NYE: The good, the bad, and the completely overrated
It’s New Year’s Eve and I have no plans. Like… none.
The prospect of ringing in the ‘biggest night of the year’ with nothing but Channel Nine’s fireworks telecast would once have caused me to sweat in fear. This year, it’s quite liberating. Because, let’s face it, everyone knows (and often says) that NYE is the most overrated night of the year after the Oscars.
Inflated prices, awkward chanting, hammered crowds. What’s not to hate?
My previous New Year’s Eve shenanigans can be classified thus: ‘Good’ or ‘Crap’.
2007 - Getting a cheap house in the Grampians with 10 hilarious mates, all of us fond of Carlton Draught, schnitzels and anything recorded by Whitney Houston between 1984-1992.
2002 - Landing in Bangkok at the beginning of a six-month backpacking adventure and riding on a death trap motorcycle through the back streets of Patpong.
1999 - Ditching my best friends to attend a seemingly ‘cool’ party where I knew no one, only to end up walking alone down an empty road at midnight trying in vain to find said friends.
1995 (age 14) - Drinking an entire bottle of Smirnoff Vodka (375mls) in the shower before passing out underneath a stranger on a dirty beach and spending the next three days with my head in an orange bucket.
It’s hard to find a concrete pattern as to what makes good, and what makes crap. They all seemed like pearlers before the fact. I turned to Facebook to ask 550 of my nearest and dearest what their tips were for a guaranteed NYE fling to remember. The answers included:
* Pick a venue and stick to it at all costs. You’ll only realise the place you were at first was the best if you ‘chase the party.’
* Don’t make a big deal about whatever you do, like buy an expensive outfit or tickets. Crushing disappointment ensues.
* The best NYEs are event driven, such as a wedding. You’re all in it together and who doesn’t love a nice wedding?
Well that’s just confusing. Don’t make a big deal out of it, but do make a big deal out of it? I need to find more engaged friends.
Most NYEs fall partly into one of these categories:
The big night: Buy $360 tickets to a dance party with a hyperbolic name (eg: Every Picture Tells A Thousand Fluffy Daze at the Horden). Line up for 50 minutes to have a shirtless bartender charge more than a return ticket to Bali for a round of vodka Red Bulls. Spend three hours getting home. Wake up hungover.
The out of towner: Get together a group and get the hell out of your city or regional centre. Buy wine and Kettle chips in bulk. Get everyone to make a ‘best songs of 2010’ play list and organise a game of Celebrity Head. Wake up hungover.
The house party: Encourage an acquaintance to open the doors of their newly renovated flat/house/duplex/maisonette and invite every hanger on and stray in your iPhone. Concoct a dubiously hued punch. Accidentally start the countdown five minutes early. Wake up hungover.
The public bar: Head to your favourite local, commandeer the jukebox, chat up the barman, then lock yourself in the bathroom for the countdown because you don’t have anyone to pash. Vomit. Wake up hungover.
The deliberate boycott: Turn off your phone and spend the night on the couch reading the instruction manuals to gifts you got at Christmas. Reassure yourself how much money you saved. Wake up fresh, but slightly bitter and hollow inside. Like an old passionfruit.
New Year’s Eve also demands some inevitable conversations - so I’ve made a few notes so I’m not caught off guard.
“Wow, I can’t believe it’s (INSERT YEAR).”
“Yeah, I know! Time flies.”
“This year has gone soooooo quickly.”
“Yeah… but when you think about it, it definitely has been a year.”
“What’s the worst New Years Eve you’ve ever had?”
“Haha. No, but seriously.”
“Got any New Year’s Resolutions?”
“I’m giving up wheat.”
“I’m giving up sex! Just kidding. Hahaha. What’s your name again?”
Honestly, all it takes to have a decent New Year’s Eve is a few friends or family who don’t make you openly hostile. Set the bar low! This is a night for fresh starts and the only way is up. Or down, then up.
And the most important tip? Don’t drink Smirnoff Vodka in the shower.
Now, over to you. What will you make of New Years Eve, 2010?
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