December 31st, 2009

New Years Eve: what are you doing?

[NOTE: This is a slightly-edited version of a previous post.]

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? Going out for a while, then coming in. Friends and loved ones it is.

And then on New Years Day: resolutions galore! Will they last more than a day this time? And the fervent hope that 2010 will be a much better one than 2009 was for this country, and the entire world.

So folks—what are you doing New Years Eve?

25 Responses to “New Years Eve: what are you doing?”

  1. Baklava Says:

    Inquiring minds want to know… what is Baklava doing?

    Staying home with my daughters and partner.

    Making smores.

    Movie of my daughters choice.

    New Game or Pictionary.

    Just call me boring !

  2. SAB Says:

    Probably will be snoring in my chair, with a cat on my lap, while the ball drops and my distant neighbors ring in the New Year with random gunshots…it’s a country tradition 🙂

  3. JuliB Says:

    I worked too many years in the food & beverage industry during high school, college and grad school to want to go out tonight. It means nothing to me – I spent years working and watching people spend money and get drunk for nothing.

  4. Mr. Frank Says:


    It’s too bad you New Englanders don’t follow college football. That’s the high point of the holiday for many Americans.

  5. expat Says:

    We are staying home too. It’s nice to have a quiet evening. The Lennon Sisters puts me in a reminiscing frame of mind.

  6. Tatyana Says:

    This is the biggest holiday of the year for us, post-Soviets, including expats.

    There are traditional food – and food fights (f.i., however jokingly – about the best recipe for Olivier Salad). There is folklore galore, whole lot of traditions and joke and characters associated. This is the night when Father Frost (adapted Santa) leaves presents for the kids. And adults look into the past year, evaluate all that happened and make plans for the next. Usually there are parties, from small, family size to nightclub gatherings.
    The popular superstition says: The way you part with old year and meet the new- that’ll be the way you’ll live through coming year; partying with strangers, or sit quietly alone, or in warm company of the closest to you – that’s the way your next year will be.
    It doesn’t quite work with me, though – I met 2009 abroad, among a huge party of strangers, both indoor and out, with abundant food and excellent wine – and this year was complete opposite for me.
    So today I’ll be home, by myself, toasting my own hopes, talking to my family on the phone only.
    We’ll see if this change will change the fortune.

  7. Mark Says:

    I was planning on spending it at the club but with the crappy weather forecast for tonight, I’ll be staying home. I don’t drink either(19 years tonight and counting). So I’ll be popping the metal cork on the bottle of non-alcoholic sparkling grape juice, watching the ball drop then going to bed.

  8. gatorbait Says:

    Tonight, sitting at home..having a root beer and a steak .Call my college kids.

    Next year, who knows?

  9. PA Cat Says:

    Probably will be snoring in my chair, with a cat on my lap

    Make that three cats, bless them all.

  10. TxBubba Says:

    Taking the fiance to a ballroom dancing party. Food is catered and the venue is just a few miles from the house. Dogs have been fed and are eager to chase & bite any bad guys. Fixed spicy crab cakes from scratch for an early dinner and we watched Smokey and the Bandit for grins. That’s what’s going on in my part of south Texas.

    Happy New Year everyone!

    Boerne, TX

  11. Gray Says:

    My dad usta call it: “A bullshit, depression-era, administrative holiday.”

    In the spirit of the spirit of invoking the spirit of fun, I’m drinking beer and scotch and making the traditional New Year’s New Mexican Posole.

    2009 kicked my ass. It must end.

  12. rickl Says:

    I haven’t been out on Amateur Night in years. I just stay in and do whatever I normally do, and try to watch the ball drop at midnight. Sometimes I make it; sometimes I doze off early.

    The last few years I’ve been buying the 4-packs of mini champagne bottles. Each one is about equivalent to one glass. That works out well since I can’t polish off a whole full-sized bottle by myself. I can drink one at midnight and save the others for some other occasion.

    Recently I’ve noticed that the flapper valve on my toilet has been sticking open after I flush. I have to take the top of the tank off and tap it with my finger to get it to close. I’m not a handyman and I’ve been putting off calling the plumber. But today during a slow period at work I went online and looked up how to repair/replace a flapper valve. It doesn’t look too difficult, and I might try taking it off and cleaning it tonight.

    With any luck, maybe I can get the flapper to drop at midnight!

  13. Tatyana Says:

    O, rickl – and the rest of you- my, you are all boring. It’s New Year, the best holiday of all!

    I’ll have to polish off whole bottle, to compensate for you’ll lack of spirit. Geez.

  14. Tatyana Says:

    Clicked “submit” too soon.

