Ringing In The New
Happy 2012 to you all and I hope you survived last night’s festivities. My husband and I tend to enjoy staying in on NYE; it’s nice to be surrounded by family, in a safe place where any surface can be your bed since you own it, no risk of running into or becoming a drunk driver, and the freedom to act as tame or as wild as the moment demands. December 31st is a big deal to most; saying farewell to the year and welcoming in a brand new one, one filled with hopes and possibilities and what-if’s. It’s a time to show off and be with the people who matter the most, either long term or just for the night. I’ve celebrated in a few different ways over the years:
First Memorable New Years: 1991
This was the first year I was deemed adult enough to stay up until midnight. I watched Nickelodeon until midnight while snacking on popcorn and microwavable appetizers. Camped out on the couch in our finished basement in Connecticut, I thought I was the coolest ten year old to ever walk the Earth.
Worst/Best New Years Date: 2005
My son was only a few months old and I had separated from his biological father sometime around the first of September. Rather than move in with a friend in less than savory conditions, I moved back in with my mother so that my son wouldn’t have to share a bedroom with me and be in a neighborhood where I feared getting shot. I was lonely and heartbroken and frustrated so I definitely wanted to go out that night and celebrate. I went to Good Ol’ Days, a local bar, by myself to have a couple of drinks. I made small talk with people at the bar and eventually some guy from across the way started eying me. He was in his 30s and had a British accent, but not the good kind. He also smelled awful, a fact I discovered when he decided my indifference to him was some sort of odd flirtation and offered to buy me a drink. The thought of staying and possibly being mauled by the Brit at midnight was enough to frighten the Jack Daniels right out of me. I drove back to my son and rang in the new year standing beside his crib, where I should have been from the get go.
Most Nail-Biting New Years: 1999
Y2K. The greatest panic over nothing from my teenage years that I can remember. I was attending a house party with somewhere around 30 other college students, about 10 miles off campus. Even with all the Y2K software that was downloaded and distributed, there was still the chance that power grids would fail and buildings would explode once the clock hit midnight and rang in the year 2000. The incredibly loud festivities came to an abrupt halt a few minutes before 12am; music was shut off and everyone shut their mouths as we all gathered together to watch the ball drop. When nothing happened at 12:01, the room let out a collective sigh, some of relief, some of disappointment, and some of FINALLY we don’t have to hear any more of this Y2K crap! The worst thing that happened? My ancient laptop thought it was the year 1099 on its calendar and I couldn’t change it.
Most Retirement Home-Like New Years: 1995
Stuck between the delusion that it’s uncool to go to bed early and the realization that I was 14 and had jack shit to do because I wasn’t old enough, I gave up and called it a night before 11pm.
It sounds corny as all hell, but as long as I’m with my husband, I’m a happy girl. For me, the way you celebrate NYE should be a reflection of how you want to spend the upcoming year. Ringing in the year with my head in a toilet at some bar wouldn’t be a great start, nor would being apart when the clock struck midnight or doing something out of character for us both. This is the reason I’ve gone without the midnight kiss; if I’m not with a person who is following me through into the new year, I’m letting my lips stay lonely. It may be a bit of a superstition on my part, but I think as long as my husband and I are together and happy when the ball drops, we’re on the right path to making the brand new year a little bit better than the one we just put behind us.