(on the way home from work on Thursday, I call the radio station to talk to Phil Williams)
JB, welcome to the Phil Show.
Hi, Phil. Happy New Year.
Happy New Year. And how will you spend your new year celebration?
We plan to have friends in. You see, if you invite people over before someone invites you over, you don’t have to play chicken with the drunks on the way home.
JB, you’re mean (laughing)
I’m deep, Phil. Very deep.
So what if they fall asleep on the sofa?
They can stay over anyway, Phil.
That’s better, JB.
(Approx. 1am, 1/1/1971)
My date and I were on our way from the party to his house. (No, nothing happened I couldn’t tell Mom about). We were heading west on a 4 lane, not too much traffic, when it appeared the pair of oncoming headlights weren’t where it looked like they should have been. My date swerved sharply just in time to avoid a collision with a car crawling toward us in one of our westbound lanes. Had the roads not been dry, I would have lost at playing chicken with the drunks. "Happy New year."
It’s all about partying, right? Right? At least, that was my impression growing up. Back then, there were rules to obey! After watching Holiday Inn and soap operas and sitcoms for years and years, the rules were crystal clear.
- Formal wear — sparkly and sexy
- Pointy hats and noisemakers
- Champagne, lots and lots
- A romantic date (if not, you were a loser AND babysitting for somebody)
- At a restaurant or a club or the VFW (whatever)
- Invited out with another couple or group
- Watch Guy Lombardo if at a home party
- Stay up to midnight
- Be kissed by one’s date IMMEDIATELY at midnight — a BIG SEXY kiss too, one that melts your shoes ’cause this guy is the love of your life!
- Kiss everybody else except old fat drunk guys with 10 hands
- Participate in a conga line if there is one at the risk of looking like an idiot
- Yell Happy New Year until you are all certifiable idiots
Whew! That’s a huge goal to meet every year! Fortunately for me, none of them contained more than 3 of the above. But the images were ingrained in my head. It just couldn’t possibly be fun without going out with someone and doing something wild and crazy. Or stupid. Whichever comes first.
Memorable NYE celebrations are as follows, not in chronological order, dates withheld:
* At least 4 of us girls tease and spray our hair as fat as it can get, put on extra make-up and WALK 14 blocks to the second floor of some restaurant on Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis. I mean, don’t you have to go somewhere and do something?? We probably thought this would be the time and place to meet our future husbands since we looked extra gorgeous. Uh-huh, right.
* Prayer service. My date and I bugged out on the 10th bong. Fast. Spiritually, and… fast.
* Old Log Theatre. Dinner, dancing, a play. With my inlaws. That’s ok. They were pretty good party people. The outside temp was two degrees above liquid oxygen, the theatre was drafty, I was wearing a dress low cut in the back which showed off my blue spine nicely. The motel room’s heater wasn’t working. It took me hours to thaw.
* House party in Hutchinson with some of my 3M coworkers. The men sat in front of Guy Lombardo in the living room drinking beer. The women sat in the kitchen. Conversation ran out about 10:20. It was minus 25 outside.
* Party at the Golf Club. Friends, food, dancing, conga line. Our 16 year old son picked us up and drove us home. We told him it was just in case the police were determined to stop everybody. In reality, a big part of it was so that we’d know where he was at midnight — driving us home.
When the babies were little, we had Stan’s niece babysit for us. It wasn’t long until she wasn’t available. So we adopted the habit of staying in for New Year’s. If it was feasable, we had friends come over or we went to people’s houses where bringing the babies was not a problem.
The best parties are with friends, wherever that may be, whether in a restaurant, a movie theatre, or at home. Stay up long enough to clink a glass of your choice of beverage, kiss your honey, say a big thank you to the Lord who let you mark yet another earth year. If you wish to clink said glass at a midnight in another time zone such as Moscow or London, you have that option and you or your guests can leave for home before everybody else and get to bed early. You might need your rest; next year is coming up fast.