Is New Year’s Eve all about sequins, smooching, and champagne? Yes. Wait, I think maybe that’s supposed to be “no.” This year I wasn’t quite prepared for the big event that is New Year’s Eve. It sort of snuck up on me and I had trouble getting excited about the very things that often define the “holiday.” This year I didn’t even shop for a New Year’s Dress! (I guess that’s good, since my 2012 is supposed to involve less shopping.)
This NYE I spontaneously decided that I wanted to go out for a nice dinner with a “date” and invited a friend to dine with me at the Grand Café. I’d never eaten dinner there, but they do a lovely job with brunch and were offering a five-course meal for the occasion. All five courses were delicious, and when we left the restaurant the snow was falling in huge snowflake clumps. The first priority of the night was that these snowflakes had to be tasted. After a tromp through the snow (with me resisting the urge to skip), we picked up another friend and while she got prettied up to party, I decided that it was absolutely necessary to take Ninja out to play in the snow. Bundled up in a dog-coat, we took her outside to explore. While I hate being cold, there’s something about a snowfall that makes me delightfully cheery.
Next on our NYE list was to attend a party that none of the three of us were officially invited to. A friend mandated that I wear my sequin dress (from a New Year’s past) to this party because it was, after all, a Very Disco New Year. The hosts were very welcoming and a friend immediately put a glass of bubbly in my hand. A text from my mother arrived before midnight, wishing me a happy new year. I was surrounded by friends and most of them were quite sparkly. At the strike of midnight, after two different countdowns—one group trusts the iPhone app and one trusts the TV—there was much friendly smooching, cheering, hugging, and champagne-drinking.
Now this is the point where I never fail (almost every year) to get lost in my head. I remember the year that is ending and replay the good and the bad. I contemplate my mistakes, what I’ve learned, and what I’ve accomplished. This year I got a little teary and sat with the cheese plate for a while. You might be surprised to learn that cheese plates make good company. After a staring contest with a Humboldt Fog (which happens to be one of my favorite cheeses), I had a really lovely talk with a friend, spilled wine on her, and then abducted someone’s camera to take pictures of people making strange faces. The evening started to become less about the past year and more about sequins and bubbly. Actually, it became about friends and how I was surrounded with old ones and new ones.
We partied for a while longer and then I went home to hang out with Ninja. In the early hours of this year, I started looking forward and planning what I wanted it to be about. 2012 will be a year for me. I’m going to put taking care of myself first. This means tons of yoga and much less money-spending. So why does this all matter? Well, I might be about to get boring. Ever wondered what’s fun and cheap or free around the Twin Cities? I think it’s time we all find out.