Thursday, December 31, 2009

Just Another New Year's Eve

As a kid, New Year's Eve was never over until I saw Barry Manilow sing "It's Just Another New Year's Eve" on television. Looking back, I realize how homosexual this sounds, but it honestly was my personal tradition, and really should be the last supporting evidence needed to prove people are born gay. My family was never big drinkers or party people, so New Year's Eve normally consisted of going to a nice dinner with the family (early to avoid the drunk drivers that my parents' feared were looming at every corner in our small Midwestern city) and then home to movies until about 11:30 P.M. when we would start watching Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve, which always included Barry Manilow singing at about 1 A.M.  At this point I was normally the only one still awake. My father would be passed out snoring in his chair, my mom would be in bed, and my sisters would either be sleeping on the couch or in bed themselves. There I would sit and watch Barry at his piano and would think of the year to come. As the years passed, Barry became more plastic, nipped, and tucked, but he was always there starting my year. I would then get into my waterbed (yes, I am a kid of the 80s), and would write in my journal. I'd write some sentimental message about my hopes and dreams for the year to come.

As I've grown older, my traditions have changed, but I still don't know that I've ever had a fantastic New Year's Eve.  There's too much pressure on the night. It is the beginning of another year and I always want it to start perfectly, but it always falls short of my expectations (I often have this problem, just ask Dustin). Last year, was terrible. Dustin and I got into a huge fight at about 11:55 P.M. that carried into 2009. It was not ideal, though the year that followed didn't seem ruined by the horrid beginning. We survived, because as Barry sings, "it's just another night, that's all it is."

New Year's Eve, by its very nature, has a bit of sadness that comes with it. It is the reminder that we are all getting older and that time never stops. It also points out that the year is over and there's no more time to accomplish anything that you might have wanted to accomplish. We are told by mass media to set goals and resolutions for ourselves, but are then quickly told that of course we won't actually do any of these things. Perhaps it all of this that looms over the day that ruins it for me. 

My plan this year is to relax and go with the flow. I'm thinking of it as just another night out. No pressure. No drama. Dustin and I are going to Parliament House to ring in 2010. We will drink, dance, see drag shows, and hopefully share a kiss at midnight. But no matter what happens, 2010 will be upon us. A new decade that will bring with it many challenges, sadnesses, fears, changes, good times, and my 30th birthday. In the morning will everything be suddenly different? No, of course not, but maybe with time we will grow a little wiser. 

-Stephen (Fanilow)

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