Right now a multitude of Jell-O shots are solidifying and champagne is chilling across the globe. My New Year’s Eve preparations are all done. This is it folks:
My entertainment for the evening is all sorted:
But Don’t Cry for Me Argentina. I have a great date for the evening. He’s wise and I won’t dislocate a cervical vertebrae craning to look up at him like most of my dates over 6 feet.
Over the years I’ve experienced a cornucopia of celebrations. Quiet and loud, home and out. I’ve kissed a boy at the stroke of midnight. I’ve stood in the cold, the tip of my nose red and frozen, to see a red flower drop one year and a chocolate product raise another (the latter involving the hopefully surreptitious watching of a CNN reporter checking his makeup). Been sober. Been less than sober.
For Y2K, which sadly did not erase all consumer debt when the computers went dead a la Fight Club, I made a small Y2K gift kit for my guests. A flashlight. A bottle of water. A light pamphlet on surviving the Apocalypse.
The introvert in me has always preferred the small, intimate gathering at a private abode, mine or otherwise. However, the Well, if there’s a nude beach why pack a swimsuit/They supply a helmet, why not try hang-gliding? part of me loves a new experience. So, I’ve ignored encroaching flu symptoms to slosh my beer on the floor with a denizen of other revelers at a local hipster club. This later lead to imbibing stolen DayQuil from a friend’s medicine cabinet while they slept and Ninja Assassin sneaking my way out at 5 am. Good times.
I’ve even tried the fancy, big city, let’s wear heels and Spanx like products, where’s Cinderella kind of Ball at the Crystal Tea Room perched atop the Wannamaker Building in Philly. And yes. I just heard Robin Leach say that last sentence in my head. Obviously, that was when I still had some disposable income, almost a decade ago, pre Single Girl Mortgage and Willard Scott Roofs. I’ve always had Caviar Dreams on a Ritz Cracker Budget. This year I think I economized to generic saltines….
By the way, you can take a country born girl who has actually milked a cow or two and gussy her up with a silky gown and sparkly heels. But. If you include an open bar with fancy-schmanzy martinis in her ticket price this may happen:
Also, fancy-schmanzy parties that everyone leaves at the same time may result in trekking through a Northeastern night buzzing in at a balmy 18 degrees Fahrenheit, in bare feet, if all the ‘complimentary’ shuttles are full and the group you are with has no desire to wait for the next batch, but heels make you feel like a newborn colt trying to toddle in their first steps, let alone trying to ‘stride’ in them. Screw you frostbite! Try and stop me! Or. At least that’s the attitude the fancy-schmanzy martinis tend to give one…. Luckily, I still have all my piggies.
It’s not that I haven’t been invited to do things this year. My hermitry is entirely self-imposed, for better or worse. A friend asked if I was interested in standing in the cold again to watch something raise or drop. I declined. There is a plethora of interesting options within a 25 mile radius. A giant pickle. A giant bologna. A red rose. A white rose. A strawberry. The aforementioned chocolate product previously featured on CNN. A goat. It used to be a live goat but there were some complaints. The inappropriate little weirdo in me thinks one of those fainting goats would be amusing… But relax PETA. The ovo-lacto-pescatarian in me recognizes humane treatment of animals, blah blah. Don’t send letters.
A potential suitor I met recently online asked if I wanted to see a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show that would end just in time to see one of those flowers drop, raise, or stair climb (whatever the random symbol is doing this year). While I do Time Warp and have an almost Tourette’s like habit of yelling Janet! whenever someone curses Damn It! I still declined. I like low key for first meetings. A holiday encompassing the traditions of off-key singing (or humming, because who really knows all the words to Auld Lang Syne? Sorry Robert Burns. We’re American. We stopped reading as a nation.) and kissing for good luck at the toll of midnight is not particularly low pressure. Especially if you add in his brother and feeling like it might interrupt brother bonding time. The Introvert wins this year.
Truthfully, 2016 has been a suboptimal year for me and mine. There were too many untimely deaths, too many unplanned and lengthy hospitals stays. Too much struggle and strife and hurt. My family capped off the year with a funeral five days before Christmas. In the world at large there was too much hate and vitriol without accountability. Civil discourse appears to be on its own ventilator. Personally, I grappled with changing relationships and the self-sabotage that often accompanies increased visits from my ever present depression, a companion that is always lurking even when she appears silent to others. I stopped running and dancing and yoga. I drank more than usual. I gained weight. I cried more and laughed less. Both are necessary and cathartic but my seesaw of the two was off. I was not the best version of myself. I don’t do resolutions but when the sun rises it will be 2017 to the world. It will be a different year and I am grateful to have made it to another year. I will try each day to be a better version of myself. Some days I will fail. For now, I just want to let 2016 slip away quietly, to stay in my pajamas and forgo the arbitrary celebration of turning the page on the Judeo-Christian calendar. Maybe next year there will be confetti and noise makers. I’ve had years when I’ve reveled in the celebration and years when I’ve hid in my room crying, feigning exhaustion and sleep while I listened to my coupled up roommates laugh and enjoy each other, ticking down the minutes. Tonight is neither of those, it’s just a night. I’m turning off my phone because the group texts have already begun and it’s not even 6 pm. I’m indulging the Introvert. I’m hanging out with Yoda and watching a movie. If I’m still awake past 10 pm EST, maybe I’ll flip over and watch Kathy Griffin harass Anderson Cooper.
P.S. I’m apparently not the only one that felt 2016 wasn’t the Greatest Year Ever. Please enjoy this fully credited link to a video whose creation I had nothing to do with but greatly enjoyed when it was shared with me during a discussion of the outgoing year, from Friend Dog Studios. End on a laugh and all.