A Dusting on New Year’s

Well, congratulations, we did it. Unless you did something really bad, really fast, you’ve made it to 2013. It’s a feat that we all kind of considered unlikely in the back of our heads (oh you tricky, Mayans), but in the face of apocalyptic threats and the other unfortunate things we’ve done up to this year, we’ve happened upon a year that wasn’t supposed to be. For those of us who never really worried about the future, this New Year’s doesn’t mean that much, but for those of us who did things in the face of a potential world ending, you’re responsible for correcting those boo boos and actually planning for a long term future.

New Year’s has always had this vague importance in the back of my head because I love the idea of a fresh start. After you graduate, you don’t get “new semesters” anymore, so you’re left reaching for as many fresh starts as life will allow you. You can make these resolutions that probably will not be fulfilled, but it’s cool because at least you took the time to realize there is something that can be improved upon. In my case, I always made big goals that ultimately went completely ignored about 17 hours into New Year’s: massive weight loss, the dismissal of red meat, no sexual interaction with anyone at all. That is until recently when I decided to tackle resolutions that were more attainable, which includes but is not limited to: learning the Nicki Minaj part to “Bottoms Up,” and watching every episode of Will and Grace.
But my greatest superstition surrounding New Year’s is that the way you spend your New Year’s Eve is representative of how the following year will play out. In my case, the superstition has always proven to be somewhat true, especially in the last couple of years. Last year, for instance, I spent the better part of my New Year’s Eve at a fraternity party watching a freshman down an entire bottle of Jaegermeister, while I casually sipped on a couple of beers. In the final thirty minutes, I rushed home with a friend so that I watch the New Year’s ball drop on television with my family. In return, I watched a decent number of people, including myself at times, party senior year away. Then, I entered the chaos of post-grad life, and just in the final moments of 2012, I have settled down enough to catch my breath.
But New Year’s Eve has not always been so docile, and it’s usually reflected in the year that followed it. My sophomore year of college, I went to a party at my friend’s house; it was my first year I had ever spent New Year’s away from my parents and brother. I was intoxicated with the idea of running into a cute girl, talking by the beer cooler, and possibly… just maybe… getting that New Year’s kiss that I had so desperately longed for ever since I found out that was what people do. My friend’s attendees were not people that I was used to though considering that I was apt to get tipsy off the small amount of mouthwash I didn’t spit out after brushing my teeth. I was the valedictorian of my graduating class and not well-versed on social decorum, so I immediately felt out of the loop. In between moments of Zak introducing me to his cohorts, I sat on the couch, channeling Dick Clark (may he rest in peace) and trying to hear the musical performances. I remember partially making a breakthrough after accidentally making a joke about Natty Light. When someone pulled it out of the cooler, I casually announced, Hey! That’s what my Mamaw drinks all the time. It wasn’t until I joined a fraternity that I understood the humor in the joke. Other than that, the night seemed to drag on.
Zak would always introduce me to his friends as “our valedictorian,” then go on to tell people how smart I was and how I would go on one day to be a lawyer, which in essence was a complete lie, but whatevs. People seemed to be impressed until a stronger alcohol or cute girl came by, so I embraced it. By eleven o’clock, I had met just about everyone at the party, and I needed to go to the bathroom. I walked in and two people were in there… I know what you’re thinking… you thought they were having sex, right?? Nah, just cocaine. The guy turned around from the bathroom counter and asked me if I wanted to do some blow, and without having the educational lyrics of Kesha (or Ke$ha, if you prefer the stylized version), I had no idea what to say. I quickly backed out of the door, falling over a bucket on my way out.
Soon after, I found Zak and told him that I was leaving without trying to explain my run-in with Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz in the bathroom. I just wanted to escape quickly before the cops came and busted the snort-sesh happening just a couple rooms away. My dear acquaintance/pusher who really seemed to like me about ten minutes before came out of the bathroom, and I told him that I was leaving. Apparently, what you’re not supposed to do is act sketchy or deny people who offer you cocaine. When I told him goodbye, he flipped out saying “Dude, you come up in here thinking your f*$&ing better than us?!” Then he lunged at me as if he were going to hit me. Zak immediately dove between us, and all I could think about was that I had somehow stumbled into a scene from The O.C. I had always considered myself the Marissa-type, but I just wasn’t jiving with the idea of doing cocaine, or fighting someone who was doing it, for that matter. Eventually I escaped, but the year that followed proved to be as tumultuous as the night that ended the year before.
The night did teach me a lot. One time, my roommate in college did cocaine, and I remember what would happen if I tried to fight him on it, so when he came in rubbing his gums and announced that he had done coke in the back of a club in the Old City of Knoxville, I just kind of high fived him and told him it was cool. I Wikipedia-ed cocaine to make sure he wasn’t going to die, then I made him watch Blow the next day as I spread pixie sticks all over our coffee table. But moreover, I learned that sometimes New Year’s is best spent in doors.
People asked me what I would do with my first New Year’s in DC, and what eventually happened is that I stayed in with my roommate, watched Carson Daly (oh how the times have changed), called my mom at midnight, then forced a neck nuzzle upon Andrew at midnight because I still haven’t gotten that New Year’s kiss. Eventually, I dominated an entire bottle of champagne, then I went to bed. No, I didn’t party it up in DC, and I don’t know what that night spells out for the rest of my year. From the sounds of it, it sounds like I’m just going to be chillin with one dude for the year, occasionally making trips to the gas station, and end the year drinking a lot by myself… but then again, the final night of the year has never been a literal translation, so there’s still hope. No matter what, it’s nice to know that this year contained a little less illicit drugs and a little more of my norm: friendship and wine.

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