Best holiday ever! Except most of my New Year’s Eves have been sort of odd. Like, the kind of odd that makes me feel like I should try to sleep through them all.
There was this one time when I was still a teenager that was kind of cool. My boyfriend and I were with a group of other rowdy New Yorkers on the observation deck of the Empire State Building, staring down at what looked like a street filled with moving confetti but was really just millions of people partying to welcome in the New Year.The security guard made us leave after the ball dropped in Times Square, the party pooper.
But that’s one night/early morning in three decades of weird New Year’s Eve stories. I have ushered in the New Year with my homegirl in Long Island as we trailed a Suge Knight look alike from his Watch Night visit at his grandma’s church (we met him at a tattoo parlor earlier that day and he invited us out. She looked at me like, “Abort mission!” and I couldn’t say no, and I’m pretty sure she almost stopped being my friend after that) to a really ridiculous house party that we left 10 minutes after we arrived. I think that was Y2K year, and we thought the world might end and we were both kind of sad there wasn’t more excitement either way.
The mid-twenties and thirties were not much better. There were lots of lonely texting streams and Dick Clark Rockin’ Eves. I’m pretty sure I slept through midnight at least three years in a row. Certainly, I was drunk at a New Year’s Eve shenanigans fest at my house before I made my way to a neighbor’s house to drink more before I had to get up and go to work three hours later.
Once, I let one of my favorite people drag me to the house of a couple in Brenham where we brought in the New Year with Scrabble. It wouldn’t have been so bad if we had been watching Dick Clark or Ryan Seacrest, but as it was, we ended up watching fireworks from around the world, wondering if the New Year had arrived in our part of the world yet or not and trying to avoid the gaze of their chihuahua, who had just had eye surgery.
In my relentless quest to have the Most Fun New Year’s Eve Ever, I dragged my bestie with me to the Driskill hotel for a champagne toast and pigs in a blanket, basically, for more than $40 a pop. We ended up at the Ginger Man, a local bar that I love, where we were serenaded by drunk men who could not, for the life of them, sing a lick. One of these guys was with his girlfriend at the time. But that was closer to what I envisioned for my New Year’s Eve fantasy.
Last year was even closer – I had a perfect date that included a little serenading and I ushered in the New Year listening to soul music, eating good food, surrounded by friends like family.
I mention this to you because that means that this New Year’s Eve is going to be amazing by comparison…but also because as much as I love being festive and all that, hallelujah, the celebrating will pause for most of us. (My birthday is approaching, so I’m just getting warmed up. Plus, there’s this book launch situation that’s coming in two weeks.)
I’ve mentioned before I think the holiday season can be alienating, especially for single folks. But just because you’re not with someone on New Year’s Eve doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time.
I hope that you have a safe, joyous Happy New Year. See if you can’t get a little dancing in like this. Even if you have to pull a Billy Idol. I’ll be toasting to y’all at midnight.