A quiet New Year’s Eve

I always feel like an “old soul” on New Year’s Eve.

And it doesn’t have a thing to do with my age!

There’s just too much mischief and noise and forced revelry for me. Too many exploding fireworks, too many drunks on the road, too many expectations of serious fun, too many “Year in Review” lists.

It seems as if everybody is looking back, when I’d much prefer looking ahead!

As a kid, I loved staying up late to watch the New Year’s specials on TV and share a toast with the grown-ups. Maybe it was the chance to postpone bedtime; maybe it was the treat of “toasting” with sparkling grape juice or even a soda; maybe it was the joy of listening to “teenaged music” without parental grumbling for a change!

Fast-forward several years. My ex-husband and his family introduced me to their custom of banging pots to celebrate the new year. They’d all march out to the front porch — pans and pots and kitchen utensils in hand — and beat the living daylights out of them. I never knew if it was to frighten the “bad spirits” or “make a joyful noise to the Lord.”

After My Favorite Domer came along, I found myself working many New Year’s Days so I could spend Christmas with him. Consequently, New Year’s Eve was pretty much a non-event and like as not, found me fast asleep when the ball dropped in New York City!

Probably my favorite New Year’s Eve, though, came when I was in college. I spent the weekend with a girlfriend after a bowl game, and the two of us each had two dates in one night! We got bored with the first pair of guys and ditched them early — pleading headaches, or some such excuse! — then promptly went right back out with two new guys and had a blast. The midnight hour found us chomping French fries and guzzling hot chocolate in a 24-hour diner!

Totally out of character, I know, but fun anyway.

Suffice it to say, my “stick-in-the-mud” ways mean I won’t be nursing a hangover tomorrow. I won’t be moaning my lack of sleep or wondering how I got home or what happened to my car.

I won’t have spent more money than I could afford, won’t have eaten or drunk myself into misery, won’t have lost a finger or an eye to a firecracker.

A quiet New Year’s Eve really isn’t so bad, after all.