I have hated new year’s eve for as long as I can remember.
The crowds, the desperate reaching for fun-times, the drunkenness, the random groping by strangers, the forced joie de vivre, the alcohol-fuelled ‘gis-a-kiss’ demands, the paniced avoidance of strangers’ grabby-handed slobbering on the stroke of midnight. I hated it all.
But it was a ‘thing’ for young people. A big thing. So I tried. Year after year I tried and each time I’d roll up the next morning hungover and remembering the horrible night I’d had navigating the same awful scenarios. I probably did have some good ones in there, but I can’t really recall them.
One year I even went to the trouble to have TWO NYEs (because if I hate one, hating two is double the fun, right?). It was a thing here (probably still is) to go to a popular town on the border between two states: one of which has daylight savings, one of which doesn’t. So you celebrate midnight on one side, walk over to some bar on the other side and do it again an hour later. Merry japes!
I started to avoid the night. Unlike other parties or events, NYE is one that garners incredulous puzzlement when you say you aren’t doing anything. I went so far one year as to organise some trip so that I would be on a plane on NYE, in the air at midnight. A blessed relief to not feel the pressure to join in on something I knew I would hate.
Of course I reached a point of maturity where that pressure to pay attention to it no longer mattered, and I just said ‘no’ without feeling like a sad and lonely cat lady, and people I knew learnt not to use that as an excuse to try and convince me that I HAD to do *something*.
This year, I will have a few glasses of fine champagne with a good friend. We might play a game, have snacks, step outside to watch the fireworks down the street. I may well not make it to midnight before my bed calls me home.
And that’s okay.
Tonight in the quiet I will raise a glass to you, dear readers, in thanks for your support and kindnesses over the last year. I hope that new year’s eve heralds the start to a wonderful 2105 full of happiness and joy for you and yours.