My parents invariably seemed to be quite pumped about New Year’s Eve way back in the day. A festivity that in our neighborhood meant one of those suburban John Updike-ish baccanales that were pretty darn prevalent it seems to me. No wonder that at least half of them would today qualify as candidates for rehab. But, I’m not about to judge them. Well, I do, but I don’t want to look like a hyprocrite since I’ve had my own days of bad-judgment. Some of them were fun, too.
For, in those days, NYE meant to me a session of babysitting kid siblings. I knew instinctively that some sort of wanton hedonism awaited once I came of age. Well, once I was past babysitting age I entered the realm of being dateless. Dateless on New Year’s Eve: what could be worse? A boy had to plan months ahead sometimes – at least until he had a steady – to make sure he wouldn’t be without a kissy-face partner for that magical moment when the ball dropped at that mystical time.
But then I found, once I had that kissy-face steady, that sometimes there were also quite enticing spare females wandering around larger social gatherings. And since you were entitled, you could also kiss a number of other little paragons on nubility. Consequently, one time, after having visited the beverage site with too much indiscretion, and having noticed those spare females, I engaged one in very, very, very fond embrace in an upper hallway of the house in which the party was being held. In fact, kissing her passionately, and with my hand well down the back of her long skirt.
Wonder what she’s up to these days.
And that incident to me epitomizes all that I particularly loathe about New Year’s Eve. Not that I dislike even now the concept of caressing someone down the back of her long skirt, it was just that we were virtual strangers and the New Year’s party somehow gave permission to such blind abandon. Today, as as the mindless hedonism of youth loses its allure, I find this fabricated festive time irksome.
Over the years I went to house-parties galore. Whoever I was married to at the time and I also went to a couple of soirees held at local hotel ballrooms. They were singularly detestable exercises in forced frivolity. Do you really want to kiss somebody you don’t know, have never even seen before, and don’t even find especially attractive? I know I don’t. Not any longer I don’t.
So, it came as no surprise to me to read that a majority of Canadians, especially those past 40, essentially do absolutely nothing on New Year’s Eve. Such news was also comforting. It lets me know I am not either weird or antisocial. Well, the jury might be out on the weird part, but I’m not antisocial. I just don’t want to be told that this is an occasion in which I should have no-holds-barred fun. I’ve had that (see girl with long skirt) and it was nice – really nice, but I no longer want that, anymore than I want to wake up to an aching head due to overindulgence and lack of sleep and a wife who won’t speak to me well into the first month of 2013.
Anyway, what the hell is it about? It only means we’ve moved into another year on the old ‘Gregorian’ and it also means I am coming up to another year older and at my age that’s a little disheartening. I don’t much like reminders that time is passing at the rate of that new Chinese train.
Anyway, it’s never been the same since Guy Lombardo shuffled off this mortal coil. And now that Dick Clark has gone as well, we are really in the doldrums. Come on kids, ask your grandparents who Lombardo was, and maybe your parents who Clark was.
What we do now is have our own NYE. Wel put on some nice music, the fireplace will be blazing, we’ll light some candles, and we’ll eat coconut-crusted butterfly shrip we put together in the afternoon.
I’ll then ask (from here on the west coast) if it is yet midnight on the east coast. If it is, we can have our NYE kiss without interference, and then maybe stay up a bit longer, or snuggle into our own comfortable king size. That does work for me, quite satisfyingly.
And I’m not even going to mention so-called resolutions since they’re never kept and only serve to make otherwise decent people begin the year – or at least two weeks into January – feel dreadful about themselves.
Happy New Year to you all!