It’s been a good ten years or so since I did anything for or participated in any kind of New Years party, get together, or soire of any type. Perhaps not unusual for us older folk, so-called partying is just not something I do any longer. I mean the kind of partying that begins and ends with consuming mass quantities of alcohol punctuated with the serving of decadent, not-good-for-you food, silly party games, and capped off with the dreaded penance for such behavior…the hangover.
During the years where I worked as restaurant manager we had a term for New Years that referred to people’s drinking behavior. New Years eve was called “amateur night”. Simply put, it’s where normally tea-totaling adults, who don’t really imbibe except in the name of social acceptance, decide to go way beyond their own personal bounds of alcohol consumption, not knowing what the effects of copious amounts of Jaegermeister will do on top of several glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon, a couple of magaritas, several Jello shots, fourteen hot wings, six ground beef sliders, many hands full of pretzels, Ruffles, mixed nuts, a Kahlua and coffee, and a slice and a half of New York cheesecake. A recipe for not only gastronomic failure but for personality shifts that gave birth to the t-shirt saying, “Instant asshole. Just add alcohol!” By the way, I also bartended at night for a period of time in my early 30s while working full time in radio broadcasting. I was privy to witnessing a lot of party debauchery that seemed somewhat amusing at the time. So, no, I’ve had no desire to work in or be within several miles of that environment for many years.
Now don’t get me wrong. I have put on several New Years eve affairs in my life. One in particular was a black tie dinner party for thirty or so friends about 20 years ago. People seemed less likely to get shit-faced and make fools of themselves in a rented tux or formal cocktail dress! It was very well organized and included designated drivers. Dignified party excess? Perhaps.
Back to this New Years. For the past week, Loretta and I have chatted about what to do New Years eve. We’ve run the gamut conversationally from inviting a hand full of our neighbors within shouting (and walking) distance then settling on one friend of Loretta’s who, it turns out, has to work. Oh well, back to just the two of us! And what this means is this: a quiet evening at home not unlike any other night of the week, early dinner (we’ve discussed fish tacos), a couple drinks, a couple snacks, in bed before midnight, her waking me up at 11:55 to watch the ball drop. No harm, no foul, no exposing ourselves to the dangers of being out and about on New Years eve, no hangover, no mess, no regrets.
I dare say that we are not alone planning to hunker down in our safe harbor in our cozy little home-based boat tied securely to the dock. We only hope every year that none of the bullets that are fired into the air by neighborhood miscreants and fucking derelicts don’t come down through our roof. So far, so good.
I do have New Years resolutions this year. Kind of like divulging what you wish for when blowing out birthday candles or wishing on a shooting star, I won’t go into details save for this one: I plan to be around for New Years day 2017…and beyond. Heck, Episode VIII is supposed to come out that year, can’t leave before that happens!
Hope you have a safe and happy new year.