I hate New Year’s Eve. I always have. New Year’s Eve is the holiday equivalent of the Sunday night 60 Minutes signature Aristo stopwatch ticking, which is probably the saddest sound on earth. New Year’s Eve is amateur night, when people get all dressed up and go out into the freezing winter night, trudging with silk heels through filthy snow-plowed curbs to make their way to overcrowded bars, eight dollar glasses of eight dollars a bottle “champagne” and cheap paper tiaras made from silver cardboard and dayglo feathers.
I’d rather be in bed.
It’s not just because I have kids and I loathe being hungover and it’s cold out and I don’t feel like putting on a dress, New Year’s Eve is just a sad holiday for me. It doesn’t signify a happy new beginning and a fresh start and all that other resolution nonsense, it signifies another year older, another year that I didn’t accomplish everything I wanted to, another year gone by with children getting bigger. I shouldn’t have bickered so much with relatives. I should have gotten really into hot yoga. I should have cleaned out my basement storage room.
I know every minute we can make a fresh start. I know I can make the apologist phone calls. I know I can start donation boxes. I know I can do anything I want to do to better my life, and myself, at any given second of any given day. It just feels like New Year’s Eve looms over my life like a big black reminder of all the failures of the previous year. Not to be too maudlin about it, and trust me, I am quite happy and I realize how amazingly blessed I am, but I really should have volunteered more.
It’s not just the reflecting on how last year kinda sucked that gets me, its the fact that I don’t want to go out. I don’t want to leave my kids with an extortionist babysitter, I don’t want to drive on icy roads in fear of drunk drivers, I don’t want to go to an overcrowded bar and raise a glass with the high-strung drone of Gangnam Style thundering in the background.
And I’m sleepy! I’m old and I’m sleepy and I have to work tomorrow and my bed is warm and cozy with all of the people I love in it and we can have snacks. And actual champagne. And I can wear my Christmas pajamas my son bought me and cuddle up under the electric blanket my eight-year-old daughter got me (and yeah, electric blankets are totally tacky until you actually own one and then they are the best thing ever) and watch the revelers on television and snark with my husband about how Ryan Seacrest can never ever replace Dick Clark.
I’m probably one of the only people who truly hates this holiday. I know many are excited for the new year and to raise a glass to the old, who say it is their favorite celebration and spend months planning on how they will spend it and what they will wear, but I have just always found it depressing. I’ll prepare a fun spread of party food and have a glass or two of champagne and let my kids wear the goofy hats and sound the noisemakers, but it will be long before midnight. I like to ring in the new my way, by being cuddled up in bed and enjoying a good night sleep before I wake up early to give my house a thorough cleaning at the start of a new year. I’ll be thinking of all of you party people and wishing you the very best and a happy new year, I’ll just be doing it while you’re puking your guts up and I’m counting sheep.