last night and first day
the year i lived in new york city i spent new year's eve at home doing laundry and drinking some god awful drink called "strawberry cheesecake" purchased illegally by myself and my fellow 18 year old roommate laurie. we had some friends of hers crashing on our tiny floorspace in our crammed lower-east-side-of-upper-midtown studio apartment, and they were off to join the revelers in times square to ring in 1995. but we had to catch flights in the morning, and piles of dirty clothes, and absolutely no urge to be hustled, pushed, suffocated in the crowds. we kept it quiet, mellow and on the down-low.
things haven't changed much with me since. most of my new year's eves have been spent at home with a minimum number of companions. never a romantic getaway, never a swank when harry met sally-esque soiree, never a wild and crazy party to attend. i spent one year camping in joshua tree with my parents. i drank my first champagne at age ten at a friend's family's party. i've shared a new years smoke on the roof of a theatre with my beloved ashley. i barely saw the arrival of the year 2000 because my nana and my folks and i had drunk a toast to the new year in each time zone, starting early in the afternoon. and like all my last night of the year experiences, with the exception of alcohol fueled hoots of glee, we kept it quiet, mellow and on the down-low.
i plan to usher in the year 2004 alone with a bottle of cheap champagne, the complete fifth season of sex and the city on dvd, and the task of painting my bathroom. i will probably wonder what it's like to be out and about spending money, rubbing elbows and kissing someone as the bells sound out the midnight hour, but i will probably secretly be thankful that i am safely ensconced in my cozy apartment. i will probably think a lot about the chain of unhappy, dramatic and challenging events that marked my calendar for 2003, and i will probably be full of wishes, hopes and, dare i say, resolutions for 2004. i will probably cry. i will probably have phone calls with family and friends, and i will probably go to bed with the start of a champagne hangover.
miracles don't happen overnight. i can't change my whole life just because dick clark gives the signal for a giant ball to fall in the heart of manhattan, or because hillary duff rocks the final countdown on mtv. but i can finally turn the page from my "annus horriblus" and start a new year with a relatively clean slate.
...and i'll have a freshly painted bathroom.
happy new year! may this year bring everyone love, health, happiness and bring us closer to our goals and dreams.
postscript: celebrity validation by proxy
i don't feel so bad about my plans to stay in this evening. looks like hollywood pixie kirsten dunst and cute-as-a-button sweetie jake gyllenhaal have plans to do nearly the same. the lovebirds are having a cozy homemade dinner for two tonight. how do i know this? well, it just so happens i was shopping at whole foods market at the same time they were. they brought their cookbook as their shopping list, uncovered the mystery of the shallot, and squeezed in some produce section smooching. took me a few subtle glances over the broccoli crowns to figure out who the makeup free and in a hat dunst was, but if i had any doubts her telltale voice made it official in my celeb-spotting book. and now, suddenly, low-key and quiet seems positively glamorous!