I'm not a Scrooge at Christmas, but I am the equivalent at New Year's. It's a holiday that is designed for disappointment.
Resolutions are proof of that. You decide that last year was a bust so you make a list of all the things you are going to change this year to make your life better. Then you force yourself to have a good time, drink heavily, and toast this new beginning. That's way too much pressure for me.
I liked New Year's as a young girl. When you are a kid, there's no pressure. There's nothing to have to change. Life for the most part was fun and Woo Hoo! Here comes another year!
Every New Year my parents would go to a party and my sister and I would baby sit for one of their friends. We would play games, make Chef-Boyardee pizza in a box and watch New Year's Rockin' Eve with Three Dog. What could be better than that? Cory Wells was hot!
My favorite part of the evening wasn't seeing the ball drop at midnight. I loved making the pizza. Adding water to the pizza dough mix and spreading it on a cookie sheet. Spooning on the lightly spiced sauce and then sprinkling on the Parmesan cheese that came in the can. I still get a taste for that biscuit-like pizza every now and again.
If you are shuddering at the thought of pizza from a mix, you should know that this was the only kind of pizza I knew as a kid. We thought we were hot stuff making Italian food. You can imagine my surprise the first time I had "real" pizza. I was fascinated by that white melty stuff on the top.
My enjoyment of New Year's waned much like my taste for pizza from a box. What was once fun and exciting some how turned sad and desperate, at least it did for me.
New Year's is definitely a holiday for couples, and I never seem to have a boyfriend over any major holiday. I may have one before and after - and it could be the same one, but never during. Men seem to disappear right before any possible gift-giving event.
Since Christmas comes right before New Year's, you can bet that someone-meaning me-is being dumped. Sigh! Another New Year's on my own.
I was thrilled when I got married. I finally licked that holiday problem. I had a permanent date for any and all celebrations, gift required or not. Then he broke up with me too. Yes, it was right before a holiday. Why didn't I see that coming?
After many years of agony, I have finally found the perfect solution to the New Year's dilemma. My friend likes to call it the "Flannel Jammie New Year."
All you have to do is rent some movies, stock up on your favorite munchies, slip into your most comfortable flannel jammies, grab a good book to read, and plant your behind on the couch. Catching the countdown to the New Year is optional.
I have spent many a pleasant New Years this way and was looking forward to just such a night a few years ago. I had the bad movies picked out, a new novel by one of my favorite authors, and all the chips and dip I could eat.
Just as I was getting out the flannels, the phone rang. It was my best friend calling to invite me to a party at the Conner's. It will be fun, she said. I don't know what came over me, but I said yes. Why I strayed from my tried and true formula, I can't say. Maybe I thought that this year would be different.
I threw on my party attire and headed out to my friend's house. As I climbed into the back of their car with their 8-year-old daughter for the trip to the party, I began to have some misgivings. What kind of a party was this?
When we got to the Connor's house, my worst fears were realized. I was the only single person there. The rest of the group was married couples and they all brought a passel of children less than 10 years old. Maybe I should have worn something less sparkly?
I felt uncomfortable, but it wasn't such a bad party once I got past the "ooh, she's single on New Year's" look on everyone's face. The food was great and I even started having a good time.
Then it was almost midnight. The champagne was uncorked and we all gathered around the television and raised our glasses in a toast to the New Year as the ball descended on Times Square. Not a bad evening after all.
Smiling to myself, I scanned the crowd. The hosts were starting to make their way around the circle of partygoers and were hugging and kissing everyone. Whoa! I'm not a particularly huggy kind of person, especially with people I barely know.
As I was wondering if it would be a good time to sneak off to the bathroom, I turned to my best friend just in time to see her nudge her husband with her elbow and hear her tell him to "go kiss Claire."
I don't know for sure, but I imagine I looked pretty scary to him as I fought with my face to retain a smiling demeanor while inwardly grimacing. As he made his way toward me I tried not to panic. What was she thinking telling him to kiss me? It was too late to run off to the ladies room. I was trapped.
I'm sure that my friend and her husband have long since forgotten the kiss he planted on my cheek, but it lives forever in my memory as one of the most wretched events of my life. Who needs to be kissed on New Year's Eve by their best friend's husband? Can you spell pathetic?
She still doesn't understand why it upset me so much, and explaining it takes too much out of me. My single friends understand.
I had high hopes for this year.
I'm sad to report that my imagination leads me much better places than my real life ever does, and I find myself once again a victim of the pre-holiday dump.
Very pre-holiday actually, but I'd rather think it was because he wanted to beat the Christmas rush than because he just didn't like me that much. Needless to say, I won't be sharing flannels while ringing in the New Year.
Despite my continued single status, it's been a good year for me. I got a great promotion at work, I just moved into a lovely new home, and I finally made it back on Santa's "Nice" list. It's hard to top that.
And I can still spend my Flannel Jammie New Year with some pretty hot guys. Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom are tops on my list. Still, it would have been nice to start the New Year with a man who was on MY side of the TV screen.
Better yet, to start the year with someone who will still be around when the year is through. That's pretty unlikely at this point though, so I'm just going to have to settle for the next best thing.
Yeah, I'm getting cable.
Happy New Year!
Top of Page
Back to Not A Kid Anymore