New Year’s Eve: It’s not what it used to be. It was a life of sequins and phone calls, tickets purchased, menus read, reservations, and hair appointments. My girlfriends and I would discuss outfits. There were pre-cocktail moments. There was a New Year’s spent at Roseland, ringing in the new with my long time favorite, Barenaked Ladies. On the beach in Florida, in the dark, sex and sleep. Another atop a roof, kissing a boy for the first time, truly excited about our beginning. Mostly New Year’s was celebrated in groups, in ballrooms and restaurants, sometimes in bathrooms, a few nightclubs, and most of all, it was lived in texts, no matter where I was. Mass texting, phone calls, wishes to everyone with a phone for a happy and healthy new year. Wishes sent to show we love, and also so we’re not forgotten.
No, New Year’s Eve isn’t what it used to be, but it’s everything I used to wish for when the clock struck 12. I wished for this: a life of comfortable, of sofas, and TV. A When Harry Met Sally of a night and year, with a slow dance, tears between friends, and love between sisters.
Maybe back when I was wearing micro-mini’s and no coat (too annoying to check one, then find it come night’s end), I thought future New Year’s would be more black tie. In truth, though, I don’t think I ever thought in those details. I never much cared where I’d be spending that moment, only with whom I’d be spending it.
Through the years, in that mouth kiss of a moment, there was just more of a general sense of longing, of wishing for a life I didn’t have but wanted. As hard as it is sometimes, as dysfunctional, this is still the life I want. Very much.
I don’t want to be anywhere else. Sparkling white grape juice for the beans, caviar and toast points, a lit tree, black and white Twilight Zone episodes for Phil, and me, slow dancing with my children to a cliche of a song, tucking them into their beds, promising a new year of French toast, orange zest, and cream. Resolving to dance more, indulge, move, build more forts, read more, ignore more, consider more, think more, and to continue to let go of what was or what could be and grab fistfuls of all that I want.
Wising you and your families a warm, happy, safe new year full of going after all you want.