Tomorrow is New Years Eve.
My husband and I never really did anything special on New Years Eve.
Before I was married, I never really did anything special on New Years Eve.
When I was a lot younger, a teenager, some friends and I went into Boston for First Night, froze our asses off, and stood with the thousands of others to count down to midnight and shout in the streets. I did the whole crazy Times Square thing one time, in my 20s. But since then, New Years Eve is just another night, leading up to just another day.
So why the hell does it always depress me so damn much?
Perhaps its the expectation of it all. Everywhere you look, it seems that other people are doing super fun or romantic things on New Years Eve. Couples are kissing and holding one another, friends are toasting with champagne, parties that you arent invited to are happening, people are standing in large groups laughing and chatting and having a blast. Ballgowns are worn. Tuxedos and suits are worn. Elegant food and drink and entertainment is happening. Confetti is being tossed into the air and let go from above. People wear silly hats and glasses with the upcoming year plastered on them. Its like, suddenly, everyone around you has this extravagant life and these amazing plans, while you sit home and watch that "New Years Awkward Eve" with the obnoxious Ryan Seacrest.
I seem to never have any plans on New Years Eve. When my husband was around, most years, he would be at work, because he was a paramedic who worked the overnight shift, and EMS is known for almost always having to work holidays. So it was rare that we spent it together. I would usually end up home alone with some takeout and a movie, and a midnight phone call from him that I would look forward to. After he died though, New Years Eve became incredibly depressing to me. Im not even really sure why. At first, I couldnt even watch or listen to the midnight countdown, because all I could think was: "My husband doesnt get to see another year. 2011 is the last year he will ever know. " The thought of that was so upsetting to me, that I wanted to hide away from the countdown, and just lie under my blankets and turn off the TV and pretend it wasnt happening. Just another day. I did not want to acknowledge the New Year coming in, as if ignoring it would make it somehow go away.
These days, its less painful for me to acknowledge the countdown, but the whole New Years Eve thing still depresses me. Maybe theres a part of me that wants what I keep seeing on TV, in movies, and with some of my NYC friends. All that pomp and circumstance, all that glimmer and confetti and champagne and everything else. Maybe I want to be asked to attend some big grand ball, or have that amazing romantic kiss on some rooftop or dance floor at midnight. Instead of looking at stupid Ryan Seacrest as the first face I see to ring in the new year.
None of that will be happening this year. I just moved into my parents house in smalltown Massachusetts, where I will be writing / finishing my book about grief and loss and my husbands death. A good friend of our family is having two friends over tomorrow night, for New Years Eve, who happen to be widows. She suggested that I come over , because maybe they might like talking to me, a fellow widow. I asked "how old are they?" Turns out they could be my grandmother. So thats my barrel of fun tomorrow night - hanging out with a couple of widows twice my age, and being depressed together I guess.
Ryan Seacrest is looking pretty good right about now.
Happy New Year.