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The Dawn of the Millenium

Jana: Look everyone, it’s New Year’s Eve again! Or I’m sorry, the eve of New Year’s Eve, again. It just keeps happening.

You may remember that last year I told you, in no uncertain terms, that it’s best to STAY HOME on NYE. And I absolutely was not wrong. Odds are good that, if you do something, it will suck. Or, if it doesn’t suck, it will at best be entirely mediocre. Chances that you’ll meet someone you might fall in love with ON new year’s eve are shockingly small. Chances that you’ll just find someone to kiss who isn’t really gross or horrible are ALSO small. If you already have someone who you love and who loves you, it’s likely that you’ll get in a fight. I’m just saying. These are just the cold, hard, facts.

However, this year on NYEE, I wanted to provide you with a happy memory. I know that’s not characteristic of what we do here at DWDSTDT – and is, in fact, unprecedented –  but as I thought about New Year’s Eve’s past, I couldn’t help but remember this really nice one, and it seemed worth sharing.

It was NYE, 1999. The previous year, ’98, had been so brutally awful and sad for me that my parents were determined to make this one good. Plus, it was a big deal: the millenium, and all, and the excitement of a likely Y2K disaster. With these things in my mind, my parents organized a party for my entire 8th grade class. The parents would come too, and they would hang out in the kitchen while we, the teens, partied in the living room. We posed this to the class and people LOVED it because parents knew they’d be in the same house as their kids and everyone would be safe, and the kids were all nerdy like me and just wanted to soberly slow dance anyway. We were doing this!

My best friend Molly and I were elated. We weren’t exactly the “cool kids” in the class (we were weird, dirty, and generally left alone), but here we were, about to host the NYE MILLENNIUM party! We got right to work. First of all, I got my hair straightened, so I looked roughly 1000 times more attractive than usual. Also, I bought a sparkly sweater. Molly put her hair in pigtails. Our other nerdy friend agreed to “DJ.” Molly’s mom showed up early with the largest platter of deli meats that has probably ever existed. IT WAS ON.

Oh, and one other thing. Another friends’ mom happened to own a local toy store. As a surprise, she brought us party favors: little black journals that you had to write in with special day-glo pens. Everyone got one. EVERYONE GOT ONE. Has anything ever been better?

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We ALSO had one of those mini polaroid cameras, which were HUGE and not yet defunct. We pasted the mini pictures in the journals. GENIUS.

We partied away; drinking soda, listening to Smashmouth, hugging each other. Everyone used the journals as little “yearbooks” for the night, having everyone else sign theirs. The class HOT GUY, who I will call Jim, wrote in mine: “Thanks for having this party Jana, we really needed something like this.” I read it over and over. He knew my name; I was somebody at last.

There were slight hiccups, like the DJ friend breaking the stereo (see my list of party high points and low points, below). But mostly, I was in heaven.

At midnight, we all gathered on the back porch to watch Boston turn black from the Y2K power outage (my parents’ house has a view of the boston skyline. It’s a “grand view,” which is also the name of the street, which you are not the first one to point out). I will admit that when the lights stayed on I was pretty disappointed – what now, if not the apocalypse?, I thought. Well, life went on. Molly and I spent ALL of new year’s day in our pajamas, listening to Smashmouth’s hit CD on repeat and eating just SO MUCH deli meat. We rode our NYE2000 high straight into January: we were the 8th graders, and it was a new millenium, and anything (read: just high school, more sadness) could happen.

I will leave you with these excerpts from my “Millennium Journal.” Read them, and go forth into your NYE with full hearts and low expectations.

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Catherine: Unusual though it may be, yes, this post has been about a happy memory. One of the very few Jana has, so YOU’RE ALL WELCOME. As someone in Jana’s house, right now, I can gladly report that yes, the journal is as wonderful as it looks and oh-so-exquisite.

As Jana and I prepare to spend NYE together tomorrow, I think we can both assuredly say that it will not be any more fun than that party she threw that time in 8th grade. The party we are going to SOUNDS REALLY COOL (it’s in a WOOD SHOP – RIGHT?), but I know that we won’t have anyone to make out with, something unforeseen and tragic will happen, and maybe we’ll kill ourselves. And then it’ll be 2013 and we’ll begin making a new year of shitty memories.

