dropcap]S[/dropcap]o it’s New Year’s Eve. Time to get all dolled up, the better to stuff your face with still more turkey and ham and cheap champers—as if already you’d not had enough the past weekend. You paste on the water vulnerable, knowing only too well your face will be tear-streaked before half the night has passed. To think you frittered away over $200 at a sweat-box salon for a hairdo destined to turn into a bird’s nest before dawn. And let’s not even start off on that one-size-too-small outfit that’s got your lungs screaming for air. At least you’ll have tucked away in your clutch a comfy pair of sandals. Hey, nobody is so crazy as to consider spending a whole night in heels that make even your head spin after three or four hours on your feet. Ah, yes, the torturous rituals of New Year’s Eve, a night sure to end for the majority in tears—if only over the loss of a cherished, recently acquired by whatever means IPhone. The especially lucky might suffer only a shattered screen but then what’s so lucky about that when it’s still good reason to cry like a baba . . . albeit a boozy baba?
As I say, this ridiculous and insanely expensive addiction that so many have repeatedly resolved not to repeat is a master when it comes to disguising itself as a good time. Consider the following: Whatever your chosen venue, the patron to bartender ratio is typically twenty-five to one. If you’re not popping bottles, still the open bar resembles a no-holds-barred fight in the middle of Jeremie Street. Already drunk people shouting at the top of their drunken voices for the barman’s attention; food lines reminiscent of Wings of Love clearance sales. Meanwhile you’re hanging on to that regular admission ticket that entitles you to an occasional rum and Coke that’s mainly water. New Year’s Eve is finally a mind-blowing celebration, guaranteed to leave employed and unemployed depressed and more broke on the first day of the New Year!
Christmas shopping and Christmas parties cleaned out your bank or credit union account. You promised yourself you’d try to be responsible this time around but, as usual, that promise went the way of several before it. Saying no proves yet again to be beyond your powers. And now you’re about to break still another promise to yourself: to go easy this New Year’s Eve. Yeah, right.
Let’s talk about that other magical ritual: the NYE kiss. What a job the commercial houses have done on us, making everyone believe that when the clock strikes twelve every ugly duckling with a head full of liquor will suddenly turn from Cinderella’s stepsisters into Princess Whatever—in the arms of someone who won’t turn out to be the Prince of Wails. In preparation for this promised transformation, singles scramble all over in search of someone willing to suck on a mix of spicy food and stale alcohol—the magical midnight kiss. Another hope doomed to be dashed!
But take heart, dear fellow traveller. Whenever you get out of bed, there staring you in the face is your opportunity for a fresh start; It need not be a special time of year. So what is it that makes New Year’s Day so absolutely special?
Chances are you’ll be chomping down on some unrecognisable leftovers perchance to get rid of your hangover from the previous night. Remember? Or you’ll be watching an HBO marathon instead of making it to the gym. Why bother starting fresh on 1 January? Already you’ve broken at least three New Year resolutions . . . Yup, a big NYE usually means a terrible headache on the first day of January, puke residue on your hard-earned $400 dollar dress and bathroom tiles, and blurry images of what hussy horrors may or may not have occurred between you and your
suddenly not so significant other.
Dammit, we know several better ways to start our year—any year. So why do we insist on going down this particular road, year after year, that’s guaranteed to leave us feeling abandoned, depressed, hung up and more often than not dead broke? We have another opportunity this weekend not to drink ourselves under the table or something worse, and to get up in the morning eager to confront whatever it is 2017 might have in store for us. (We can dream, right?) In any event, YOLO—Happy New Year!