“Flashback” by Calvin Harris plays loudly inside the dimly lit, three story bar. You’re in line outside, despite the fact that you pre-paid for a ticket to get into this shithole. It’s cold outside, and you’re already pissed off because once inside, you’ll need to pony up ten bucks for coat check, carry that bulky monstrosity around with you, or put it at your table while you worry about it getting stolen all night.
The hundred dollar cover charge. Three watered down cocktails included. The shitty buffet. Packing in like sardines to a bar you wouldn’t think twice about going into if it wasn’t New Year’s Eve. Nightmare fuel.
What is it about NYE that makes everyone feel like they have to go out? Like every #millennial, I too feel a pressure from no one in particular to go out on this glorified holiday. I got asked more than once over Thanksgiving what my plans were for December 31st. My response was “I have no fucking clue.” What are my options? Well shit, John, there are several.
Maybe you go see a show. Umphrey’s McGee, String Cheese Incident, or one of the million EDM shows that are going on. Jam bands and guys playing music off of their laptops are fun if you’re violently high all the time. You know whats not fun when you’re violently high? Being surrounded by gross hippies sweating and hula hooping all over the goddamn place. I’d rather sew my head to the carpet.
So what about the bar?? Also a fun idea, until you have to pay for a special ticket to get in. No worries, though! You get a couple drink tickets and access to a buffet full of lukewarm chicken tenders, pizza, and maybe, just maybe if you’re lucky enough a giant metal serving tray full of mac and cheese. Fingers crossed no ones hair fell in! Fuck all of that. I won’t do it this year.
No, sir. This year I’m staying in. I’m going back to my parent’s house in Michigan for Christmas, so guess where I’ll be when that clown Ryan Seacrest is counting down from ten? With mom and dad sipping champagne that I’d never be able to afford on my own. I’m done with NYE. Look, I’d love to head out west (or north), rent a ski in ski out lodge with like fifteen of my best friends and get fucked up for a few days…but just typing that sentence gives me a goddamn headache. Planning something of that magnitude would be way too hard, and I just don’t have the patience or the money to do it.
If you live in Chicago like me, or another sprawling metropolis similar to it, there might as well be a sign above every bar that reads “Welcome Assholes.” If I had friends who threw parties I’d probably be singing a different tune, but most of them are on the wrong side of 25 and have apartments that they don’t want trashed. With that being said, though, if you have the means and the brass balls required to throw a NYE rager at your house, hit me up cause I want an invite. There’s nothing I love more than a good house party. But that’s beside the point.
If I had a girlfriend, or if you, dear reader, has a girlfriend — I GET IT. You have to go out on NYE. You’ve got no choice. I’d no doubt have gotten strong-armed into buying tickets to some awful nightclub, chilling at a table silently wishing I was dead. If you’re out on NYE this year, look around you at the larger groups. The ones that are exclusively couples. They’re pretty easy to point out. Hell, there are probably a few sad sack single people with them tagging along. I’ve been a part of these couple-groups that all go somewhere together. You’ll notice a constant in all of them– All of the boyfriends–every single one of them–is fucking miserable. You think these guys wanted to blow a few hundred bucks on a night out? Of course not. But this is a holiday for girls.
Being seen is of utmost importance, and “what the fuck am I going to tell Katie I did over New Years if I don’t go out?” Katie is your girlfriend’s best friend at work. You know that stuck up bitch Katie is going to have a super cute Instagram pic of her and the boyfriend kissing at midnight. Hashtag relationship goals, am I right? Yeah, I’m right. If you have a girlfriend, Katie and her boyfriend are the couple that you’re forced into going on double dates with every so often. She dates the guy whose Facebook profile picture is of him and his boys holding a half gallon of Ciroc. Exclusively wears Jordans. You know the type. And the caption on that sick prof pic? “We do this.” Or a line from literally any Drake song ever made. Use your imagination for that one.
I say NYE is a girls holiday for two reasons. And if weren’t for these two reasons, I’m not entirely sure New Year’s would even be celebrated. The first is FOMO, or fear of missing out for all of the narcs out there reading this. If all of her girlfriends are going out, you better believe she’ll be there too snap chatting the entire thing like she’s an investigative photographer documenting the Tet offensive in ‘Nam.
The second reason is the very simple “keeping up with the Joneses” idea. NYE is, at its core, about showing your face. Keeping up appearances. And if your girlfriend wants to go out, she’s going to go out and you’re going to have to put on a happy face for the better part of 6 hours.
I already work out regularly. I rarely eat out. I guess I could be a little nicer to people, but lets face it, I’m not going to start being nice to people just because. So my resolution this year is to stay away from stupid bullshit for this New Year’s Eve, and every New Year’s Eve that follows. Holy shit, that resolution is meta as fuck.
I’ll still be hungover New Year’s Day, that’s a given. But at least I won’t be half-a-G in the hole and scrambling to find a spot to watch the bowl games. If you’ve got a significant other or just some person you regularly bump uglies with for NYE, god speed. If you’re single, well…you can always come party with me at my parent’s house. Lots of finger foods..