New Year’s Tuesday questions, Tempur-Pedic edition
I don’t remember much about the New Year’s Eve party I have in mind.
Which makes it sound much more fun than it was.
I don’t recall which year it was, I think either 1997 or 1998. I was back in my hometown on a break from school, and one of my best friends from high school invited me to a party she and her boyfriend were throwing at his house in the nearest big city. And so, delighted at the prospect, I drove an hour and a half to attend.
I’m not entirely sure quite what went wrong. Fond of my friend as I was (and remain), it was pretty apparent when I got there that she was much more interested in spending time with her new friends (none of whom I knew) than putting me at ease with an unfamiliar crowd. And I knew nobody there but her and her boyfriend.
What’s weird to me now as I think back is that normally this wouldn’t really have been a problem for me. Like my good friend, I’m pretty much 100% extrovert. Getting to know people has never posed much of a challenge, and I don’t typically require much hand-holding at social events. But for some reason I didn’t click with that crowd.
It probably didn’t help that the only thing to drink was an endless supply of some wretchedly cheap beer that I had no interest in quaffing.
At some point I ended up in a den or living room of some sort, in which was a large TV playing “Showgirls.” If I ever get around to writing a post on entertainments so terrible they’re amazing, “Showgirls” will figure prominently. But a necessary element of enjoying such gloriously awful entertainments is company that shares your sensibilities. Camp is not a solitary pleasure. I think there may have been one other person who drifted in to watch, but since I had no idea if he’d find my commentary on Elizabeth Berkley’s hilariously un-erotic sex scene with Kyle MacLachlan enjoyable or not I sat in bummed-out silence.
Eventually I fell asleep on the couch. When I awoke the next morning, I gave my polite goodbyes and left.
It was the lamest New Year’s Eve I have ever spent.
Luckily, I’ve spent many wonderful New Year’s Eves since. I have great memories of ringing in both 1999 and 2000. But something about such an utterly lackluster holiday experience demystified New Year’s Eve for me a bit. I don’t feel any sense of pressure to have an especially exciting night. In fact, given my choice of which holiday to take call, I will always opt for New Year’s Eve first.
The Better Half and I got a very nice bottle of champagne as a gift this year, so we may well pop it open tonight. But it wouldn’t surprise me at all if we call it an evening well before midnight and go to bed. Maybe some parents of small children still manage to raise the roof on New Year’s, but I’d just as soon we ready for my usual early AM wakening. Perhaps when the kids are older we’ll start making plans again, but for the foreseeable future New Year’s Eve will be pretty low-key.
So that’s this week’s Question — first of all, are tonight’s festivities something you’re looking forward to, or are you in the same boat as me? Does a mellower New Year’s Eve signal the same kind of life transition as it seems to have for us, or do you still raise a ruckus? And am I just old and boring, or should I hope for a hoopla renaissance one of these days?