Well, the time has come. The days are dwindling to our favorite holiday that will be protested by some religious group which feels left out of all the “spirit.” I still am not sure why other religious groups don’t just get in on the cards and gifts and spinning tops which have undecipherable hieroglyphics on them which evolve into a game of fun. Why can’t we have a Merry Sikhmas? Happy New Hindi? Baby Buddha’s Belly Barbecue Bash? When did Christianity corner the market on fun holiday cards with midgets in green and a fat man in a red wool suit which totally is unfashionable? They acted like they came up with it first a thousand years ago.
Christianity is so old that it delivered Jesus. Zing!
That doesn’t work as well without the yo’ momma part.
Now that all the furor over Happy Holidays versus Merry Christmas will mercifully come to end in a few days with only 450 Christmas parades shut down, it’s time to turn our attention to another holiday. You know, the one everyone asks you about as the days and nights get closer to it. The one and only New Year’s Day. If I had a dime for every time someone asked me the last couple weeks what I was doing for New Years I would have 3 and a half dimes. (One time someone stopped in the middle because their phone rang. So close to a full 10 cents.) Everywhere you turn this week someone will ask you what you’re doing for New Year’s and your answer will vary depending on your mood.
Happy response – “I don’t know! Let’s do something super fun. I love New Years!”
Everyday response – “Eh, I don’t have anything planned, might just go out for a little bit.”
Older than 30 response – “ Why can’t we just have a small house party, eat some caviar, talk about the new healthcare policy, and debate the new export laws that Japanese ports have put in? I can bring over this documentary I rented about the extinction of Asian elephants! Can I borrow your turtleneck?”
Curmudgeons – “Another New Year? This happens every year? I’m just going to watch Green Acres and go to bed at 12:01. No, screw it. 11:59. Take that world clocks, I will not succumb to your time terrorism any longer.”
To be fair, New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day is the most overrated holiday on the calendar. What are we even celebrating? A new year. We can celebrate a new year any day of the week. My year starts on May 14th, so I’m still 5 months away from my New Year’s party. But if I call my friends on May 13th and say, “Hey want to come over for my party tonight, I bought noise makers and funny black hats?” I’ll be struck down with the fury of 10 moms who bought a book on toilet training instead of Call of Duty for their kids.
My favorite part of any New Year’s gathering is when people tell you that they have been to Times Square for the annual ball dropping. That’s right; to signify a new year a huge, extravagant, glittering ball drops from the heavens and explodes on your face. What a metaphor for your life disappearing before your eyes. A ball dropping on your head. Not even Charlie Brown could draw it up better. But these people who go to New York love it and say, “You have to do it at least once.” No. No, you don’t. On the list of things you have to do once it should be filled with things like seeing the Taj Mahal, skydiving, and drinking milk past the expiration date. It should not be filled with standing in below freezing weather ready to watch a ball drop from 4 miles away with a million of your closest strangers.
I don’t make the life rules. I just apply them.
Then we get to the parties. In our 20s we loved New Year’s parties. We expected New Year’s to be some kind of whimsical day where we kiss someone at midnight, fall in love with them, and have babies while visiting such faraway lands as Cincinnati, Ohio for family reunions. Except the reality on New Year’s is that we’re depressed because we’re single and hanging out with our friends that are couples at a bar we paid $50 to get into. So at midnight instead of kissing someone we’re just shouting “Whoooooo!” at the top of our lungs with our eyes closed while the creator Auld Lang Syne rakes in money for the one time it’s played a year so we don’t have to look at everyone in their make out sessions. Thus begins the process of going through all the repressed memories of the past year’s relationships and asking yourself why you didn’t just buy her that scarf she wanted for her birthday and instead opted for the cutesy make it yourself present. How were you supposed to know her Grandma fell on a photo album and broke her hip last year and she has to relive it every day?
A picture is not worth it.
As the years pass I’m slowly getting to curmudgeonly status with New Year’s Eve. It’s not worth it. The night never turns out the way you want and you end up just curled up in a ball on New Year’s Day nursing your hangover with orangina and beef jerky and cursing yourself for being shammed into thinking it was going to turn out different.
This never happens to Asian Elephants.