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Miniature Revenge

Jana: I had dinner with my parents on Sunday and my dad told me this short story:

I have an older sister – about a year and a half older, but when we were kids it felt like much, much more. There was a hierarchy that existed in all of our activities (one “game” I recall involved her giving me ten seconds to run downstairs and sharpen a pencil. She’d stand at the top of the stairs and be like: “You have TEN SECONDS. GO!” and I’d be like “AHHH” and run as fast as I could, fearing whatever it was that might happen if I didn’t complete the task in time), and this hierarchy was made even more evident when our playing involved other kids her age. Naturally, the girl who lived next door was also an older kid – a year older than my sister, thus making them a team of older kids – and the three of us hung out a lot.

I mostly remember really, really wanting to play with them, and often getting told to leave them alone. But, sometimes they needed me. I think they needed me for situations like the following:

– To retrieve balls that had been thrown deep into bushes

– To play the lower-status person in pretend games

– To be the monkey in monkey-in-the-middle (THIS IS HELL)

– To generally have someone to boss around

Still, I craved their attention, and gladly took on these roles again and again. But my dad recalls that one day, we had all been playing outside until, for some reason, I’d been banished back to our house. So, I was hanging out alone in the “play room,” probably re-reading “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe” and blowing my nose. Suddenly, my sister and the neighbor burst into the house. “Jana! Come play with us!” they said. And – now this was a real moment for me – I think I finally knew what was up. They didn’t really want to PLAY with me, they just NEEDED me for some shit job. So I was like, “ok guys, be out in a minute!”, and waited until they’d gone back outside. Then I turned to my dad and said in a whispered tone: “…. I’m not going.”

Catherine: Jana, little Jana, speaking a secret in a whispered tone. This to me must be what heaven is like. I never had experiences like this growing up with my older brothers, I think maybe I was so awesome that they really did want to play with me? Or maybe no. Maybe this is what they were doing the whole time, all along, and this post is helping me to see the light… I choose to live in blissful ignorance.

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True Love and Deodorant: You Can’t Keep Both in Your Life

Catherine: In honor of Valentine’s Day, here is a brief love story.

In middle school, my first boyfriend had a name consisting of solely initials. I will change them, but know that names that are just initials are ridiculous and should be banned. For our sake, let’s call him PJ.

Our story begins when his supremely attractive friend, “Mark”, called me up on the phone. He inquired if I was going to the dance with anyone? NO, I wasn’t, and I made sure he knew I WAS FREE and mentally prepared to tell everyone I knew (like, six people) that hot Mark liked me. Alas. He was calling on behalf of PJ, to see if I would go to the dance with him. I had to clarify who exactly PJ was before agreeing. Ok, yea, we have never spoken before, but we might as well go together. Sure.

From one or two slow dances later (broken down in great deal at a post dance sleepover), blossomed a three month long relationship.

Our courtship consisted of awkward eye contact, or lack thereof, in the hallway, and the occasional hug. We may have spoken on the phone a few times, but I honestly didn’t know anything about him – nothing at all. But, he was my boyfriend. So. On Valentine’s Day, he gave me a single red rose. I just about died. Romance! Passion! An extra-long hug where everyone stares at us and giggles (and during which I, myself, giggle.) I put it in my room, where it remained until I graduated high school (I know.)

Sometime after this bold gesture, we went on our one and only date to the local pizza place where I forced my best friend, Samantha (real name) to come, and hot Mark tagged along. There wasn’t too much talking.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that we later broke up when I called him on the phone from a friend’s house so that they could coach me and listen in. This was, of course, after I had gone to his middle school graduation party, been up to his room, and saw approximately 12-20 different brands of deodorant.  I didn’t have the foresight to end it on the spot.

PJ set me up for years of awkward behavior near or around guys and though sweet, I would like to blame him for messing me up.

Point is guys, have a good Valentine’s day with your co-partner, or cat, or (ideally) both. I like you all.

Red is for Valentine’s Day, and I wore it here.

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