I have a confession to make: I’m not extraordinarily fond of New Years Eve.
Oh, back when I was a very little kid I remember liking it very much indeed. It was an opportunity to beg my parents to be allowed to stay up, and often I won that battle and had the thrill of watching the ball drop on TV.
Back then each year had seemed almost endless, and the punctuation of that last day, with its celebrations and dramatic turning of the number of the year into one we’d never seen before (wow! 1959! next, 1960!) was exciting and fresh. It also meant I was growing up, gaining in privilege and stature.
In high school it was still sort of fun—we went out in big packs, once or twice to Times Square to watch the whole thing in person. In college it became more problematic because I went home for Christmas vacation and was away from the boy friend de jour.
Then later on I was married. What do married people do on New Years? Parties still happened, but they were starting to end earlier and earlier (New Englanders don’t tend to be nightowls or wild partygoers, I’m afraid). For me they functioned mostly as an excuse for getting dressed up. It doesn’t help that I don’t drink much. Watching others get drunk has been an interesting spectator sport over the years, but not really my favorite activity.
As for that “growing in stature and privilege” thing—well, I’m kind of on the other side of that particular slope. Gaining in wisdom, perhaps; at least, that’s a consummation devoutly to be wished. And the passage of time seems to have accelerated at an alarming rate.
This year? There will be a small dinner party with friends, and some Malbec has been laid in, which should keep me a bit more in tune with the festivities.
So folks—what are you doing New Years Eve?