Okay, I’m a real oddball. I make those ridiculous things known as New Year’s Resolutions, and more and more, I keep them even as they grow more outlandish and grandiose. They help me keep track of the things I’ve wanted to do and have accomplished in what timeframe, and what I have left to do. This year, I want to re-sculpt my boy, get my grades up, find a new focus as a writer and continue sending out more work, and visit another place I haven’t been before. I had some high goals last year, but I managed to reach every one of them.
However, this whole New Year’s-is-magic thing is something I’m never going to understand. The whole process only has relevance because it’s so close to Christmas and, by proximity, it gets the shit advertised out of it. Yes, folks, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are more corporatized holidays, but unlike every other corporatized holiday, there’s no real sound basis for it. Valentine’s Day – which I outright rebel against – at least celebrates love. What’s New Year’s? A new beginning? If people were actually serious about the whole new beginning thing, they wouldn’t be saving their self-improvements until then anyway. Even though I make resolutions, I know full well in advance what they’re going to be and how they’re going to help me reach a higher plateau. I don’t create them on some wistful December 31 whim, yanking them from the air because that’s what people are apparently supposed to do. Doing that is probably why so many people keep their resolutions for about two weeks.
So if you pull your resolutions out of the equation, just what the hell is this? Sometimes you get invited to a party. It’s nice – hang out with your buddies, have a few drinks, stay up late, kiss someone at midnight. An all-around good evening, really…. And nothing you don’t do at any point earlier in the year. Hell, for people in their 20’s, that’s basically the after-work schedule. The only difference I can spot is that you’re a lot more uncomfortable on New Year’s, because you’ve decided to trap yourself in some tight-ass tuxedo for no other reason than because, hey, that’s what it is to be an adult, right? Also, you’re boozing on overpriced champagne instead of beer, wine, or whatever cheap spirit is your signature.
It’s a pricier night out is what it is.
I found myself at the Buffalo ball drop a few times, which was nice because the fireworks display at the Electric Tower is very beautiful and choreographed to the classic rock music that is the city’s signature musical sound. The best New Year’s Eve I’ve experienced in my life was on December 31, 1997. My family went to see the Buffalo Sabres that night, and we ended up watching Sabres goaltender Dominik Hasek tie the all-time record for number of shutouts in a single month when the Sabres beat the Ottawa Senators.
Besides all the hype, the calendar starts all over again, whoop dee do. The Earth starts another revolution around the sun, which is a meaningless statistic considering how much we bend and maul the calendar to fit our own personal convenience. Even the most accurate measurement of time on Earth, the atomic clock, is so accurate that it actually manages to overshoot the mark.
I prefer literally any other holiday. Martin Luther King Day, Presidents’ Day, Independence Day, Easter, May Day if this country ever grows enough of a fucking brain to start observing it…. New Year’s is, to me, nothing more than another day in the life. I’ll still happily accept party invitations, but don’t expect me to get too worked up about how awesome the magic of New Year’s is.