My father, the avid partier he was back in the day, has always declared New Year’s Eve as “Rookies’ Night Out.” He saw the overly hyped-up, inflated-priced evening as the night where everyone else goes out to make up for the 364 nights they stayed home. Like me, my father doesn’t need a reason to spend too much money on alcohol, get dressed to the nines and raise hell… that’s what every Friday and Saturday are for (and sometimes Tuesday and Thursday, too, depending on the week).
It’s always somewhere around Labor Day that people start asking that dreaded question: “What are you doing for New Year’s?” Of course the people who are asking this far in advance have already had their plans for the big night perfectly intact since July and are just anxiously awaiting the return question so they can brag about a night that’s months off and probably won’t live up to their expectations anyway.
For me, there’s nothing more annoying than New Year’s Eve and the trumped-up event it has become. I’m sorry, but I don’t see the fun in dropping $200+ on an open bar as some pretentious joint in the Meatpacking district with a bunch of people I’ll never see again, nor am I crazy about the non-plans that will inevitably end up with me at a Lower East Side bar with a few friends wondering whether we’ll get laid before night’s end. Living in New York City, my non-city friends have this imaginary idea of how amazing my night will be just because of its location. However, the reality is I’m going to drink too much amongst too many strangers, and when I try to get a cab home later, every cab will be monopolized by other revelers and I’m likely to eat it on a patch of ice, sprain my ankle, bust a tooth and end up in bed alone cursing myself for not staying home and just watching In Treatment. There will be nothing pretty or exciting about it; there will be only an empty wallet, a fat ankle and regrets for doing something that I probably wouldn’t have done had I been sober. This will mean I will start the New Year with a lump in my throat and sick to my stomach over my childish behavior that I should have ceased in my mid-twenties. Learning from my past mistakes has never been my strong suit.
What exactly are we celebrating anyway? That we made it another year? That we have New Year’s Day off to be hungover and that we have society’s permission to have our head in the toilet all of January 1st? What the hell does “Auld Lang Syne” even mean? And does anyone even know all the lyrics or why we sing it at midnight?
I’ve experienced 32 New Year’s Eves and I have to say my most favorite ones were the nights I stayed in, played Scrabble and watched that silly ball drop in Times Square on CNN with everyone’s favorite Mah Boo, Anderson Cooper. Yes, Anderson’s giggle alone and confusion over pop cultural references is enough to make anyone’s New Year’s Eve a blast. But will I stay in tomorrow night and watch Anderson? Probably not. I don’t even have CNN anymore. Instead, I will accept 3pm as a proper time to start in on the wine, at 5pm I’ll pull a sequin adorned skirt from my closet, and around 6pm I’ll stand in the mirror trying to decide on which shoes will be easiest to walk in along the snowy New York Streets. Around 7 or 8, I’ll decide on dinner, and by 9 or 10 I’ll be on my way to some place that has yet to be determined. I will want to stay home, of course, but I will leave my abode for reasons that I can’t even explain to anyone, not even myself. And when people ask me how my night is, I’ll tell them I loathe New Year’s Eve and everything for which it stands. Yes, I’ll be that girl, and we all know that girl is the life of the party.