I love Christmas. The lights, the tree, the amazing food, the family, the traditions – and the general feeling of peace and goodwill to all men that generally descends upon one during this most Happy and Festive of Seasons. But I hate New Year’s Eve.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking: how can anyone hate New Year’s Eve, the biggest and most fun party night of the entire year?! Well that, you see, is precisely the problem. You know how the more you hype up something, the greater the possibility of being let down? Well, New Year ’s Eve is like that, only on, like, a global scale.
You’ve got six billion people (less the Chinese, other groups that don’t celebrate the Western New Year and a lost Amazon tribe or two) building up all this expectation and excitement around one stupid night. And then 12pm hits and everyone’s like…. Oh. Is that all?
Luckily it’s spread out over time zones or the world would probably implode from the sheer not-awesomeness of New Year ’s Eve.
The majority of my New Year’s Eves, up until about mid-way through high school were spent at home, with the family. Yes, I know. Lame. My family comes with a high degree of lame at the best of times, which I normally couldn’t care less about: life’s too short. But it’s almost unbearable on NYE. So from the time I began to realise this, and gained a partner in crime, we set about devising all sorts of schemes to have the Best! NYE! Ever!
None of them worked.
Before much of the country had cottoned on to the fact that hey, this internet thing is actually really cool. I’m sure we could use it to advertise our super-awesome-tastic NYE party!, I was hunting for parties online. There was nada. The only one I managed to find, on holiday in Cape Town with my best friend and her family, was in the sleepy town of Fishoek. Not only is it a dry town (that means they don’t sell alcohol. At all.), even the people who live there will tell you that all it needs is a roof to turn it into an old-age home. The “party” I found was some poor church’s youth group’s NYE get-together. We rocked up wearing black, carrying booze, looking to, as the song says, get down on it. They looked at us funny. Asked warily, “So how did you find out about this party anyway?”, probably thinking Damn that new-fangled internet-thingy! We left. Went to the Simonstown Street Party, just down the coast. We’d been there the year before, but had decided now that we were 18 (well, I was) we decided we needed something “cooler”. Needless to say, we did not find it.
The Simonstown Street Party – honestly, I do not even remember what we did. Paid to get in. Walked around. Cheered at midnight. Left.
So much for the Simonstown Street Party.
One year, separated from the partner in crime, I went with other friends to the TuksFM NYE party in Hatfield Square. Now, the Square is loud, drunk and crowded at the best of times (except, you know, during varsity holidays, when all the students return to the platteland dorpies they escaped by going to study in Pretoria) – so you can imagine what it’s like on NYE. Every person left alive in P-town is there, it seems – this means queuing to get drinks, queuing to pee, you can’t see the bands AND you have to pay to get in. Like NYE everywhere, way cooler in theory than in reality.
The thing about NYE is the harder you try to have a good time, the worse it fails. One year we paid an obscene amount of money to go to the FTV party in Cape Town (where else). We queued to get in – in to the parking lot where the party was (not even joking). The drinks were so ridiculously expensive that even with the family discount I got (my cousin happened to be working the bar), we could only afford like two drinks each. The party was full of skinny (and not-so-skinny) bitches in utterly fashionable, miniscule dresses, artificially straightened hair hanging in their faces as they glared at everyone. We glared back. The music was, as far as I can remember, dreadful rave stuff – you know, the FTV soundtrack? All-in-all, even with the bonus of making out with a super-hot 19-year-old: total fail.
So for the last few years I’ve adopted what I like to call the Valentine’s Day strategy: ignore it in a dignified fashion and hope it will go away quietly. Basically, I read; maybe watch a movie; perhaps glance at whatever fireworks are out there. I have found no problems with this strategy so far.
What would my ideal NYE be? Hm. There are two ideas. The first, a fab cocktail party, like in all the Hollywood movies. But not a lot of people – just like 30-50 friends (organised and held by someone else, of course). Good music, good food, minimally-objectionable people = win.
The other idea is a bonfire on some deserted beach somewhere, again with minimal people; perhaps a guitar or two; roasting marshmallows – you know, that kind of thing.
This year I’ve been invited (or seconded, more accurately) to a house party in PTA, with friends and friends’ friends. I am apprehensive. Maybe I’ll take my book along, just in case.