I used to love New Year’s Eve. In high school, I would just go to a friends house, play cards, and get pretend drunk off two sips of champagne. There was no real pressure. In fact there’s no pressure at all when you’re a teenager because the bar is set so low for a good time that you end up always being pleasantly surprised when things don’t go terribly. Oh my, how things have changed…
In the past seven years, I’ve only managed to have two good experiences on New Year’s Eve. The first one happened in senior year of high school when my mom had (somewhat foolishly) decided to go out of town and leave the house to me and my 20-year-old brother. Even though I promised her I wouldn’t throw a party, I was already sending a mass text to my friends that read “NYE RAGER AT MY HOUSE! TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW!!!” before her car had left the driveway. Back then, it didn’t matter if you were popular or not. If your parents went out of town, you threw a party and EVERYONE came.
That New Year’s Eve I basically had the kind of high school party you only see in John Hughes films and She’s All That. It was a rager. People hooked up in my bathroom, smoked weed and ashed on my carpet, a stranger in a pink wig passed out on my bed, and I made sure to have at least six dramatic fights with the person I was dating at the time. It was epic—the kind of party that spawned countless “Remember When’s” and got lodged in everyone’s memory.
The second fun New Year’s Eve I had took me by complete surprise. It was my junior year of college and I decided to go to an old friend from high school’s party in Westwood. It could’ve been bad—no, it could’ve been terrible—but somehow everyone from my hometown synched up with each other and showed up to the party. It was basically a mini wasted reunion between childhood friends. Since we knew that it would be a long time before we’d all be in the same room again, we all sort of cherished our time together and decided to have an amazing night.
Other than those two flukes though, New Year’s Eve has been terrible. Most of the time, I usually end up getting deathly ill and retreating to my parents house, which is actually fine with me because it takes the pressure off. “Oh, I’m sorry. I can’t have a life-altering night that will set the tone for the entire year because I’m sick in bed. Sorry!” God, what is up with the pressure and anxiety we all feel over New Year’s Eve? Why do we give the holiday so much power? I wish Hollywood would stop making movies about it because it just stresses us out. We become the Martha Plimpton character in 200 Cigarettes. The truth is that we don’t need to spend 200 dollars to see a band preform or try to kiss someone at midnight. The more work we put into making it a great night, the more likely it’s going to disappoint us. Wait, that reminds me: New Years Eve is the sequel to Single Awareness Day. In fact I would almost say it’s worse because instead of being in your face about it, like Valentine’s Day is, it makes us feel bad about ourselves in more subtle ways. There’s nothing more anxiety-inducing than watching the clock countdown to midnight and watching everyone but you pair up with each other for a kiss. Oh, I feel embarrassment just thinking about it!
We need to just chill out about New Year’s Eve. We should just wait until the day of and then just go to whatever plan sounds the easiest to execute. Our world is not going to end if we have a bad night. We won’t be doomed to celibacy for an entire year or get hit by a train. It’ll have no impact on the upcoming year. If we just chant this to ourselves over and over again, we might actually end up being pleasantly surprised again.