The Pressure Is Off For New Year’s Eve: I Have A Family
Want to know what I really can’t stand? The pressure to have fun on New Year’s Eve. For some reason, people think that overcrowded restaurants, overpriced drinks and the impossibility of finding a taxi cab makes for a rockin’ time. Call me cynical. Call me a party pooper. Call me anything â€“ just don’t call me for plans on December 31. Because I finally have the best excuse ever to get out of those pesky NYE obligations: children.
I will admit that New Year’s Eve was exciting as a teenager. I’d get together with friends, party it up, count down the minutes ’til midnight. My 20s were fun, too. One year I camped out and saw Phish on an Indian reserve in southern Florida, another year I drank Champagne at a groovy little restaurant in San Francisco. Those were good times, to be sure, but I was on vacation and, well, I didn’t yet have children.
Once my first child was born, I couldn’t be bothered to find a sitter on New Year’s Eve. What was the point, really? For starters, I was exhausted. The thought of getting dressed up and having “forced fun” on the cheesiest night of the year just didn’t appeal to me.
Besides, I was a solo act; my husband, a musician, has always performed on New Year’s Eve â€“ in another city. The sole year he was in town, we picked up dinner from Whole Foods and brought it to our friends’ place. Our son cried and finally fell asleep in the Pack ‘N’ Play, the adults sipped wine and we all forced ourselves to stay awake ’til 12:01 (by 12:02 we were out the door). It was nice and all, but I could have just as easily stayed home.
Now I have two young kids and, once again, my husband will be on the road. I’ve received countless pity calls from friends. “Our kids are sleeping out tonight, come and party with us!” they’ll say. It’s sweet of them to think of me, but I have no desire to stay out ’til 2 a.m. on the busiest night of the year, only to be “on duty” starting at 6 a.m. the following day (tried that once in the early days. Biggest. Mistake. Ever).
This year, I’ll probably go for an early dinner at my sister’s place, have a glass of wine. I’ll feed my kids junk and let them stay up late. But, come 10:00, my boys will be asleep and my house will be silent. That’s when I’ll open a bag of potato chips, pour myself a Diet Coke, get all cozy on my couch and watch Sex and the City reruns well past midnight. Pure bliss.
It sounds pathetic, doesn’t it? But, admit it, you kind of wish you were doing the same.