In just a few moments, gunshots will ring out across the city. Police sirens will fill the night air, illegal fireworks will light up the sky, shouting from nearby houses and apartments will commence and the new year will begin with a bang. Literally. That’s Anaheim for you.
I enjoyed a bit of Dirty Dancing tonight — the movie, of course, since I am hermity and battling a weird cold-flu-type-thing…it can’t make up its mind. Besides, do many people dance dirty in their 30s…?
I can answer the question easily enough about people in their 20s, however, as I unfortunately have quite the experience with such shenanigans.
It was new year’s eve 2003, and my then-boyfriend and I were at a hotel party — you know, those package deals where you buy tickets and get access to the all-night party, food, drink, silly hats and noisemakers — the whole thing. It was a good effort on my part since I’m not a fan of NYE celebrations, but one that I should’ve figured would end badly.
Long about 11 o’clock, it happened. We were on the dance floor with everyone else; he was being a ham, I was a big ball of uncomfortable awkwardness. I heard him yell at someone but wasn’t sure why — until I realized he’d spotted a girl he went to high school with. He made a beeline to her, they “danced,” (dirty, might I add) and then I saw the unthinkable.
He thought it would be funny to whip out his junk and pulsate to the beat as everything was hanging out. We were all mortified, except for him. He thought it was a riot.
I asked him what he was doing, only not so calmly — or in such simple terms.
“Dude, I wanted to see who’d notice!” he laughed.
Ah. I was no longer Girlfriend, I was Dude. It ended well, though, because after that night, he was no longer Boyfriend.
I got a wild hair and tried to redeem things in 2011. Earlier in the year I booked a hotel room in Napa and bought a ticket for a ride on the Wine Train. Unfortunately, I ended up having last-minute knee surgery seven days before I was supposed to head north. Naturally, nothing was refundable. Thwarted!
With the exception of last year when I went to my friends’ home for a few hours of civilized celebration, every new year for the last ten years has been spent in the comforting arms of my couch, usually sans-cocktails. Gotta get up early to watch the Rose Parade, you know?
There are some things I know I just don’t have in me, and one of them includes having a rip-roarin’ good time on new year’s eve. We’re not meant for each other, the same way they say cheese and seafood shouldn’t mix, or how you shouldn’t jam a metal utensil into a toaster that’s in use.
The good thing about that unfortunate evening ten years ago is that I was reminded of what I already knew: all those years of staying in weren’t really that bad, and I clearly have more of them in my future. For them, for the sanity they preserve and for knowing I’ll never, ever relive a night like that again, I am very, very thankful.
Happy new year and all that junk, everyone.