Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Year?

Celebrations change with age. My New Year’s progression has been as follows.

It started as a night when I was allowed to stay up but mostly failed to do so. I would fall asleep on the couch while my parents watched Guy Lombardo. They’d wake me a couple of minutes before the ball dropped in Times Square, to watch it happen on TV, but while they made a big production of the countdown, I was usually back asleep before midnight.

Then I was old enough to stay awake, but not old enough to drink. That was sort of like being given a yummy hot pizza, but being told I couldn’t eat it. So by the time I was legally able to get drunk, I did so with a vengeance — and became a jerk, albeit a legal one.

Sex entered the equation, too, and New Year’s was viewed by me as a holiday when “getting busy” was a prerequisite. That sure didn’t alleviate any tendency toward jerkdom.

In my late twenties, I wasn’t getting enough of a kick from just drinking and having sex. I used drugs, also. I became a wide-awake drunk because my drug of choice was cocaine. I was even more of a jerk than before, and now not even a legal one.

After age 32, I stopped doing cocaine and mostly stopped drinking. I got married, too. In other words, I finally grew up. Now on New Year’s, my wife and I would order Thai food, watch “Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve” (with me complaining about how none of the bands were really rockin’ much) and then we’d have a kiss at midnight and usually a bit more.

Around age 45, it got to be that we’d order Thai food, watch some of Dick Clark (but more of the annual Three Stooges marathon on TV), have a kiss at midnight, then maybe some sex or maybe not. We both knew there were 364 other days in the year.

By 50, we ordered Thai food, ate it, and then my wife would go read or maybe even go to bed while I settled in to watch the Stooges. If she was awake at midnight, I’d switch over to Dick Clark for her (although Dick Clark wasn’t really on his own show much anymore) and we’d have a quick smooch. If she slept through the ball dropping, though, no big deal.

Last year, I ordered the Thai food knowing full well that Curly having a saw raked across his noggin would be the highlight of my evening. That was OK because we BOTH went to bed before midnight and felt no guilt whatsoever.

We didn't even order any Thai food this year. As I write this, MY WIFE is asleep. She had a couple of glasses of wine earlier while I was watching the Celtics lose to San Antonio. She said she'd be up later, so we'll see. If she isn't, I'll watch Moe abuse Curly.

If you’re younger than I am, and still making a big deal out of New Year’s Eve, don’t make fun of me. You’ll do something similar, eventually, but only if you’re blessed with a partner with whom you’re extremely comfortable and still in love.

What you’ll discover, with maturity, is that trying to squeeze as much debauchery as possible into one evening isn’t the best way to start a new year. Also, you’ll find that no matter how crummy the previous year has been — and this was a pretty crummy one — you won’t be in as big a rush to have had yet another come and go so damn quickly.

I wish you happiness, whether it's the beginning of a new year or just some random date in the middle of April or October. If turning the page on a calendar gets your rocks off, more power to you. As for me, meh.

Soon, with more better stuff.



Unknown said...

This is pretty much in keeping with something that somebody posted somewhere on Facebook. "Sixty may be the new forty but 9 pm is the new midnight."

Happy New Year to you and yours. <3

Unknown said...

(I must be signed out.. it's Hilary)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the perfect New Years Eve to me ---especially the nap !!! Best wishes and lots of happiness to you and "THE WIFE" in the NEW YEAR. Linda in Tn.

Bohemian said...

Oh I loved this, so able to relate at this Season of Life as a Senior. We have a live in House Guest at the Moment, a retired Friend in between having sold and buying a home... and the Grandkids we're raising are now old enough to manage to stay up, but not old enough for much debauchery yet, Thank Goodness! So, as us Old Folks circled the buffet spread I'd set out, the Teen Grandkids lamented how boring New Years is. I think they're at that Season of Life they believe it should be some kind of big deal. *winks*

Barbara said...

This sounds like us! For a few years we threw a party at our house (because we sure as heck didn't want to be out driving!) but we haven't even done that for a few years. Ever the traditionalist, though, I usually do stay up long enough to switch over to see the ball drop, then head to bed, because I know the dog will be waking me up by 6 am. Happy New Year, Jim! I hope 2019 is overflowing with blessings for you and your WIFE!

silly rabbit said...

So it goes.

Alison said...

Happy New Year! We didn't even make it to ten o'clock this year. Best wishes for a fun year ahead!

Shammickite said...

I was all by myself for New Year's for the first time in my life this year. Everyone else was either busy or at work and nobody invited me out anywhere (Sob!) The 9:00pm fireworks in the park were cancelled as it was pouring with rain. So I made myself comfortable, and went to bed early with a really good book. And when I woke up it was 2019!!!!!

Unspoken said...

Happy New Year!