Even though tonight is New Year’s Eve, Mrs. Cutter and I will likely spend it the same way we do most nights: Eating dinner, putting the kids to bed, watching a little bit of television, and then going to sleep well before midnight.
I wasn’t always this unenthused by the holiday. In fact, New Year’s Eve used to be one of the highlights of my year.
When I was in grade school, my parents would throw a NYE party, and some of my friends would come along with their parents. It was great. We overindulged in food and soda, watched movies and New Years specials, and played video games. Perhaps most importantly, I’d get to stay up well past midnight, which was a rare thrill.
It’s hard to believe that staying up until 2 AM used to seem like a treat. These days, that sounds like a perverse punishment.
NYE lost its luster when I became a teenager. Staying up late wasn’t such a unique experience anymore, and the concept of a party didn’t seem so exciting if girls weren’t involved.
It wasn’t long before my parents grew tired of throwing a party too. One year, we went to Disney World for the week, but aside from that, none of my NYE celebrations have been all that memorable.
I had high hopes for NYE in 1998. I thought that being able to drink legally might make the night seem more exciting, but I quickly discovered that going to a bar on NYE was better in theory than reality. I spent a decent amount of money (Okay, it was only $50, but that was a lot for a college student) to go to an overcrowded club (Polly Esther’s in Philadelphia) where it was near impossible to get drinks from the open bar. As I nearly got trampled trying to get my coat from the coat check, I decided that I would just as soon stay home the next year.
While I can’t imagine NYE ever feeling too special for me again, perhaps one day I can experience a vicarious thrill through my children. Maybe in a few years, we’ll throw a party at our house and have some of their friends come over. Hopefully they’ll be as excited as I once was to have a big celebration where they get to stay up late and watch TV with their friends.
For those of you who have big plans for tonight, may you enjoy your evening as much as nine-year-old me once did! And for those of you without big plans, may you start off the year with a good night’s sleep!
Happy new year!!!