No 344: the New Year

Thursday, December 31, 2009

All right, I confess it-I think New Year’s is a foolish holiday! But perhaps it was an early childhood experience that soured me to New Year’s. My family was spending the holiday in Brasil, enjoying an escape from the freezing temperatures of the East Coast. My parents had New Year’s plans with a Saudi royal and his wife, and were sure that hanging out in their full floor penthouse in Sao Paulo with their offspring would be a good enough New Year’s plan for their children, ten and eight at the time.

I had never seen more than one nanny in one place (we were so bourgeois), but there were two per child, one of whom never rose in the endless hours we were trapped on the top floor. The other, “Fossil”, was a malnourished monster who refused all food or drink with the exception of white rice and Coca Cola classic. To add insult to injury, when fireworks finally rolled around at midnight, we weren’t allowed onto the veranda or near the windows to watch them. What Charlie and I did not understand at the time (and which would only become clear after 9/11) was that we were ringing in the New Year with Osama bin Laden’s kin, and a trip outside would have been very, very bad news.

And maybe, one terrible New Year’s at age ten was enough to turn me, but I don’t think that’s quite it. It’s amateur night, when liquor laypeople drink vodka-cranberries or vodka-Red Bulls or vodka-sodas. It’s always supposed to be “the Best Night of the Year!!!!” but it’s usually only as fun as any other and all the more disappointing for the hype.

And so this year, John and I will be enjoying a quiet evening in. I think we’ll be making steak-frites and drinking a delicious bottle of bubbly. Hopefully we’ll be asleep between the Eastern and Central time zones’ celebration, and that will be the perfect beginning to 2010.

Photo c/o The Cinderella Project.


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