Let's be frank: Every year you expect it to be the best night of your life, and every year it is so, so not. Or you plan some complicated to-do, you get dressed up, you spend a pile of cash, you end up pressed up against a faceless guy in the back of a humid bar/living room/jail cell, clutching an empty cup of watered-down bathtub gin-and-tonic and waiting in a bathroom line so long you've perspired out your pee by the time you get to the backed-up stall. Admit it.
Here is the thing I have to say to you about New Year's Eve. It doesn't have to be like this. The best night of your life, or your year, was probably...last night. You know, the night after the afternoon you hung out with your friends and their hilarious houseguest and ate Christmas leftovers and drank wine and then went out carousing and stopped and had an ice cream and maybe ended up at a restaurant where the garden was open and you had mashed potatoes and got home happy and sated. That, my friends, was the best night of the year. And you didn't plan it. You didn't orchestrate it, it just happened.
The best nights of your life are going to happen to you, they are seldom going to happen to you on December 31. The odds of a marginally okay night are not in your favor on a night when expectations are raised to the heavens, when it's cold and/or raining and/or snowing and there are no cabs and you are drunk and you are in Brooklyn or some other unfathomably far-from-where-you-live place and you didn't get kissed. And you really wanted to get kissed. Or you got kissed by some creep and pretended it was okay.
If you have a good party to go to, and a way home so you don't end up in your torn fishnets on the corner of No Cab and Frat Boys Brawling, then okay. Okay with your good night. But if you are scurrying around trying to come up with the best night of your life and/or attempting to orchestrate the best night of their lives for a bunch of other thrillseekers, you are better off having those friends come over to your very fun house for dinner and champagne and spin-the-bottle. And it doesn't have to be "low-key" or "mellow" or whatever people resign themselves to when they don't force their way past a velvet rope but instead go the rogue, people-you-know route. It can still be totally fucking off-the-wall fantastic, but come on.
Let the thing be what it is, as (I think) Dorothy Barresi once wrote.
This is not me pooping on the fun night. I'm just saying because come on, there's too much stress anyway. And then there's the rest of January, and February, stretching out in front of you like Nebraska, with very little by comparison, if you decide all the fun is going to happen in one night and that night is Sunday this Sunday.
My friend Cusi advised me the other day to put a high premium on fun and I advise you to do the same. Your odds for cashing in on that fun are highest on non-December 31sts. You heard it here. Pass it on.