So that was it, New Year’s Eve. I spent it in bed, breastfeeding a sleeping baby in order to try and keep him asleep and dreading the fireworks in case it woke the toddler up. Actually, not much different from the previous few New Year’s Eves, since children appeared on the horizon.
Sometimes I miss the old-style NYE, deciding were to go and who to go with, organising logistics. I miss the randomness of NYE, a James Bond theamed night at a ‘venue,’ local pub with mates, old skool disco at a super club, party at the house of a friend of a friend, drag club overseas, into town for an over-priced meal, fireworks somewhere out-of-town...all sorts of odd random NYE adventures, and there are always new friends to make on NYE, as long as everyone has had a drink or two.
As I reflect on it now it all sounds very glamorous, but I am leaving something out. I am leaving out how stressful NYE is. The pressure to have ‘the best night of the year’, the need to do something ‘different.’ The fact that NYE is always overpriced and overcrowded, full of people slightly aggressively, desperately even, ‘having the best time!’
Getting there always meant setting off early as possible on NYE and getting home was always a nightmare. Not to mention sorting out some sort of dog care if I was staying over or even just if I was set to be out super late. Night busses and free all-night underground are great but it’s always freezing cold or tipping it down with rain. It’s always crowded with drunk vomity people and the cabs are always busy, with a massive que at the taxi-rank. By the time it came to getting home the buzz of expensive champagne had worn off and my feet hurt. Even when I did get ‘home’ it wasn’t really home because I was usually staying at someone else’s place, so New Year’s Day consists of fighting Sunday timetables or holiday traffic to actually get back to my own house. Usually with a hangover or at least sore feet and too little sleep and a larger-then-expected hole in my bank balance.
I might miss a bit of the glamour of NYE, but I don’t miss any of the rest of it. I may not have gotten much sleep this NYE, but I was warm and dry, I hadn’t lost someone in the toilets or at the previous bar. I didn’t have to make an emergency trip to the cash point hoping desperately it would let me have some money. I didn’t have to hobble home in painful shoes or wake up with calf ache from high heels. I didn’t have to sit on a freezing platform waiting for the once-an-hour night train, dodging the drunks who want to talk to me and wondering how fast I can run in heels or if bare feet on cold concrete was a better option for escaping the 3am platform weirdos. My phone battery lasted all night and I didn’t panic because it ran out sending messages to everyone at midnight saying happy new year because if you miss someone out they’d know and get offended...
...Nope. Turns out I don’t miss any of that at all. I may sound old and boring but I enjoyed my glass of Gin and early bedtime. My midnight snuggle with The Boy and daytime giggles with The Girl. Hopefully the husband didn’t mind my pyjama attire and not a half day hair & make up session, that smudged or frizzed in the first hour due to rain, or the humidity of a crowded bar or club. I would go as far as to say no one really enjoys NYE out, not wholly, not in the way they planned to.
No matter, I have this, and I wouldn’t swap it for all the champagne and in the world!