I hate New year's eve. This is a revelation that has slowly dawned on me over the last few years, after a youth spent in a lemming-like "It's New Years eve so I must go out somewhere really great!" state of mind.
I have never been to one of those sparkly parties where everyone looks glamorous and beautiful. (It seems Meg Ryan movies have lied to me.) You never see them texting because they're bored, or being sick in a gutter, do you? Which makes going out in Watford seem all the more tragic, somehow. At least the ghastly American tradition of having to kiss someone at midnight has never quite caught on over here. A cheerfully inebriated (and somewhat involuntary) group hug is much more likely.
New Years eve 1999 was of course the big one; not only a new year, decade and century, but the new millennium....What could a 19 year old girl do to properly celebrate such a humungous night in history? Well, I went to London to hear Big Ben. Which meant several hours of waiting in the cold, surrounded by drunken nutters. The most disappointing part was that we didn't even get to do a big crowd countdown. Maybe my pre-adolescent MO of watching it on TV would have been better after all.
Subsequent years ended at house parties – the ideal, you might think. No entrance fee or expensive drinks. This worked reasonably well until "The Worst Party Ever". I remember very little of it except for grown adults playing "Chubby bunnies" (whereby one crams as many marshmallows into one's mouth as possible.) The only good thing was that it developed a kind of legendary status amongst my social circle, eliciting admiring cries of "You were actually THERE?" for months to come.
I can't even begin to think about going "out" anywhere other than someone's house. Why would I spend upwards of £10 to go to the same swirly carpeted, sticky-barred pubs that I dislike even when they're not charging for admission? Just like Valentine's day, it's a swizz relying on our insecurities that staying home and just being ourselves is not "enough."
If you're really clever, you'll arrange to work on NYE, thereby avoiding the problem of what to do, and possibly earning a hefty bonus too.
But this year? I'm doing nuthin'. I don't care. I'm not interested in NYE. I don't like being told when I will go to a party. I don't like the pressure to go out into the cold night in a cocktail dress, when I would prefer to stay at home in my pyjamas and fluffy slipper boots, watching Seinfeld / Frasier / Spaced.
The thing is, I'm not alone. I don't know if it's my age (29) but in the last few years, everyone around me seems to be getting less and less excited about NYE. In an ideal world I would simply go to bed, wake up the next day and it would be January 1st. No mess, no fuss, no hangover, no hazy memories of embarrassing myself. No doubt these things will happen sporadically throughout the year, but at least I will get to choose when they occur.
Let's end the tyranny. Stay in tonight!