Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Holiday Party

It was a subdued event this year.

Our surroundings were lavishly decorated. Beautiful. But it was different.

Not one person talked about it directly. No one dared. Spouses, loved ones, even some kids. Mingling. We smiled courteously. We talked about the kids, what they were doing, how they were fumbling and stumbling through adolescence and their formative years. We liked that topic because it mattered. We talked about how nice she looked or how handsome he was, probably because in the big scheme of things, it really didn’t matter.

We talked, we smiled, had a drink, had a mushroom, and later, tried to dance.

That’s because we knew we were lucky. Lucky to be standing there exchanging pleasantries.

And lucky to have a job.

-Wes

2 comments:

OHN said...

So true. Many of the hospitals and businesses in our area made the decision to not even host parties this year.

You can almost palpate the uncertainty in peoples lives. Complete strangers chat in the checkout line at the grocery about prices and how they are cutting back.

There is a different feel this year. Those of us that have jobs are more appreciative.

Keith Sarpolis said...

Wes,

If you work in a big expensive hospital, then I would be very worried. If more people start losing their insurance, then it is less likely they will come to get their elective procedures performed and will likely defer more expensive treatment as well. Your area is a case in point that you have made previously. Catheter ablations may be the most effective treatment in the long run, but if you have to pay the whole tab, will people simply say no thank you, I will take my coumadin and beta blocker for now. It must cost a pretty penny for one of those!

As I have said before, hospitals will be the next shoe to drop as the economy crumbles.