New Year's Eve. Hands down, the most God awful nauseating heinous excuse for a holiday ever invented. 364 days per year I am an optimist. But NOT on New Year's Eve. I hate it. I hate everything about it. If there was an experimental medical procedure that I could volunteer for that would occupy all 24 hours of New Year's Eve, sign me up. Many women say this about Valentine's Day. Not me. I love Valentine's Day. You can dress up in red clothes, eat chocolates, go to a spa and celebrate the love in your life. Not being in love, but your love of yourself, friends, coworkers, french silk pie, whatever. But New Year's is different. Out of 365 days, it is the only one that has that one moment. That one moment in time when everyone around you is coupled and you are reminded that you're not like them. Nearly daily, I'm good with not being one of them. But at that moment, I can't escape that feeling that there is something missing. Don't get me wrong, there's probably lots of people who have had many memorable and special New Year's Eve's pasts. Not this girl.
The thing is that when I was little, I always pictured all sorts of romantic notions of what it would be like to be a grown up on New Year's. That I'd get dressed up in fancy clothes and sparkly jewelry to do all sorts of intriguing things. As I became an adult, each year I'd get hopeful that I would have a very cool New Year's. In college it would be a really fun night to be out using our fakes and having a blast, maybe getting that one unexpected kiss from your crush. Most often I'd be holding someone's hair back (or getting mine held back) because of consuming to much Everlast mixed with Boone's Farm. At the Millennium, I expected something similar to the Deboer's Campaign we were being inundated with when my boyfriend at the time would get down on one knee right at midnight and propose his unending love. Mainly he proposed tequila shots and talking unendingly in Sports Center jargon while the rest of us girls rolled our eyes, bored out of our minds. As the years went by, things went from merely being disappointing, to down right painful. Events that are too painful to revisit and that I hope to forget about someday. Then there was 2006, the year that the Bears lost to the Packers. Talk about disappointing, especially after getting tickets on StubHub because I just HAD to be there to see them embarrass Farve on the way to the Super Bowl. That was so not how the evening went. And this year? This week has been such a special one, that I'm just thrilled the big night is tonight.* *Note extreme sarcasm
I think one of my biggest problems is expectations. I can convince myself to go into each New Year's with no expectations. That it will simply be a good night of friends or a fun time with someone special. But deep, deep down, I think my brain refuses to give up that hope that this is the year something good really happens right at that last moment. Maybe it's genetic. I don't think so, though. After all, the whole point of a new year is hope. The hope that it's going to be a good one. The hope that this is the year you accomplish certain goals. The hope that you do things that will change you and make you happy. And finally, the hope that you close out this last year in a way that makes you look back and think, "Wow. That was a great year."
So what does a single girl do to cope with all this New Year's baggage? There are two approaches you can take: the night in or the night out. It's a tough choice between which is more bleaker. The ideal New Year's night in should involve all activities which help take your mind off of all things romantic and keep you from spooning a kleenex box by midnight. If you think about that, it's not easy. Almost every movie, even the action ones, always have some kind of happy couple at the end. TV is just going to be similar. Along that note, most music genres are off limits too. I recommend the following (and in excessive amounts, if at all possible):
1). New pajamas or comfy outfit. One that makes your ass look fabulous will make you feel even better. Bonus points for any kind of hair bling-feathers, flowers or rhinestones on a headband.
2). Junk foods. After all, in the morning you will be eliminating all of your vices. Why not go out with a bang? My personal favorite is copious amounts of Whole Foods guacamole, Sangria and desserts. Many of them! Don't be embarrassed to pick up a whole French Silk pie or hit Cheesecake Factory. This is about you.
3). A fully stocked DVR. Again, look at the subjects of what you choose. My personal New Year's DVR is recording today's "Snapped" marathon. You could also go with things like "Intervention", "19 Kids and Counting", or anything that gives you the inspiration to stay away from fellow man.
4). Luxurious bubble bath and extra, extra points if you can view your episodes of "Snapped" from the tub. Good for you, Girl. Do not shave anything that reminds you of prepping for a date.
5). And finally, Tylenol PM. Or benadryl. Or anything that will knock you out at 11:00pm so that you awake on New Year's Morning with no chance of being awakened anytime before the sun rises.
This year, for the first time in five years, I will be taking my New Year's out. I have promised my friends that I will not spend New Year's spooning my kleenex box (at least the whole night). I have no game plan other then to don those fancy clothes and sparkly jewelry, doing my best to not let my mind wander and to check any hope with my faux fur coat. I did not promise to stay out, so if midnight finds me on my couch with the kleenex box, a fork and the Lorena Bobbit story, no one can say a word.
Happy YOU Year's Eve, Chicago Singles. 2012 is going to be the year of us...