New Year’s Eve is almost here. Do you have your plans in place to ring in 2017? Are you excited? To be honest, I am not that excited and I really have no plans for when the big ball drops. It is a safe bet that I will not be traveling to Times Square to watch it happen live and in person nor have I ever had the desire to do so. Perhaps I was born at an old age, I do not think I have ever had much of a desire to do much of anything on New Year’s Eve.
I remember as a kid getting excited about New Year’s Eve because it meant that I was going to do three things that I did not do the rest of the year: 1) staying up until midnight, 2) watching Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians (something we did not especially want to do) and 3) eating Cassano’s Pizza in the living room while watching TV. Number 3 was the most impressive part because eating pizza and watching TV at the same time was an infrequent experience reserved only for very special occasions.
As I moved into my teens Guy Lombardo was replaced by the Watch Night Service at church where we gathered to watch movies about the Rapture and wondered if we would even be around for the start of the New Year. Once I realized that the new year had arrived without any supernatural consequences, I returned home to watch Wolfman Jack on The Midnight Special. One New Year’s that sticks out in my memory occurred during my senior year of high school when ended up at friend’s house where we sat around telling jokes and discussing the nuances of flavor between the various color of M&M’s. When I headed home that night the temperature was well on its way to -20 degrees. I recall the vinyl seats cracked when I got into the car. I think it was that night that convinced me to enroll in a small university in Florida that next fall.
However, the college years did not bring any new excitement to my New Year’s celebrations. It seemed I would convince myself during the semester that I did not have time to get sick and then invariably I would manage to come down with a throat infection over the Christmas break. One New Year’s Eve I could feel the fever coming and spent the early evening trying to find an open doctor’s office. I finally did and the examination confirmed what I already knew, I had a throat infection. It was bad enough that the treatment would not be pills, but a shot and even worse, the shot was not going to be in my arm. The nurse attempted to administer said shot and then happily declared, “this needle is clogged” she left me there for several minutes while she went to find a new needle and returned to try the new needle on the other side.
Becoming an adult and having children brought some changes to New Year’s Eve routines. It was fun with the boys as they were excited to stay up to ring in the New Year. Then off course there was Y2K with all the anticipation and buildup and then nothing happened, like almost every one of my New Year’s. Now the boys are all out doing their own thing on New Year’s Eve and that just leaves the two of us at home with the odds being pretty good that at least one of us will not actually be awake at the stroke of midnight.
Just for old time’s sake maybe I’ll see if I can find a Cassano’s and bring home a pizza that I can eat in front of the TV, I bet I can even find Guy Lombardo on YouTube. Of course, reliving my younger days might just bring back those old familiar pains like when I was back at school and, with my luck, as I turn to make my way back home the snow will turn into rain. Another New Year’s Eve living on the edge!