the crowd, and I was thinking of this because I watched one of those shopping mall flash mob videos recently and while the performers were giving it their all, singing and dancing and executing on their meticulously choreographed group routine, I swear the non-participants caught on camera just looked tired. Oh jesus, their faces seemed to be saying. Not one of these goddamned things again.

I don’t know, do you think social media has killed our ability to be enchanted by surprise dance numbers? I suspect if I saw that CFO’s breakout routine today, I’d mostly feel 1) faintly embarrassed for him and 2) worried that the inevitable YouTube video would include an unattractive view of my chin.

In less curmudgeonly holiday news, the weekend has been gloriously festive around here. We drove out to West Seattle to see the Menashe house (well worth the trip, locals), got our tree all decorated and situated in an awkward corner of the house as is our tradition, and I wrapped a shitload of presents while a baleful cat silently communicated death every time I rousted her from a box.

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Also:

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How was your weekend?

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Cords
Cords
10 years ago

haha great pics. the last one of JB made me LOL for reals. good job.

Donna
Donna
10 years ago

The corner where your tree is? You’d never get me out of there, I’d sit there all day. With a bird feeder outside, and a cat and a kid on my lap whenever they wanted. Love that window!
Also, JB is scary!

sooboo
sooboo
10 years ago

Hahaha! JB is awesome! Not much going on here this weekend as the power was out for 80 hours due to a windstorm. Trying to keep warm took all my energy. Love that you guys donned your gay apparel! It’s inspiring.

Rakel
10 years ago

I know that cat so well! It’s almost like they’re daring us to find out that the cat in the box is indeed alive, ALIVE BITCHES!

We had the boys best friend over for a day and a night, I am still yawning from getting up at six on Saturday morning!
Yesterday was hubbies workplace annual Christmas thing, for the kids, it’s traditional here in Iceland, with foodstuffs, singing and dancing around the tree, funny Santa Clauses (yes, plural, we happen to have 13 of them!) plus little bag of goodies for the kids to take home.
All in all it was a good weekend, with some tidying and decorating, plenty of good food and fun in the snow (yay for snow)!
Oh, and JB, he is looking fierce. His fierceness is slightly marred by an old story I heard once, about this couple who tied their Christmas tree to the car, you know the one, it makes me laugh every single Christmas!

Claire
10 years ago

I just commented on another friend’s blog who posted a flash mob vid that I don’t tire of them. I am always so enthralled by the fact people WILL do that. Admittedly, if I saw one in person, I probably would feel a little awkward at first. Still, they’re cool.

We went to a nighttime Christmas parade this weekend and let me tell you, that rocks!

H
H
10 years ago

I’ve never participated in a flash mob dance and I’ve never seen one in person, so all the videos do for me is make me want to be at the right place at the right time to experience it. Same goes for my 20 year old daughter and her roommate. We were watching a video of one done sort of locally and all three of us were saying how cool it would have been to actually be there.

I love your photos.

Karen
Karen
10 years ago

Funny- I’m from NH but I’ve BEEN to that Menashe house in Seattle, visiting a then-boyfriend’s mother in Bellevue at Christmas. It was pretty astounding.

MRW
MRW
10 years ago

Well I continue to be the nerd who is still geeked out by random performances. I’d love to be someplace where people broke out singing or dancing. But then I’ve always liked musicals so there’s not much to be done with me.

Toddler had the stomach flu Friday but cleared up by Saturday so we got to take advantage of the awesome (for us) weather. Alert Stringer Bell because my family and friends were excited about a 40 degree day.

Life of a Doctor's Wife

Baleful cat, indeed!

I do think social media has made impromptu dance numbers a little blase… Although I think I would still be charmed if a CEO/CFO and his wife did a little number at the company party… or if a husband and wife did a choreographed dance at their wedding reception. I guess if I KNOW the person I’d be more apt to clap my hands and enjoy. But the flash mob thing seems a little played out. (Although who knows? I’ve never seen one in person.)

Love the holiday pics! Your boys (even the chainsaw-wielding one) are too cute!

Sande
Sande
10 years ago

You can’t post a pic of your tree and not include a close up of the squirrel nut ornament thing. I love that thing!

Sunshyn
Sunshyn
10 years ago

I once worked in a government agency full of lindy hoppers and swing dancers (also electric sliders), and I had no idea until the dancing began at my first holiday shindig. This was before smart phones and youtube, but I bet a bunch of them (those who have not retired) still cut a rug (as the saying once went). My jaw dropped, though, you can bet, when those normally staid managers started cutting loose, including the then-director! I work with wet-blanket engineers now… Don’t even want to pay $10 for lunch!

Jennifer
10 years ago

Ooo, was Mister Ferocious Chainsaw Man cutting a little strip off the bottom of the tree trunk to enable better water-drinking and less needle-shedding?

Where’s the sheep that poops jellybeans? I always look forward to that pic (and every year I harass you in your comments… I’m sure you wish I would go away… or get one of my own!)

Angella
10 years ago

The only flash mob that I’ve witnessed live is the BlogHer one, but Loralee’s mall one was kind of awesome.

And, um, I kind of want to organize one here next year.

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
10 years ago

JB kills me!

Mandy
Mandy
10 years ago

Today at lunch in the Dining Hall on the college campus where I work, there was a flash mob of choir members who broke into the Hallelujah Chorus to advertise their Messiah performance later this week, it was awesome. The students had placed themselves at random tables all over the hall, and stood but stayed put during the performance. It worked, I called and got my tickets right away! Love some traditional holiday music!

Cheryl @ Coffee with Cheryl

I don’t think social media is so much the problem…I think we’ve just become too jaded, and as a society too cool for our own britches. I say to hell with cool! Bring on the flash mobs!

(This comment was written by a person who until recently wasn’t comfortable in her own skin, but who also danced on the head table at her own wedding!)

Kari
Kari
10 years ago

I don’t get to many live concerts anymore, so this is pretty anecdotal.

I went to the Pete Yorn show at the Showbox a few months ago. Pete is a rock artist, but probably more in the adult alternative vein – more Black Keys than Coldplay, but more John Mayer than Van Halen. Anyway, I mention the demographic because it was older – he isn’t a top 40 artist with legions of teenaged fans.

I was really stunned to see so, so many people recording it on their phones, taking pictures, tweeting and texting about it, etc. I don’t think I am exaggerating when I say that over half of the crowd was engaged with their phone or camera. Instead of enjoying it in the moment, they were already thinking about how they would portray the experience after the show.

It made me put away my phone, with which I had planned to snap a few shots. And I am now pretty conscious of actually experiencing everything firsthand before I try to describe it to the internet.

BabyKMama
BabyKMama
10 years ago

Your boys are too cute, they are holding their hands in exactly the same way!

Sparky
Sparky
10 years ago

Living in WS, I love the Menashe house, and am glad you and your family enjoyed it. It really is a sight to see, especially for kids.