Every party needs a pooper. That's why my family keeps me.
By some strange twist of fate, the New Year arrived without me on hand to toot a horn, raise a toast or toss confetti. I was snug as a bug in my bed by the time the calendar switched over -- in Nova Scotia.
I haven't been a big fan of New Year's Eve since I matured enough to realize it combines two of the things I dislike most: cold weather and staying up late. Add the potential for a hangover and you get the anti-fun trifecta.
Sure, I remember when I thought I had, had, HAD to go out on New Year's Eve. But eventually the complimentary sip of warm champagne and $5 cover charge for the chance to pack the bar with the other sardines -- I mean revelers -- just lost its luster. Did I mention how cold it gets in Iowa on January 1? Or how we always had to park and hike to find a bar that wasn't over capacity (or pretended they weren't)?
Not all my New Year's Eve memories are bad. There was that time in Jr. High when Princess (now Queen) K. fell off the top bunk because she was laughing so hard at Slim Whitman singing "Una Paloma Blanca --ahh AHH" (on the Johnny Carson show, on the black and white portable TV). I believe that was followed up by running out into the front yard to shout New Year's greetings into the peaceful, frosty, Iowa night sky.
Only to realize that it was midnight in New York.
You see, that's the thing about New Year's eve that has always rubbed me the wrong way. Why should New York get to celebrate it at 11 p.m.? You get all excited watching the ball drop in Times' Square, and then you have to sit around waiting for another hour. It just kind of loses its luster. I mean, it could be worse. We could be in California. Those poor saps have to wait two whole hours to toss their confetti. By then Times' Square is just a barren wasteland.
Think about it.
Anyway, I woke up this New Year's Eve morning with a resolution to make New Years fun for the Little Prince and Princess.
At 10:30 a.m., when I searched for "Fun New Year's Eve Crafts" online, I fully intended to stay up until midnight.
At 1:30 p.m., when I was shopping for snacks and craft supplies with the entire population of Eastern Iowa, I fully intended to stay up until midnight.
At 3:30 p.m., when I stopped at yet another store to search for the sparkling grape juice that EVERY store was selling last week but which I didn't buy then because "pffft, you can get that anywhere," became "arrgh, you can get that anywhere, but not at 3:30 p.m. New Year's Eve," I still fully intended to stay up until midnight.
At 5:15 p.m. when I was the only family member still gluing sequins on the "Festive New Year's Eve" sparkle ball, the craft billed as "simple fun for the whole family," I fully intended to stay up until midnight to enjoy the heck out of my sparkly handiwork.
At 7 p.m., when I realized the TV offerings on New Year's Eve were pretty slim, I started to have my doubts, but I still fully intended to stay up until midnight.
At 8:30 p.m., when the King fell victim to the power of the Puppy Dog Eyes and let me watch "Men In Black" again, I still fully intended to stay up until midnight.
At 9 p.m., when I made the fatal mistake of stretching out on the couch to watch "Men in Black" again, I wasn't so sure I still fully intended to stay up until midnight.
At 9:53 p.m., when the credits started to roll on "Men in Black," I was up the stairs and in my jammies quicker than you can say "Arquillian Battle Cruiser."
I guess you could say I beat those New Yorkers at their own game.
Happy New Year from me and Nova Scotia.