Jana: Ah, New Year’s Eve. What a great time of year! Forever 21 is selling exclusively sparkly, skanky clothing, people are compiling lists of resolutions, parties are being planned. It’s always hard, though, to know what will REALLY be the right choice for a NYE activity. Because even though probably what you WILL do, in the end, is go to a party with people you vaguely like and drink way too much and then someone will take a picture of you making out with someone else who you only sort of know, and will post the picture on facebook, there’s always part of you that thinks that this year, you might just rent a movie and have a glass of wine and reflect on things quietly, and wake up and go for a run on New Year’s Day. On this day, New Year’s Eve Eve, I imagine a lot of you are struggling with a decision between two such options. To help you, I have compiled a list of ways to avoid later saying about New Year’s Eve 2012, “That was, without a doubt, the low point of my life.” It is possible!
In order to stay away from a night that will drive you to years of therapy, DO NOT DO the following things:
1) If you are young and in college and recently bought a new pair of jeans that were more expensive than your other jeans, and also went crazy and purchased a green tube top from that new store American Apparel that you suspect just MIGHT make you look super hot, DO NOT spend $50 on tickets to a weird band playing at a bar. If you must do that, though, definitely DO NOT put on the aforementioned ill-fitting outfit, skip dinner, and start pregaming at 8 PM. Tequila is a good thing to avoid in this situation, too. Because let me tell you this: If you decide to wear that outfit and slam tequila shots and then pile into your friend’s mom’s car to go to the bar, when you arrive at the bar you will know that you’re too wasted to go in. Your friends will go in, but you will have to gesture to the driver (remember: friend’s very sweet mom) that you need a ride home, and as you pass the charles river you will need to tell that driver to pull over so you can puke onto the sidewalk. You will wake up in your childhood bedroom at 2 AM with makeup all over your face and see that it is, in fact, 2005, but that you have missed it. To make matters worse, your parents will make fun of you the next day when they find out why you were home so surprisingly early.
Here I am having a bad hair day, wearing a weird tube top, and slamming tequila. What could go wrong?
2) If you previously had an experience like the one just described, don’t swing WAY in the other direction the next year. Ie, don’t take a babysitting job instead of partying. Sure, you and your friend will think, this way, you’ll make tons of money and avoid puking! You’ll find a large group of parents who are all attending the same party and tell them you’ll watch all of their kids – group rate, you’ll say, though you won’t specify what that rate is, because you’re probably an idiot. As you put on your jeans and converse and sweatshirt before you leave that night, you’ll feel really proud of yourself for being so smart and awesome.
Unfortunately, probably, when you arrive you’ll learn that a) the kids are assholes, b) they’re all different ages and have different bedtimes and c) a lot of them can’t eat gluten. But you’ll persevere, make all kinds of pizzas and non-pizzas for the kids’ dinners, and even spend midnight watching Scooby Doo with the oldest ones who refuse to go to sleep and don’t think your jokes about the movie are funny, even if they are super funny. Finally, when the parents return home at 2 AM, you’ll know it’s time to receive your reward. But instead, you and your friend will get a few pieces of chocolate and $40 EACH. As you trudge through the snow to your door, you will resist the urge to SWEAR AT THEM RIGHT NOW. But you’ll know – you and your friend now have a better understanding of how shitty things were during the slave trade.
(In the end, if you are not a COMPLETE pushover, you will write a strongly worded letter to those completely immoral parents and, after a really awkward exchange, get more money. But at the time, it will be like, HEY FUCK YOU, 2007!).
3) And here’s my final piece of advice. If you are in seventh grade and you’re a little weird (obviously, I mean more than a little), don’t go see “You’ve Got Mail” with your parents, even if you’ve already seen it the week before and you know you love it (obviously, who doesn’t, it’s brilliant). Because what happened is (and here I break the convention I have set for this post, because it’s just too sad to talk about except with brutal honesty), we went to see the movie and everything was going to be great. But before it started, I saw two girls from my class at the theater, clearly there seeing a movie alone together, whereas I was with only my parents. This threw me into a depression so deep that, after the movie, I refused to do anything but lie, face down, on the living room floor. My parents tried in vain to interest me in card games or conversation, but I was OUT. My face pressed into the carpet, I was certain I would never be popular, pretty, or happy; never, it was never going to happen for me, this was it, I would lie in this carpet forever, THAT’S IT.
I saw my father for coffee this morning, and he told me that story and said: “Honestly, I really believe that night was the low point of your life.” So, friends, don’t do any of these things tomorrow night! Do something that you will look back on with completely neutral feelings, something about which you’ll say: “Oh yeah, that was an ok night. 2012 might be decent, or not. Whatever.”
Catherine: All of Jana’s advice is sound. It was just last night I was telling Jana that she should form a new tradition by wearing sweatpants, drinking heavily, and hanging out with our good friend Kayla on the couch. I cannot say what the Jana will end up doing, but I sure hope I talked her out of going to that party where she won’t know anybody and I will field the “who are these people,” “i think everyone here hates me,” “do you think i can get a falafel delivered here and nobody will know?,” “this falafel is amazing,” “biubas falafel sjbi8 n in ugly” texts.
Extra advice? Don’t drink too much. Or you will end up looking like this.
In my clear memory, as Jana’s mom and part of the trio attending “You’ve Got Mail” that hideously memorable New Year’s Eve, Jana did not throw herself upon the carpet. Instead, she rolled herself in the drapes covering the sliding door and stood there, invisible, sobbing, for a long time. Then after a while she threw herself upon the couch, face down, and continued to wail. Finally, at 11:30, her sister came home from what she’d expected to be a fun night at her friend’s house around the corner. But there was no fun, just people watching TV and being so boring that even coming home to the family seemed like a better option. So then everyone cheered up and we watched “Yankee Doodle Dandy” with James Cagney, and went to bed feeling not all that bad.
Jana, everything about this post (and entire blog) is incredible. Also your mom’s ps 🙂
Thank you! And I know, I wish I’d talked to her pre-writing… I ROLLED MYSELF in FLOOR LENGTH drapes and sobbed? Come on. That’s insane.