Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Reliving In Our Eloquence Another "Auld Lang Syne"

New Years Eve's my second New Years Eve since Wingman died and I did something crazy. I went to New York City to see the ball drop in Times Square.

Probably not one of my more sane ideas. Still, I also have this other insane idea that when I die, instead if a dash between my birth and death year on my tombstone, I want there to be dotted lines and a few question marks to indicate the "WHAT WAS SHE THINKING???" moments. Like this one. It was the coldest New Year's Eve in years. And I did it solo.  I haven't done anything solo on New Years Eve since I babysat in high school.

The first few years of going out with Wingman were spent in the bars his band played in.  There were no "magical moments" at midnight because the band was on stage counting down while we, the girlfriends sat nearby.  The groupies got more attention that we did.  After all, they were the reason the band got their paying gigs.

Subsequent years were spent in garden apartments with our newly married friends trying to act grown up. These were followed by years in restaurants paying exorbitant prices for bad dinners and watered down drinks-all in the name of celebrating the end of one crappy year and hoping the next will be better.

I waffled about going to Times Square yesterday-especially after wrenching my knee taking the new snow blower out of the car myself (see-what was she thinking???). But because there were so many years that I couldn't remember what we had done, I had to prove to myself that I could make my own memory.

 I guess most of the girls who got on the train with me don't have a weather app on their phones.  Because none of them wore coats much less skirts longer than the Under Armour shirt I was wearing (under my sweatshirt and Lands End -20 degree jacket).  And there were scores of them, along with cute young guys in jeans and suit jackets, with light cashmere scarves tossed casually around their necks.  Nope, they haven't discovered The Weather Channel, along with Obamacare for the bout of pneumonia they will surely get after dressing like that. But they had such high energy, it made me remember back to those days when New Year's Eve offered the promise of a new love, a new job or new beginnings. 

What no one warns you about is the boredom of standing in the same place for three hours.  I got as far as 40th Street by 9:00 and couldn't move any further.  The people all around me were...well...Asian. And none of them spoke English. Just like when I was in Korea, I discovered that Asians want to be entertained even if it's at hokey bug or teddy bear museums.  They're always game for something new.  And they were all really into being there for the ball drop. Shoulder to shoulder we stood, with virtually no personal space anywhere.

In the last five minutes before the ball dropped, the excitement grew.  Really, the sound of a million people starting to yell and cheer all at once sent shivers down my spine. As we all counted down from 10, I thought about those not there with me and felt a little sad.  But with the explosion of fireworks and everyone yelling and taking pictures, I forgot about being there alone and embraced the oneness of the crowd.  And there was a lot less kissing than if I had been at a house party with my couple friends.

And my video of the ball dropping?  Well, with so many excited Asians with their phones in the air, my arm got jostled and the video turned off before the big moment.  But I don't need the video to put it down as an Awesome thing done.  I heeded my son's warning and didn't get hurt or stolen.  I was home in bed before he was.  And today I'm looking forward to the beginning of a brand new year.  Just like all the ones I celebrated as a couple in the past.


  1. I applaud your bravery of the crowd and the weather. May the rest of your adventures be as exciting and safe. Happy New Year, my friend!

  2. Thanks Kathy! Here's to a great year ending our 50's. We're not getting older at all-just more awesome!


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