As a Society, We Can Do Better Than Our Current Approach to New Year’s Eve

I’m all about holidays and parties that pertain to holidays. Halloween? Love it. I’ll drive all over town in search of a red trenchcoat so that I can be Carmen San Diego. Thanksgiving? Give me all of your stuffing and no one gets hurt. Ugly sweater bar crawls? I’ll spend 50 bucks on a Cam Newton ugly sweater, no questions asked. Here it is:

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But New Year’s Eve? Yeah, I’m not buying what you’re selling. Here’s why the holiday is overrated:

First you exchange roughly 830 text messages in a group chat trying to get your friends to agree on a place to go so you can all be together on the last night of the year. Your taken friends want to go to a house party because they don’t care about meeting new people and are kind of boring now even though they don’t want to admit it. Your single friends want to be in a bar. Your one friend who’s still mentally 22 wants to be in a club. There is tension among the group. You start to think that maybe Abe Lincoln was talking about this situation when he said “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”

A week before New Year’s Eve you finally pick a spot that is suitable enough for everyone, even though 1 or 2 of your friends are still in the “maybe” pile and will probably flake out. You end up paying $50-$100 to get into that bar. When you arrive it’s overcrowded. You see someone you don’t want to see and have to spend the whole night avoiding them. You have no choice but to drop elbows each time you want to get a drink. You’re wearing heels that you bought for the occasion and didn’t have a chance to break in and then your feet start to hurt. You have to plan your bathroom trips a half hour in advance due to lines. At midnight you kiss no one or you kiss a stranger and you sort of regret it the next day. Your Uber home costs $70 bucks even though you had to travel only 3 miles. You try to get everyone to split the fare with you but they’re too drunk so no one does.

We are a country that is home to bottomless brunch and Netflix and Beyonce. This is the best we can do? I think not.

Why do we put so much pressure on this stupid, nonsensical holiday that is only really a holiday because it marks the passing of time? This time of year is stressful enough. You already spent all of your money buying holiday gifts. You probably argued with your family at least once over Christmas because you spent too much time together. We can and should do better. I get that we all want to wrap 2015 up and put a nice little bow on it, but trying to make New Year’s Eve a flawless scene out of a romantic comedy is just unfair to all of us.

I urge us all to change our way of thinking when it comes to New Year’s Eve. Let’s be reasonable with our expectations, relax a little, and be okay with a New Year’s Eve that is fun but not “end of the rom-com” worthy. My plan this year is to approach the holiday in the following way:

  • Wear a fancy romper obtained from Forever 21 (check)
  • Get a handful of friends to go to a low-key, fun bar nearby without a ridiculous cover (in progress)
  • Get drunk (I feel confident I can make this happen)
  • Go home and eat snacks (also feel confident about this)
  • Don’t get so hung up on the details of the night and then be able to start 2016 excited and happy

My last two New Years Eves have been fun(ish) but not flawless, and they’ve certainly been expensive. I put so much hype and hope into them and ended up feeling disappointed, so the first day of the new year started on a sort of melancholy note. I’m not going to let that happen again. Give me my friends, my snacks, my vodka tonics, and my fancy romper and that’s all I need. I encourage you to do the same; fancy romper optional.

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