Today is my going away party at work and with it will come culinary challenges. Most of our staff going away parties (and pizza parties and birthday parties and welcome staff parties – you get the idea) are held in my department’s space because it’s the only place really big enough.
But today is different. I’ve been in this position for 17 years and have many friends and contacts throughout the school and the university as well as professional colleagues in Boston. So instead of partying in my department, we’ll be in the larger, nicer-looking meeting space on the ground floor with access to a kitchen. Believe me, this is a big deal; if you’ve spent years washing dishes in the bathroom sink, you’d appreciate it, too!
Because this is my own going away party, I want to be able to enjoy what I eat, which mens planning for it. I had high hopes for a chocolate fountain but that was never realistic, just a nice idea. But I fully expect that there will be chocolate cake on the table at the party – my colleagues know my tastes well. They also know that I’ve been doing WW for almost 5 years and am known for my fresh fruit salads at other staff parties, so I’m hoping that fruit will have a prominent place on the tables as well.
Really, though, the party isn’t merely an opportunity to stuff my face with “forbidden” food, using my own departure as an excuse to eat them. No, this event is about seeing people I’ve known and worked with in assorted ways over a long tenure, to touch base and say hello and goodbye, to thank them for the chance to work together and share laughs as well as hard work. And for them to do the same with me.
So my big party plan is to drink lots of water today, have salad for lunch, have some cake and fruit – and to make the food the least important part of what will be a nice party. It’s about people, not food (even chocolate cake), and I want to celebrate my time here and friendships I’ve made over the years.
I’m planning to do just that.