I received the invite halfway through the day to meet up with some co-workers at our favorite watering hole. The day dragged on, but eventually the last period finally ended and I quickly packed up my stuff, keeping my fingers crossed that a student would come in expecting a Christmas miracle in the form of private tutoring. I finished packing my bags, waited another minute to feign some level of professionalism – something that had taken a major nose dive ever since she left.
I headed to the bar. I was one of the last to arrive. In fact, not only were they already there, but they were already halfway through their first drink.
After the first round of drinks, a young, attractive, but mildly intimidating co-worker named Adriana popped a question completely out of the blue:
“Does anybody want to join me on a ski trip to Canada for a couple of days?”
“When?,” another attractive co-worker named Melody asked. I knew Melody even less than Adriana, which wasn’t saying much.
“Leaving on the 21st. Coming back the 23rd.”
“Yeah. Why not?”
“I haven’t even finished Christmas shopping,” Melody said.
“I haven’t even started mine,” said another co-worker whose named I didn’t even know.
“You still have a couple of days to get your shopping done,” Adriana said, desperately trying to win us over. “It’ll be fun!”
“Nobody wants to go? I really don’t want to have to pay for the entire room by myself,” Adriana pleaded.
“Okay, sure. I’ll go,” Melody said. “I can do my shopping tomorrow. I’ve never skied in Canada before.”
“Awesome!” Adriana said excitedly. “Anybody else? The more the merrier!”
Everyone had a specific – if not lame – excuse not go. I remained mute, hoping it would go without notice.
“Jimmy?,” Adriana asked.
“I’ve never skied,” I said.
“We can teach you,” Melody said, joining forces with Adriana.
“I don’t own skis.”
“You can rent them,” Adriana said.
“I don’t have a helmet.”
“You can rent those, too,” Melody said.
“I’m afraid of heights.”
“That’s what bunny hills are for,” Adriana said.
“In fact, they are so small, they are actually inverted hills,” Melody added.
“I, don’t know…,” I mumbled, going through the dozen or so excuses in my mind, while simultaneously realizing that agreeing to go could kill two birds with one stone by doing something completely spontaneous and keeping me from having to be home alone during the holidyas.
“Like I said, you don’t have an excuse. Do you have a passport?”
“Then you’re all set. That’s all you really need.”