Then Vs. Now: New Year’s Eve

Then Vs. Now: New Year's Eve

It was six o’clock and I still didn’t know what I was doing last year. My best friends had skipped town to party in a big city, and the last thing I wanted to do was go to a crowded bar with some fringe friends only to wonder why I spent triple-figures on a million vodka-sodas. But when I woke up on 1/1/15 with a bar stamp on my hand wondering how I got so drunk off vodka-Gatorades, I had the realization that New Year’s Eve just isn’t what it used to be.

I couldn’t hang with the younger generation. I just didn’t have the chops anymore. But the pressure to put myself out there and dominate usurped the logical part of my brain that told me to enter the new year with clear eyes and a full heart. And with that, I harshly learned that what I used to know as New Year’s Eve is no longer what it is to the person I am now. You know, the person that’s approaching thirty.

The differences? They’re real, and they’re unspectacular.

The Setting


“Okay, but seriously, where are we going this year?”

That was either uttered or texted fifty times between December 30th and 5 o’clock on December 31st. And when it was all said and done, you were either at someone’s house while their parents were on vacation or at a condo that someone rented with their parent’s credit card. But no matter how you sliced it, the person with the most investment in the location was freaking out about people throwing up on the carpet or breaking a vase because they either didn’t want to explain the party to their parents or wanted that security deposit back.


It’s pretty much the lesser of two evils at this point: a dinner party at a friend’s place or an overpriced bar full of douchebags that you’ve never met before. When it comes to the former, you’re sitting around a table trying to act more mature than you are while a bunch of couples awkwardly talk about who is getting married in the coming year. And the latter? You’re being handed a flute of shitty champagne that comes with the $100 cover charge that you regret paying the moment you realize the open bar only lasts until 10 o’clock.

The Drinks


“Yo, do we have anymore Everlear and Kool-Aid for this punch?”

New Year’s Eve wasn’t necessarily about sipping Veuve Clicquot out of flutes that require a small personal loan to replace as much as it was about getting blackout drunk and taking a bunch of photos with your tongue out prior to throwing up.

If people weren’t pulling up to the house party and unloading 30-racks of Busch Light into snowbanks because the fridge was full, then your New Year’s Eve party was a total snoozer.


“Man, I like this IPA. Did you buy this locally?”

Craft beers have replaced light beers because somewhere in the last decade we’ve come to value “quality” over quantity, which also means we’re going welcome in the New Year with stomachaches from all the hops. Gone are the days of Andre as we’re now drinking bottles of mid-range champagne that say, “I make more than I did when I was just out of college, but I still can’t afford Dom.” And unfortunately, we’re now more likely to have red wine mouth as opposed to a sugar buzz from chasing shots with a two-liter of Coke.

The Attire


“I’m wearing a sparkly top with six-inch heels, because like, it’s New Year’s Eve.”

While the guys attempt to dress themselves up by wearing wrinkled button downs under blazers that they inherited from their dads, the girls are prancing around in glittery tops that they’ve been saving for this one night for the better part of the last four months. After the cardboard crowns are handed out to all the girls upon everyone’s arrival, the guys toss on some festive beads and call it good for the night.


“Just wear that one sweater I like over that button down. I’m sure that’s fine.”

Rather than wearing the typical party garb, we’re now all just looking like cutouts from a damn LL Bean catalogue. Sweaters over Oxfords, pressed chinos, and the nicest pair of winter boots in your foyer. At this age, everyone knows that the biggest representation of a guy’s maturity is how pressed his collar looks coming out of his v-neck sweater. Sure, it’s generic, but that’s just the life we’re living.

Oh, and the girls? Sparkly tops still. