Thursday, December 29, 2011

Past Midnight

I find it funny when people ask me what I'm doing for New Year's Eve.  It's a perfectly polite and well meaning question, but really?  REALLY?

Let me tell you a few things about New Year's Eve:

Even before having children, I dreaded New Year's.  It was always this high pressure night when you had to make big plans and find dinner reservations and pay some price fixed New Year's special and then find a party or bar where you would fight for drinks and a cab home.

After years of concerts, trips to Europe, and overpriced Manhattan nightclubs, in 2005 we decided we were getting too old to venture out.  Instead, we decided to keep it more "low key" and have a party at our apartment in Manhattan.  Our apartment was actually on the bigger size by NYC standards, so we cleared out the furniture, cleaned, and had about 40 people over.  This was great, until I realized that we LIVED in the apartment and it had been trashed.  At 2am when everyone left, and I wanted to do some minor cleaning (aka, there are bottles of vodka spilling in our bath tub), my husband (then fiance) could not be roused from this position:

If you are seeing this photo, you are lucky, because undoubtedly my husband will  force me to delete it. 
The decision was made to never host a New Year's party again.

The next year, we went to Charleston, South Carolina with my family.  We went out that night with my sister and her boyfriend to a random bar where everyone there must have gotten in using a fake ID.  After witnessing a high school college student vomit in the women's bathroom sink, I was feeling REALLY old, until our walk back to our hotel room, where we ran into this lady:

That's my sister, with the legend herself.  It's hard not to feel young. 

By 2007, I was officially done with the whole New Year's Eve thing.  Which made my pregnancy that year all the more convenient, since it meant no alcohol, no night out, and a justifiable excuse to fall asleep before midnight.

And I have not made it past midnight in the four years since.

It's not that I haven't tried.  Usually we will go out to dinner (around 5:30).  We'll put whatever kids are around to bed at 8pm.  We'll open up a bottle of champagne, put on our pajamas, and put on whatever New Years Eve special is the most appealing to the majority.  (Last year I believe it was the Bette Midler HBO special.  I'm not kidding).  But inevitably, by 11:30 I am out for the count.

But this weekend, I am upping my game.  We are in Wilmington, North Carolina with my family once again. We are going out to dinner at 5:30pm.  We will put the kids to bed at 8pm.  But that's where the tradition ends.  Instead of moving on to pajamas, we are going to get all dressed up.  We are going to get several bottles of champagne, along with wine and vodka and mixers.  We are going to make fancy desserts and eat smelly cheese and hang out in the formal living room and wear shoes (after all, I have an awesome pair of boots I want to wear).   We will have sophisticated conversation and listen to country music and watch the ball drop.

That's right - I WILL stay up past midnight.

And I will curse myself six hours later when Casey decides it's time to wake up.

But it's all worth it, right?  Can't I be a little crazy once a year?  After a four year New Year's Eve strike, I think so.


  1. I'm going to spend a nice evening down at a nice house at Carolina Beach, as I do every year. Everybody brings food, everybody brings kids, and everyone seems to have fun.

    I've only ever gone out to house parties on New Year's Eve.

    Wilmington has great New Year's Eve weather.

  2. Oh boy, he's going to be pleased!

    It's been 8 years since the last time but I still wake up on1 January glad I don't have a hangover. Odd, huh?

    Happy Hogmanay!

  3. We make gumbo and have friends drop by so we can kick their asses in Boggle. WILD I KNOW.

    The staying up past midnight thing is easy, though--Lu doesn't go down for the night until 11 or so and so our sleep schedule is all messed up. Something to work on in the new year?


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