New Year’s Eve 1985:
For a few years my mother threw New Year’s Eve parties. They were epic decadent affairs that taught me everything I ever wanted to know about adulthood.
The first one took place when I was 11 and as the party was about to start my mother found me in the kitchen nervously drinking coffee.
She told me to get dressed.
“I am dressed”
-“Not for the party you aren’t”
“I don’t want to”
-“We’re all wearing togas, now go put one on”
I did as I was told. My brother and sister enjoyed bringing people drinks and had a wonderful time that night. For the evening I picked up empties and tried to keep things clean but when the bookshelf fell over I gave up and went into my room to read. Since my room was across from the bathroom, people kept making wrong turns and stumbling into my room. Usually they just looked at me until I said, “other side, where the line is”, but when the hippie couple came in they said they were looking for me.
“Hey kid, you’re Sam right?”
-“My mom calls me that, but it’s not my name”
“We work with your mom, she says you like books”
-“Did she tell you about me?”
“She talks about you a lot, so we wanted to meet you”
Nobody came looking just for me and here were these two people I’d never met who knew about me, who were interested in me. We talked about books while they rolled joints. I felt like I had met the best pot smokers in the world and I hoped they would come over more often.
“Hey Sam, can we smoke this in here?”
Yeah, they could.
New Years Eve 1991
The first time I had New Year’s Eve plans that didn’t involve my family was also the first time I touched boobs and didn’t have to pretend it was an accident. In retrospect the boob touching, was only the second best thing to happen that night. The best part was hearing The Replacements “Let It Be” in its entirety for the first time. The Replacements and boobs immediately became the gold standard for celebrations and it remained so for many years. I hoped that these things would be a part of every New Year’s Eve party but only the Replacements made it back the following year.
New Year’s Eve Epilogue:
In the years since my feeling about New Year’s Eve have wavered, some years I was excited and other years I couldn’t care. Honestly, I usually didn’t feel like celebrating…until a few years ago when this girl showed up. Since then it’s been pretty awesome.