Sunday, January 3, 2010

Auld Lang Syne

On New Year's Eve, I was reminiscing about the December 31sts of yore. Some were hilarious, some disappointing, and some bittersweet to recall, but it was nice to bring to mind some of those old acquaintances, as the song suggests we do.

I clearly remember December 31, 1985...which was 25 years ago now. I was a sophomore in high school, and spent it hanging out with three friends, R, D and J. We were calculating how old we would be in the year 2000...30. D never saw 30, having died in 1993, but the rest of us have long since passed that landmark and hit another. Both of these thoughts were incomprehensible to those 15 year-olds who thought 1987, our graduation year, would just never come.

I also remember December 31, 1980...shooting off pop bottle rockets at midnight with T and her brother B. 30 years later, we are a long way from those wide-eyed kids. T is the mother of four, and lives halfway across the country, but she and I are still friends. B died in the same year as D, over 16 years ago now.

December 31, 1987, my friends and I attended a party, went home and changed into warmer clothes, then drove to Pasadena to watch the Rose Parade. We had been up all night, and we didn't think to bring any food at all. We were starving. My best friend, S, and I went searching for a bathroom around 5:00am, and we found pancakes to go along with it. Pancakes never tasted so good. We returned to our friends, sitting cold and hungry on the sidewalk, saving our places, and we kept our pancakes our sweet, guilty little secret. Later that day, we went to the Rose Bowl game and watched our team get beat; and that night...that night I did something I had never done before, but all of my friends had, because I waited to be in love. It was worth it. I don't know where he is today, but I remember him with warmth in my heart.

December 31, 1992, I was a recent college graduate, and living in Las Vegas. A bunch of my college friends came over, and we spent the night in Downtown Las Vegas on Fremont Street. I had been recovering from a breakup, and feeling sorry for myself. That was one of the first nights I just went out and had fun. I can't honestly saw I remember much of this night, other than the fact that I lost one of my favorite earrings and got sprayed with beer (and God knows what else) at midnight...and I couldn't have cared less. It was one of the best New Year's Eves I can recall. I was completely crazy and completely in the moment. I had my first and only one night stand with an old college friend...not something I am proud of, but not something I regret either. I needed to breakaway from the old and move on. It was a fitting new beginning to a new year and a new life.

The best New Year's Eve I can recall was the very next year...December 31, 1993. Friends from nearly all of my various life experiences seemed to be in town at once. J, my high school friend (the same one from 1985); M & J from college; R, M and P from my stint in New Mexico, and my new boyfriend, P. We spent the night on the Las Vegas Strip. It was crowded and crazy, but we had lots of people with us, so we made sure someone was in line for alcohol at all times, and each time that person purchased a beer and a shot for everyone in the group. This plan paid off in spades. I fell down in the middle of Treasure Island, which I still blame on my new, slippery, boots, and my college friend, J, passed out with her face in the ashtray attached to the side of the trash can. It was absolutely priceless.

The next year, December 30, 1994, M and J from college got married (she kept her face out of the ashtray for that event), and threw a New Year's Eve party the next night for all of their visiting friends. We played a drinking game I had never played before (or since), and I still wish I could remember how it was played. Unfortunately, all I remember was that at one point I had socks on my hands, and everyone's watches on my wrists. Don't ask.

This year I celebrated more quietly, at home with my wonderful husband, my parents and my cousin and her husband. We ate, drank and played cards, kissed at midnight, and called our kids to wish them a Happy 2010. Quieter, yes, but still as wonderful. And I felt much better on January 1st than I did in 1993, 1994 or 1995 (and probably some other years too).

For auld lang syne, my dear,

for auld lang syne,

we'll take a cup of kindness yet,

for auld lang syne.

Here's wishing all of you a very happy 2010.


  1. And a happy New Year to you to, Maggie!

  2. Happy New Year! I'm following your tweets now. :)

  3. It will be great to watch Legally Blonde, i have bought tickets from looking forward to it.