In the past five years, my New Year's Eve activities have ranged from staying home, to partying with high school friends, to babysitting (tip: parents pay well because it's tough to get a NYE babysitter). I've never been set on going out and getting smashed, even before getting sober almost two years ago (okay, there was that one time I got smashed -- but come on, it's a rite of passage).
This year my plans aren't anything huge either, as I am going to a small concert with my boyfriend (more fun than babysitting, I'll admit). Sure, I'm excited. But I'd be equally excited if it wasn't New Year's Eve because A) It's a night out B) It's with someone I enjoy spending time with and C) It's to see a band of which I am a fan.
To be honest, there are multiple reasons why NYE is actually sort of a shitty holiday. So why isn't it worth all the hype it receives?
1. It's used as an excuse to get over-the-top intoxicated. What better reason to get excessively drunk than ringing in a new year? Why would you want to remember something like that, anyway? Why wouldn't you be dying to spend the first day of the year with a hell of a hangover? I'm not passing judgment, as I've been there, done that myself. It's just that any time people are given a reason to drink, many will take that to heart and go all-out.
2. The clean slate illusion. Just because January 1 begins yet another 365-day cycle does not mean mistakes from the past year are irrelevant. It does not mean you will wake up with a renewed sense of motivation to be the best version of yourself. It does not mean goals should be put on hold until the new year begins. Starting over can happen any day for any reason, and should not be dependent upon a calendar date.
3. It's F'ing COLD. I can only speak for the Minnesotan New Year's Eve, of course, but trust me when I say it is rarely enjoyable to be outdoors on December 31 in Minnesota -- even just walking from a car to a house. And for some reason, us girls always want to wear a dress and look good... because trading feeling in our legs for a cute outfit is an intelligent decision. Cuddling up with a book and blanket is always the more appealing choice.
4. Drunk driving. There's actually nothing funny about this one. I'm almost bummed that this concert is on New Year's Eve, because it means more idiots than normal are going to be driving under the influence of alcohol, putting anyone else on the road at risk. More accidents occur of New Year's Day (the early morning hours, after parties) than any other day of the year. That being said, sleep where you party. Call a sober cab. Have a plan.
5. All that damn midnight kiss pressure. Who came up with this, anyway? Why not a midnight drink, or a midnight cheer, or a midnight piece of cake? There's no logical reason that NYE has morphed into a romantic holiday. Sure, I'll probably partake in this tradition this year, but I can tell you that it will be the first time in years that I'll do so. I guess it'll be nice, but it's never been something worth getting worked up over in the past. If you really care, here's an idea -- don't go to a party full of couples who will no doubt lock lips at the stroke of midnight.
6. More holiday food. I mean really, we're just recovering and weaning ourselves off of all the crap we've been eating as part of Christmas celebrations... and now here's another party with yet more food. Too bad for everyone wanting to "make a change" and start the new year on a healthy note... unless they have stellar willpower, that is.
7. Your bank account probably can't take another hit. If you're like any other American, you bank account is probably in a sad state after Christmas expenses. Unless you're going to a private party, going out on NYE is bound to cost you -- be it drinks, entry fees, transportation, tickets, etc. Staying home with a book and blanket however... FREE.
8. It is likely that someone is going to cry. Whether due to drunken tears of regret for a year of mistakes or the more typical drunk-words-are-sober-thoughts dilemma, there will probably be tears shed somewhere in your vicinity. And let's be honest; that gets awkward. Especially if you don't know the person and are unsure how to handle said tears (insert awkward back pat).
9. Transportation is a nightmare. Not that I'm much of a city girl, but I'd imagine cabs are in high demand. It's highly likely no friend actually wants to be the designated driver. And if there is a DD, there's always the worry of other people driving while intoxicated. And joining a bunch of wasted people on public transportation.... yeah, no. I may have mentioned it, but... book + blanket = no transportation.
10. It's actually really anticlimactic. There's so much build up to midnight, then in a split second, the year changes... yet everything and everyone look exactly the same and they did the previous year. Now that the main event has taken place, parties begin to thin out. Only the all-outers remain, and they'll likely pass out in the next hour or two anyway. Happy New Year, go home and sleep now.