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Thursday, December 30, 2004


Auld Lang-xiety

New Year’s Eve is one of those holidays about which I can muster absolutely no enthusiasm. For one thing, it comes at the tail end of the holiday season, which means that it’s always sort of an anticlimax, suffering in comparison with Christmas. That also means that it happens right before you have to go back to work or school or whatever, which cranks up the lame-itude.

The worst thing, for me, though, is my history with the holiday. I mean, it’s meant to be a huge, fun party, I realize. A lot of people love it, for that reason. They just go nutty wild and get their fiesta on. It’s just that it never seems to work out that way for me.

Let me give an abridged history of my New Year’s Eves.

12/31/76—While my sister, the night owl, gets to go to a rollicking party with my dad, I’m sick with the chickenpox and have to stay home, ruining my mother’s holiday in the process. I feel like a lame-oid. At age five.

12/31/77-86—This might seem unkind, but these New Years were spent at family parties that featured Dick Clark and pigs in the blanket, a food which has always provoked my gag reflex in the extreme. I’m sure I had a good time once or twice along the way here, but it’s safe to say that I never pissed myself with excitement.

12/31/87—My first New Year’s Eve party with high school friends. I get hammered and a friend has to drive me home. I’m awakened at 3 A.M. by family friends with whom I’m supposed to go to Pennsylvania for the weekend. I’m already hung-over by this point, but have to take a shift driving, because everybody else is tired to the point of exhaustion.

12/31/89—Home from college for the holidays and separated from all of my school friends, I get ripped at a family friend’s party and spend an hour bellowing to a poor, polite party-goer about the true significance of the Kent State shootings of May 4, 1970.

12/31/90—Having talked my college friends into coming to my parents’ house, we spend the night upstairs from my parents’ party, sneaking outside in the cold to smoke. I completely fail to score with my ex-girlfriend.

12/31/91—A friend from work invites a bunch of us to her party, filled with black-clad, heavily-eyelinered goth chicks, several of whom mock us openly and none of whom are the least bit inclined to make out.

12/31/92—Our bar of choice inexplicably closed for the evening, a bunch of us drive forty-five minutes to The Winking Lizard, a truly odious bar full of Jimmy Buffet fans. I am too poor to buy more than one beer all night, which is good, because I subsequently get pulled over by a couple of over-zealous troopers who attempt to scare me straight by listing the many ways a DUI could ruin my life before letting me go because I’m obviously completely sober.

12/31/94—Having left my girlfriend in Phoenix to go home for the holidays, I spend New Year’s Eve on the long, cross-country train ride home, mostly in the smoking car where I drink half a bottle of vodka and yak with a traveling salesman before collapsing in my sleeping-car bed, wishing the train would stop rocking.

12/31/97—My wife and I throw a party. I make fondue and buy a whole bunch of booze. Two people show up. They’re two very nice people, with whom we always have a good time, but they’re only two people.

12/31/03—At my in-laws’ house, my wife is sick with one of the nastiest stomach flues I have ever seen. She spends the night vomiting and lying down. I spend the night watching a movie. I get sick two days later.

You’ll notice that there are gaps in there. Years when my New Year’s didn’t suck. I credit my wife with that, mostly. I’ve had some very nice times with her, my favorite being the year she ran a midnight 5K and I went to cheer her on. Even the good ones, though, haven’t been the Party to End all Parties. And this year doesn’t look great. My wife is working, taking pictures. I could go with her, but I’m pretty certain it’d be in a noisy, crowded club full of obnoxious people who would piss me off.

Dick Clark should count himself lucky that he gets to spend a quiet New Year’s Eve in bed for once.

Nice blog.. Will visit more.. .... Have a happy new year.. and a great New Year eve this time!!
wondering how your invite skillz affected attendance in '97...mind you that was before I met you, so, blahblahblah.
You can come to my house. There's a good chance I'll make out with you.
new years mass man. that's the ticket. don't go this year, do it next year or following. This year New Years is on a Saturday so no holy day of obligation. but its the way to have a rollicking good time - of course, you get loaded after mass. or if you want to really enjoy some praying, before.
Finally, a fellow New Years hater. I actually think that my list might top yours.

12/31/99 Have plans to attend a party with two of my guy friends. At the last minute they call to say they are sick and can't go. Really some hot girls invited them to another party. I stay home that night, yell at them the next day. After I make sure they have hangovers =)

12/31/00 go to a four story party in SF where my then boyfriend refuses to dance with me and then abandons me for two and a half hours when I ask if I can dance with someone else. I would've left and gone home but my purse and all my money was in the coat check, which he had the ticket to.

12/31/01 Fed up with previous years new years I inform my boyfriend that I agreed to take on an extra shift and work that night.

12/31/02 New boyfriend picks fight with me right before we leave for a party. He waits until I remove makeup and change into pajamas to apologize.

12/31/03 Kicked all men to the curb. Decided to stay home. Friend talks me into going to a party. When I arrive I am only one of 3 attendees. Spend the night getting hit on by a married guy.

This year I'm going to my parents house and falling asleep at ten. Screw new years.
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