New Year's Eve

Tomorrow evening, millions of booze-soaked heathens around the world will celebrate the fact that in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII decreed that the Christian world would adopt a new system of dates proposed by the Calabrian doctor Aloysius Lilius. The Gregorian Calendar, as it is now known, resets every year at midnight on January 1st, and for reasons unknown the hours leading up to midnight have become a time for raucous merrymaking and increased DWI enforcement across the land.

Some, however, celebrate the coming of January for other reasons: there are, for example, still churches in the world which celebrate the Gregorian New Year because it marks the day on which Jesus would have been circumcised after his birth on Christmas. Today, the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ would probably not be a real occasion for celebration given the Serious Times we live in, and therefore we look to ever more contemporary reasons to act foolishly.

So, I suppose now we should come to the point: I hate New Year's Eve. I hate the expectation that everyone heaps upon this most ordinary of days. I hate the fact that I can't go to my favorite restaurant because it is booked solid from 6 pm until 10 pm, at which time I will be charged an exorbitant cover for a complimentary glass of champagne and, if I am lucky, lukewarm appetizers. I am not cold, unromantic, or unsentimental; far from it. I have bought in to the Valentine's hype in the past... Mother's Day, Father's Day, Groundhog Day, Earth Day... they all have a place in the pantheon of days that occur only once per year.

In the end, we celebrate these things for the same reason we celebrate all annual events: to mark the passage of time. HOW we mark the occasion of the turning of the wheel from 2008 to 2009 is my issue, not WHY. Perhaps it is the close proximity with Christmas, or the need for those of us in the frozen north to have something to look forward to before three months of bitter, featureless, depressing winter nothingness... ESCAPISM, the real American addiction. I'm fairly certain I'm on to something there, but who cares? The motions must be made anyway. New Year's foolishness is as entrenched in the American way of life as the World Series and birth control.

Your time and your money are yours to spend as you see fit, as are mine. So with that sentiment in mind, I will tell you my plans: I will be sober, happy, and ready to hop in my car in order to bail my drunken, drug-addled friends and acquaintances out of jail for $100 a pop. If you need my contact information for that very reason, I would be delighted to provide it to you. Merry Christmas, and have a safe and happy New Year.

MUCH love, Newrosis

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