“What are you doing for New Year’s Eve?”
If you’re like me, the answer is: “Nothing. Ever again.”
After a decade of disappointing December 31sts, I’m tempted to hole up with some DVDs, order a pizza and hit the sack at 12:01AM.
It pains me to admit this, but my parents have been right all along.
I have paid ridiculous sums of money to be wedged into packed bars that felt more like saunas. I have parted with $15 for a watered-down martini. I have seen flimsy high-heeled shoes fall victim to ice and sleet. I have suffered as bone-chilling winds whipped my bare legs during failed attempts at hailing taxis.
I have been a fool.
I have had enough.
I am over New Year’s Eve.
I’ve come to the realization that my fondest NYE memories are those low-key evenings I spent with people I care about.
1991: Watching Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with my folks after going out to Red Lobster (fanciest!), sipping “bubbly” (Canada Dry â€¦ the champagne of ginger ales, I’ll have you know), giddy to be staying up past my bedtime.
2000: Hanging out in a dear friend’s basement. Mixing Mountain Dew and tequila (with predictably unfortunate results). Mortal Kombat. Junk food. Laughing until we cried.
2004: A sedate cocktail party in Kingston, Ont. Hors d’oeuvres. Quiet laming out. A chaste kiss shared with my university boyfriend at midnight.
Other December 31sts blend together. Nights when midnight came too swiftly and too soberly. Unholy stress fests. And sh*t shows I’d sooner forget.
Tonight, droves of people will descend upon the hotspots of downtown Toronto to indulge in bottle service, lose their friends in crowds, pick fights, shriek in the streets and vomit on Blue Night buses.
I will not be among them.
I may head to an intimate potluck with some lovelies. I may embrace my inner hermit and head to bed at a reasonable hour. I may end up doing both.
So what if my plans aren’t epic, expensive, or even exciting? It’s just another night.
I hope that wherever you’re off to tonight, you’ll be with your favourite people. Because if you’re going to have a brutal night (and, let’s face it, this is highly likely), it’s probably a good idea to divide the brutality among people you love.”