Let’s face it, half the reason we tolerate working all year is for the chance to blow it out at the annual office holiday party (the other half being that silly paycheck thing). Salary? What’s that? So, when the opportunity approaches to get all spiffed up and hit the holiday party circuit, you better be ready to break out your most clever conversation – and some breath mints – and work your charm.

The good news is, in the realm of places to pick up women, holiday parties – whether work-related or just friend-related – are as female friendly as the grocery store or the gym. Why? Because everyone is liquored up enough to take the edge off. Because the holidays are a reminder to single people (ahem, girls) of their solo status. And also, because we probably just bought a new outfit to wear and shaved our legs and wanna make damn sure not to waste it.

Also, the biggest thing working in your favor is the fact that you have ready-made conversation topics with which to woo us. And why? (damn that’s a lot of “W’s”…) Because you either work with us, work with someone we know, or have friends in common from overlapping social circles.

See? It’s practically a lay up, boys.

The single biggest thing Miss Wingman gets asked most frequently is how to approach women. So, having a host of unforced conversation topics with which to disarm us is pure gold. Assuming you can muster up the pair to chat us up, here are some Do’s and Don’ts of Holiday Party Romance.

(Or just “How to Score A Quick Hook Up At A Holiday Party,” if romance isn’t your thing, I get it).

*DO: Pay attention to the room. Single (or just morally flexible) women looking to hook up will be doing the same thing, and, making eye contact with any guy we deem a worthy target. Women are not subtle in this regard. Spotting the girl who will be open to advances will be like scanning for the giant neon sign above her head. Incidentally, if she actually did have a flashing sign above her head, it would probably read “Ply me with Pinot Grigio and take me home.”

*DON’T: Forget to do a mental checklist before you approach us. Zipper up? Check. Drink in hand? Check (hey, you need something to fill in any awkward silences man). Breath somewhere on the unoffensive end of the spectrum? Check. Now you’re ready to win us over with your personality and (hopefully?) good looks. Sounds simple, I know, but you don’t want her to be distracted by food in your teeth or your boxers sticking out should you actually get our attention.

*DO: Use your resources. Ask your buddy the host if the cute girl is single. Find out from your friend who works with her in Biz Dev if she seems cool. You’ve got leverage here, guys.

Conversation topics that could serve as ice breakers with us? “Hey, I’m _____. I haven’t seen you around the office before, what department do you work in?” Or maybe, “(fill in the blank friends hosting the party) are great, how do you know them?” Or even, “I was just about to get myself another drink, can I grab you something from the bar?” Talk about how cold it is out. Talk about the A-hole in the office who burns popcorn in the break room or replies all to company emails. Hell, compliment her outfit if you want. Like I said, she got all dolled up for this and is probably even wearing pantyhose. If you’re charming enough, I bet she’ll be practically dying to take them off later. Girls hate tights, what can I say?

*DON’T: Insult or make jokes about anyone else in proximity at the party just to seem witty. You never know who people know. Joking about the cheap bastard who throws this thing every year could backfire if that cheap bastard is, say, her dad.

*DON’T: Drink too much, either. There’s a fine line between liquid courage and blowing your chances because you’re slurring your words. We do like dynamic, outgoing guys. We don’t like guys who sway and slow blink.

*DO: Ask her to dance, if dancing is your strength. If there’s music and you’ve been known to have rhythm, she might welcome the opportunity to get a little closer to you…so long as it’s an environment where other people are dancing, too. But if you’re afraid your moves will work against you, do us all a favor and refrain.

*DON’T: Forget your audience. At friends’ holiday parties, behavior will be a lot more liberal, therefore the worst you can expect is some embarrassing Facebook photos to surface Monday morning. But in the case of work holiday parties, you don’t want to do anything that will either A) jeopardize your job, like THIS or B) embarrass the hell out of her. Don’t forget you have to see these people every day, after all.

So that’s it – the holiday party gospel according to me. Enjoy this time of year, boys, it truly IS the most fun. Bars with fireplaces, cozy sweaters, spiked eggnog…and booty. Lots and lots of booty, if you’re lucky. Here’s ho-ho-hoping you score her digits,  –MW.ETIQUETTE WINGMAN

***MISS WINGMAN NOTE***: Should your holiday party flirtations appear like they might carry over into 2013, you’ll need to procure a gift for said lucky lady. And if you have trouble finding the right gift for her (or a girlfriend, wife, mistress, whatever), I’m here to help. MISS WINGMAN IS AVAILABLE FOR CONSULTATIONS via phone/Skype and, geography permitting, accompanying men on their shopping quest to make sure your gift is perfectly suited just for her for a small fee (hey, I gotta earn a living somehow, right?) Email me at misswingman@gmail.com for more details.

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