On the Eve of a New Year

I was caught by surprise at first. I thought about it, but no amount of thinking would help me remember the discussion.

“Remember? You were there when we talked about this,” he said.

“Was I? I Don’t remember this conversation at all. Maybe I was within earshot but not part of the actual discussion?” I replied.

I really couldn’t remember, but apparently we had New Year’s Eve plans. I was caught by surprise. I always think I have plans, but I never really do. New Year’s Eve plans make me anxious. For my own sanity and comfort, I always preferred low-key stuff like staying up and watching movies until midnight. Or go for a quiet dinner someplace that wasn’t packed with douchebags looking to bone. Stop. Your desperation is oozing from your skin.

“It’s at her apartment?”

“Yeah.”

I thought about it. I let the anxiety wash over me quickly. I hated that feeling. I wanted to go and have fun. These aren’t crazy people. I barely know them, yeah, but they’re my roommate’s co-workers and from the few times I’ve met them so far, they’re not too bad. And it’s an apartment party. That’s not crazy right? No. No it’s not.

“Okay. I guess we’re going to her party!”

And with that—poof!—the socially crippling anxiety dissipated. If I can conquer a NYE party, then that’s a good sign towards my efforts to confront my social anxieties and other anxiety-related things. At least that was my thought process.

You know, this whole ritualistic “new year, new you” bullshit. Everyone’s Facebook and Instagram feeds are full of pseudo-inspiring quotes about bettering themselves. Selfies at the gym. Cutsey poses in the bathroom. And on it goes. The debauchery of self-presentation. At no point has Erving Goffman’s works been so applicable and easily identifiable until now. Thanks, sociology. Meanwhile, I’m over here trying to conquer anxiety issues and find the root of all my psychological and cognitive-behavioral problems. Want to talk about New Year’s Resolutions? Figuring out who you really are and making changes to be who you want to be.

Fast-forward many minutes and we’re somewhere in the Upper East Side. The three of us make a pit stop at Whole Foods. Snacks on snacks on snacks. More minutes pass and we’re at the apartment.

The night was young. It was only half past nine or something. That didn’t stop anyone though. Drinks were opened. And more drinks were opened. The harder stuff came out: shots, mixed drinks, more shots. Chips n’ dip. Cookies. Pigs in a blanket. Candy. And that effin’ drinking game.

Drunk #newyearseve

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A brown cardboard piece, probably from a pizza box. We all write our names on it, with circles drawn around. Some circles are comically huge. Some circles are comically small. With the flip of M’s lucky half-dollar, and the lucky winner drinks. M seemed to get hit the hardest, but that’s because his circle was huge. The size of a watermelon huge. Okay, that’s kind of an exaggeration, but it really was big.

None of us were professional coin-flippers. Usually on the second or third try the coin would land on its mark. A couple of times it played nicely with the bowl of chips. It met the French dip, the salsa, and the guac. That coin got around.

Fast forward some and boom—ball drop. On the TV. None of us were crazy enough to go to Times Square for that. Nope.

HAH-PPEH NEW YAAARRRH!

That’s “happy new year” in case you were having a hard time.

Hugs were exchanged. Bottles clinked. Selfies taken. Group photos taken. Cake box opened. Cake eaten. Big smooch with M. Multiple smooches were exchanged with M.

E 87th & 2nd Ave. Late night stroll #2016 #nycstreets

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Time continues to move forward. More drinks consumed, and someone suggests going out to a bar. Consensus is made. The air is brisk and cold, but unlike last year it’s not freezing. It’s tolerable. The bar had some good songs playing: oldies and newbies. Lots of grinding between drunk women and men. Grabby grabby.

We lose track of time, but after about two hours or so we head out in the pursuit of happiness pizza. Two Boots pizza to be exact. That place was packed like a can of sardines. The line didn’t go outside, but it was a wall of people in there. The pizza folks must work fast though because the group that went in got their pizzas within 15-20 minutes. But the sea of winter coat-cladded bodies was enough to deter other drunk revelers from entering. They continued onto their journey to find other pizza. The poor women and their exposed legs—bright red from the brisk wind slapping them. It’s late. Almost 4 a.m. After some debate, some of us head home. Drunk. Not drunk. Tired. Hungry.

The subway is full of drunk people. Evidence of upset stomachs are visible in the nooks and crannies of the subway platform. Watch out! On the train I silently plead for our stop to come quick. I’m afraid one of these drunkards will upchuck all over the car. It didn’t happen.

The next day was definitely a kick in the head kind of day. And drunk people in New York City are the funniest. 🍺🍺🍺

Next up: birthday donuts and trivia

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