New Year’s Eve is always a little intimidating, because of the intense cultural pressure to HAVE FUN, GODDAMNIT. It’s a little like a wedding, where you’re supposed to have some profound calm going on AND the most fun you’ve ever had all in one event. (Although, thankfully, no one really preaches that New Year’s Eve will be a Zen experience.)
Feh. Too much pressure for me! Like with my wedding, I’m just trying to ignore the expectations of NYE and try to enjoy it for what is undoubtedly awesome about the end of the year:
1. Year-in-review best-of lists. I LOVE THESE. I love reading them. I love discovering new music and movies through them. I love arguing with them, as though it matters at all what albums are allegedly better than “The Suburbs,” even though we all know they are, in truth, inferior.
2. Discounted liquor. Seriously, if your venue lets you bring your own booze, and you have a cool dark place to store your bottles, BUY SOME BOOZE RIGHT NOW. NYE is the one time a year us peasants can be counted on to drink bubbly, and prices reflect that. If this is true in Pennsylvania, where the state basically has a monopoly on liquor sales and can set the prices wherever they want, it is probably even better where there is some economic competition going on.
3. Countdowns. A crowd of people counting backwards from ten is a very exciting thing. We need more of this in life.
4. A good excuse to wear a cocktail dress. I love dresses. I wear dresses whenever I can get away with it. So for me, NYE is more specifically a good excuse to wear a very specific kind of dress: something too fancy for a regular old night out, but otherwise inappropriate to wear to a wedding.
5. Hope. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a successful new year’s resolution, but I like the spirit behind them. December 31st is an arbitrary dividing line between years, but we all feel like it is a magical opportunity to wave goodbye to the things we don’t like about our lives and welcome the things we’ve always wanted. I like that our culture has a regularly-scheduled opportunity to set out for new beginnings.
Everyone have a safe and happy NYE and a wonderful 2011.