New Year’s Eve 2014. It was a Tuesday night like any other and I didn’t feel like going out. It’d been
snowing for hours and I was steadfast in my decision to stay in and go to bed early. I’m a free thinker not
bound to the idea that it was necessary to go out on New Year’s Eve. Yeah, I’m staying in!
Forty five minutes later I was the first to arrive at the sushi restaurant. Like usual. Although I probably
should’ve dedicated more time, it’d taken me 15 minutes to get ready and I was looking real decent.
The other 30 minutes I spent trudging to the street corner to find a cab and go the 8 blocks to the
“Table for one?” the hostess inquired as I walked in. I scoffed and made a face. “No” I replied in a tone
that came out whineier then I intended. Why did people always assume I was eating alone? It had to be
obvious that I was part of a group. A very interesting, eclectic group. “There’ll be four of us” I said.
As I sat down I was pleased I’d changed my mind about going out. I looked around and thought how
trendy it was to eat sushi on New Year’s Eve. It’s trendy, right? Yeah, I think so.
My friends soon trickled in, one after the other peeling off the layers of clothes before sitting down. We
studied the menu, ordered a couple signature rolls and a couple bottles of wine. Somewhere along the
ordering process it’d been decided that we were sharing rolls. I hated sharing rolls. I never got my fair
share because there’s always a dirty, little, glutton eating more than his/her ration. But I could never call
them out. It’s a well-known fact that sushi counting or “sushi tracking” is not socially acceptable so I had
to suffer in silence. In order to even out the playing field I decided I’d just double up on the wine.
By the time the food came, my single friends and I were having a great time. We were having stimulating
conversations about books and documentaries (like the one about “bronies”, the My Little Pony
fanboys). I was now also ready to par-ty. The way I get when white wine hits an somewhat empty belly.
We were wrapping up dinner when I got the deceitful text from Sarah:
Hey bestie! Are you gonna stop by my party?
Maybe. I’m at dinner with Charlotte now and may go to a party with her.
Aww, come! Paul and Lanie are here, Lanie’s sister, John and Katy, and Mike.
Well. What if I stop by after midnight, is that too late?
Oh! Just come now, it’ll be fun.
Yeah, okay. I guess it’ll be easier to head there now since I’m already near the bus.
I wished my fellow “singles” a good night and headed to Sarah’s.
I rang the doorbell labeled “Norwood” and made my way in with the buzz of the door. I hadn’t even
taken my coat off when I sensed it. The trap I’d just walked into. I scanned the room while making a
mental head count when I heard Sarah’s drunken call from across the room.
“Puppy!!!!” I glared and grabbed her by the arm. “It’s all couple’s in here!!” I hissed.
“Yeah, so? It’s not like we’re all gonna make out at midnight” she argued
“That’s exactly what you’re gonna do!” I wailed. As I felt my buzz slowly melting away I made a beeline
for the bar. I grabbed a drink and then a seat at the kitchen counter. I had less than an hour until the
new year, so I began creating midnight scenarios. Option one: I’d laugh a little too loudly while tossing
my head back in pure abandon as I yelled “Happy New Year!” No, that would come off crazy. Option
2: I’d run to the bathroom just before midnight and wait it out. No, that was too pathetic. Option 3: I’d
force Sarah to let me borrow her husband. No, that B never shared anything.
I’d have to just improvise in the moment. I tried to join in on the various conversations going on but it
was no use. These marrieds and couples didn’t know what was going on in the world! They didn’t know
what a bronie was. Why bother?
At 11:58, Sara corralled us into her too bright living room and turned on a televised countdown. We
were each handed a flute of champagne and with each passing minute I gripped mine harder. 10
seconds. Oh god. 8 seconds. Shhht. 6 seconds. Gulp. 3 seconds. Did I just wet myself? HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I pressed my lips against the cold, smooth glass and closed my eyes. I felt the bubbles as they danced
on my tongue and then as they dribbled down my chin to the front of my dress. After what seemed like
eternity I opened my eyes and realized it was all over. I threw my glass on the floor and grabbed my
coat. Thanks to Sarah, the clueless married, I’d ushered in the new year with a curse. No longer was I the
hip carefree of earlier. Now I was destined to be alone for the whole of a year! I disappeared into the
night along with my other holiday weirdos.