I think New Year’s Eve is the most over-rated holiday of the year. In my experience, albeit limited despite my advanced years, it has never lived up to the hype. I mean, really, how could it when on most occasions you’re either spending it alone or with a bunch of strangers who you have no desire to smooch at midnight or even wish a Happy New Year for that matter.
In my younger years, I had fixed in my head that ohhhh so romantic idea of going out on New Year’s Eve on a real date. It all started in my teenage years, when my family used to watch The Lawrence Welk Show on Saturday night — okay, okay, don’t hold it against me. I used to swoon and sing along to that song, “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” It stoked my hot dreams of being asked to go out dancing and then, at the stroke of midnight, being passionately kissed by someone who “cared” about me.
It happened a couple of years later when the murmuring ex-husband, of all people, asked me out for New Year’s Eve. I met him when I was a young (18 years old), naive, romantic, lonely young woman. He must have spotted my longing from the first time he asked me out on a date. There should be a law that all young men and women should have oodles of dates when they’re in high school so they’re not swept off their feet by the first person who says hello. Anyway, when he told me he was going home to Canada for Christmas but assured me he absolutely would be back to take me out on New Year’s Eve. I flipped and probably started smugly humming that song.
When the night came, one of my older sisters let me wear one of her sexy black dresses for the night. I was looking good, I must say. But, as we started out, he told me he didn’t have any reservations anywhere. I knew from watching Doris and Rock movies, that this is not how it’s supposed to go. The romantic shimmer of the night started to fade just a tad, especially when we ended up being the only customers in a not-very-good restaurant where I certainly did not want to smooch the new year in with the bored staff. I suggested we go over to The Desert Inn where my sisters used to go out dancing. Miraculously, we got in the place and on the dance floor as the count down began. My romantic evening was saved. I was ready — 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 — I closed my eyes and waited for that kiss to see in the new year. But, then, nothing happened. It was then I realized that if my mythical, romantic evening was going to blossom, I needed to pucker it up and give him that New Year’s Even smooch. It wasn’t my romantic image of New Year’s Eve but it would become so with tiny embellishments over the years.
After moving to DC, I went out to other parties or had them myself. But always felt a little disappointed with the whole evening. So years ago, I decided that the best New Year’s Eve celebration for me was at home alone with the cats, some good food, great wine and a stack of movies to watch until it was time to turn the channel onto the sinking ball, shout out the numbers and wish the cats a Happy New Year. Rose always grumbles about being awaken for something so stupid but I have to shout it at someone, eh? When my mom was still alive, I’d always call her at midnight. She was the only person I knew who would still be up at that hour. Now, I just turn off the TV, crank up some music and go to bed. And I don’t feel disappointed at all!
Happy New Year One And All!