    Gray – couldn’t agree more, re: 2009. It was a super crappy year for me. Only 4hrs left, and I can’t welcome the new one enough.

    I baked (Hazelnut-coconut butte cookies and layered cranberry cake with white chocolate topping), marinated steaks in mustard+orange+chile, cooked selection of sides and put champagne on ice.

    Come for leftovers tomorrow!

  15. michaele Says:

    Neo, thank you so much for the delightfully kitchy trip down memory lane video. I’m sure I’m totally deluded in thinking those were such sweet, less complicated times. I love how the male singer seems to have a slight pot belly and that was OK because he has a wonderful voice. Anyway, I’m being the good wife and sharing togetherness as my husband watches a bowl game. We live in the Knoxville area and the Un. of TN Vols are fighting for a victory against VA Tech.

  16. Scottie Says:

    New Year’s Eve, 1997, I was sitting next to the hospital bed where my wife lay, heavily medicated, and watched the tv while the ball dropped.

    Today I’m celebrating as my son turns 12 years old….everybody on the planet celebrates on his birthday!

    Happy New Year and I hope you all have a great 2010!

  17. NeoConScum Says:

    The chance discovery of your fine site(Thank you, Austin Bay)is one of the nice, quiet, satisfying things which have crossed my path in recent months.

    I’m assuming that tonight will be much like the past two New Years comings: Missus Neo, 95-lb, 4’11” Sicilian Firefly and Cutey, will stroll down to the edge of Lake Killarney, about 200-yards from our condo in Winter Park, Fl. She’ll watch the fireworks over the city and lake whilst her Dreamboat will have fallen asleep AGAIN with his mystery novel on his chest.

    THANK YOU GOD, for this fabulous female to daily dance upon my heart.

  18. Amused Obserer Says:

    Following the country traditions, random gunshots at midnight. A quiet celebration at home this year.

  19. Wandriaan Says:

    I watched some lovely films with my dearest, opened a bottle of champagne at midnight amidst of the fireworks, phone calls and all that, and noticed that we were both exceedingly glad for no reason other than just being together.
    So simply perfect, and I wish you all


  20. J.L. Says:

    Hmmm… apparently I’m online perusing blogs while my wife is fast asleep. LOL

    Actually, I’ve agreed to wake her up just before midnite… we’ll watch the Times Square ball drop, drink some wine, and then go sleep.

    I’ll probably also give a call to my Dad, who lives in another city, right after midnight to wish him a long distance Happy New Year.

    Anyway… Happy New Year to you all.. and to Neo, thank you for an excellent year of bloggy awareness …

    Heres to 2010, where I look longingly to November 4.

  21. Gray Says:

    Gray – couldn’t agree more, re: 2009. It was a super crappy year for me. Only 4hrs left, and I can’t welcome the new one enough.

    Happy Hogmanay!

    3 rounds of .44mag into the snow in broad moonlight after much scotch and many beers makes for a happy end to a crappy year.

    Wow–much muzzle flash! But I actually put earplugs in this year so the usual hangover won’t include tinnitus so loud my neighbor can hear it.

    Very nice. A very nice New Year: When I close my eyes, not only do I have the soft spinning feeling, but I can still see the nice purple after-image of the muzzle flash.

    Happy New Year and Good Night all.

  22. Mike Mc. Says:

    You have a great blog and site Neo. It is so good to have voices like yours out there. I hope the New Year is fantastic for you, and that our Country stops its slide into despotism before it is too late.

    Down with Obama! Down with Pelosi! Down with Reid! Down with Congress!

    Let the New Year rain down grief galore on their plans to destroy America.

  23. benning Says:

    I had three accounts to clean, so I finally made it home around 10pm last night. Had a bottle of Sam Adams Cherry Wheat, watched some television, and was in bed by midnight.

    The allure of drinking and partying to usher in the New Year disappeared long ago, as I found the morning-after hangovers not worth the bother. I stick to two drinks max, these days, and have for 30 years. Any more than that and my mouth goes into overdrive. I’d rather sip and enjoy than get opinionated and obnoxious.

    Safer, too! 🙂

    Happy New Year, Neo! Best to you the year ’round!

  24. Sloan Says:

    We are strong partiers. We had our 4 year-old grandson for a sleep-over, watched Milo and Otis, and were in bed by 10:00.

    Pancakes and bacon for breakfast and building towers with blocks for dessert.

    Happy New Year!

  25. will Says:

    Day late, dollar short…

    Native New Englander, now ensconsed in Red State Lands, had a quiet evening before the fireplace, with good food and the finest of Belgian ales, kissed the wife at midnight and went to bed.

    Happy New Year all!!

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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