Throughout most of my adult and semi-adult life, New Year’s Eve has sort of sucked. When I was a kid, it was fun because my parents would let us stay up and watch the ball drop. At 15, I had my first New Year’s Eve kiss with somebody who wound up also being my NYE kiss at 16, too. I did not have one of those for another, oh, six years due to holiday travel, rough breakups, (justifiably) protective parents, multiple awkward party situations, getting hit by a car and having surgery (though that was the same year as the car thing, so I guess it only kind of counts).
Every year, I saw all these movies and television specials and ad campaigns promoting this idea of a perfect New Year’s Eve where your friends all get along, you find a nice person to make out with, nobody gets too drunk, and confetti falls in slow motion. It’s a goddamn lie.
In short, I resent the holiday not because I think it can’t be good, but because we, as a society, have chocked it up to being way better than any day can possibly be. Expectations are not only different from reality–they straight up ruin it.
Expectation: You’ll spend the day relaxing, contemplating the year that has now past.
Reality: Your laundry is piling up. You still barely understand how to do your own taxes. You never asked for that raise. HOW COULD YOU LOSE SO MANY BOBBY PINS?
Expectation: You will wear just the right amount of sparkle! After all, this is the only night of the year wherein sequins are appropriate, right?
Reality: You’ll look like a fucking disco ball. Sequins are always stupid unless you’re a 9-year-old in a rhythmic gymnastic competition.
Expectation: You and your group will roll up to the party/bar/club blasting an amazing pre-party mix you designed specifically for the evening, all while looking superfly.
Reality: You couldn’t get a cab because it is New Year’s Eve. The subways, buses and trains are all disgusting. Nobody wants to DD.
Expectation: Well, at least you look hot.
Reality: Wrong. It is 35 degrees out, a weather norm that is not negated simply because it’s a holiday. There are goosebumps all over your body and your hair–slightly damp when you left the house–is literally frozen.
As a result, you try to warm up by taking shots, which brings me to the next one…
Expectation: Your friends and you will dance the night away, happily buzzed and stoked to be around one another as 2013 comes to a close.
Reality: At least one of them will throw up. It is unlikely that he or she will make it to a toilet.
Expectation: You or somebody else equally qualified will make a classy toast.
Reality: The most annoying person you know will make the toast, and it will be something along the lines of, “CHEERS, BITCHES.” The person next to you will spill champagne all over your stupid sequins, making them sticky stupid sequins.
Expectation: You and your love interest will find one another at midnight and finally experience an amazing first kiss.
Reality: You and your love interest will forget and/or be unable to find one another before midnight. Even if you do get to make out, you’ll both taste like two humans who have been boozing for four hours already.
Expectation: If not your love interest, you’ll at least make out with somebody hot when the clock strikes midnight.
Reality: Everyone around you will be making out already, so you will either awkwardly peck a friend or shrug and make out with a complete douchebag who spends the next six hours following you around under the continuously-brushed-off assumption that you’ll be banging each other that night.
Expectation: You will only drink a few fancy glasses of champagne. You will not get too drunk.
Reality: Your standards will be abandoned at 2 AM for 40 oz. of Mickey’s. You will get too drunk.
And things will get messy.
Expectation: You’ll celebrate 2014 with a hearty brunch and plans to make your next year amazing.
Reality: Why is Earth even open on New Year’s Day? You still need to do laundry. You still have no bobby pins. Why did you just spend $10 on eggs when you vowed to be better with money?
Honestly, your New Year’s Eve might actually fulfill all those expectations–and if that is the case, congratulations! Seriously. You must have done something wonderful to earn that karma, and honestly, I think it’s great whenever people have solid holidays. But I also think it’s hella dumb that the entertainment industry, marketing companies, and pop culture tell us all we’re boring losers wasting our youth if we opt to avoid vomit and sequins for the night.
If you hate GIFs and have inexplicably skipped to the end, here’s my summary sentence: short of your birthday, New Year’s Eve is the most overrated day of the year. And it’s all of our faults.
In any case, folks…