It’s that time of year, the time of year in which you say “it’s that time of year” way too much. We’ll stop after this post, we almost guarantee it. It’s also the time for rounding up all of the various exciting offers you’ve received to do whatever it is you like to do on the evening of December 31, from heretoforth known as “New Year’s Eve.” As this is not our first rodeo, we at Runnin’ Scared have experienced a whole adult lifetime of New Year’s Eves, and…they don’t get easier, really, but maybe they get better. Or maybe they don’t. Let’s reminisce! Here are 20 New Year’s Eves that you can get busy improving upon tomorrow night. Hopefully.
20. The one in which you are vomited upon by someone. Chances are, you had a crush on him or her, and you were wearing white. With any luck, this person is not yourself.
19. The one you attend with the person you will break up with — or who will break up with you — the next day.
18. The “private” party, just you and your significant other, except he falls asleep after you eat the dinner he made for you and you end up watching TV. Or maybe that was Valentine’s Day? It’s all a blur.
17. The one in which you plan ahead and get a reservation somewhere for far too much money and dress up and go have a four-course prix fixe meal. It’s not worth it in the slightest, but you wear a party hat and toot your horn and nibble on your overpriced breadstick and make the best of it, if only because you want to look like you’re having fun in the photos.
16. The one in which you end up on the West Side of Manhattan and need to get to the East Side for the next party, but of course, it’s New York City and New Year’s Eve and there are no cabs. The subway is insane and you’re wearing ridiculous shoes so you hail a pedi-cab driver who shakes his head no immediately. So you offer him $500 and his eyes light up but your friend pulls you away — what are you, insane? — and you end up sharing a cab with some guys who, you assume, will post a Missed Connection about you the next day, because wouldn’t that be a good story? But they don’t, or maybe you just forget to check, and years later, you think that will all make a really awesome blog post. Maybe.
15. The one in which you realize that your married lover is not the person you’re in love with after all, and you leave the restaurant where he’s taken you and rush to the side of the man/upwardly mobile business executive with morals who saved your life when you took too many sleeping pills at his apartment, where your married lover had taken you in order to woo you, except then you attempted suicide when you realized he would never leave his wife. (Yes, this is the plot of The Apartment.)
14. The one in which you are sick with a 102-degree temperature and alternate between huddling under the blankets and watching reruns of some old sit-com, or maybe House Hunters, and spooning hot broth into your dry lips. In between groans and shivers you’re actually just relieved you have a good excuse for not going out.
13. The one in which you get to stay up late and watch the ball drop for the very first time.
12. The one in which you wake up next to a stranger the next morning.
11. The one in which you lose something. Your car keys, your apartment keys, your wallet, your credit card. Your dignity. The next day will be spent 1) realizing you’ve lost the thing you have lost. 2) Tracking it down systematically amid your hangover haze. 3) Waiting for wherever you lost it to reopen so you can reclaim it. 4) Live-tweeting/blogging/Facebooking the entire experience. That is very 2012.
10. The one in which you really, really think the world will be significantly different the next day (See Y2K) but…it’s not.
9. The one in which you are too old to stay home but too young to go out, so you spend the night watching the ball drop for the umpteenth time with your mother and brother and maybe your dad, until he falls asleep, and you blow paper horns, only yours is defective and hits you in the face and everyone laughs.
8. The one in which you wear sequins and the sequins leave a trail, like breadcrumbs, to all the places you go. (Pair this with #11 for best effect.)
7. The one in which you say things you don’t mean, and will probably regret, but it’s a new year and you have to be forgiven…right?
6. The one that ends in tears.
5. The one that ends in a make-out. Unexpectedly.
4. THE ONE IN TIMES SQUARE. Admit it. You did it.
3. You’re not even reading this blog post, you’re probably skiing in Aspen, right? Or on a boat in Bali? Fuck you.
2. The one at the awful-sounding bar that you’ve never been to before and will never go to again, but it’s open bar and you have to do something because it’s New Year’s Eve, so you go, and you have extremely low standards and absolutely no expectations and lo and behold, it is actually fun.
1. The one in another country in which you’ve been given the wrong address of the house party you are expected to attend. You are instead dropped off by the cab driver in front of what appears to be a crackhouse, but you think, maybe these friends of friends are just very eccentric, and a bit slovenly. You ring but the entire place is dark and no one answers, so you end up holed up in a phone booth trying to find the coins that will work to call your one friend in the same country and get the right directions. You think to yourself, as the clock begins to strike midnight, this is not an auspicious beginning of a year — but at least it’s better than the time the guy you had a crush on puked on you.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 30, 2011