So, 2007 was intended to be the "Body as a Temple" year. Towards that end, I started walking several miles a day, took yoga (to which I am an undying convert). I decided that vegetarianism was the thing to do. Since then, while I haven't lost dramatic amounts of weight or anything like that, but the weight has stayed down and the sciatica is cured. Best of all, for the first time my insides just feel *clean.* I don't have a better way of putting it--everything just feels clean. On the inside, everything feels ordered and not jumbly or stuffed up under other things. I dare you to try it for a couple of months and see what happens.
Well...then the holidays arrived. As part of a university community, every possible division, department, building, office, school, etc. has to have a holiday party. I have now been to 6 in as many days. (People like to take Sundays off to rest up for the partying that goes on the rest of the week.) The staff has a party separate from the faculty party, and then there's one big get-together for faculty and staff! What an idea. And of course, I have to bring food and a gift to each--What this means is that there is food everywhere all the time!! There have been few vegetarian choices so I become the weird new archivist eating at least half of the spinach dip all by herself, but except for one significant lapse in judgement, I have been able to cope and still enjoy goodies.
What does this have to do with the Interior/Exterior debate? In the Exterior, people don't celebrate the holidays in the same way. At the museum, the volunteers brought in plates of cookies or bowls of candy, but that was about the extent of it. (We also have Jewish volunteers, so we didn't want to flaunt Christmas all over the place.) Plenty of parties are being had by individual people, lobbyists and the American Beer Association, but as far as whole offices doing it, it wasn't that common.
In the Interior our social capital is signed, sealed, and delivered with food, piled with more food and served up with a side of...food. It's our way of meeting each other's needs while indulging their tastes and wants. And I have a strong emotional attachment to this feeding. THEY SUCCEEDED! But today, after party number 10, I just want a good ol' fashioned hearty slap on the back, and a resounding "Merry Christmas". A celebratory candy cane and cup of hot chocolate works just fine!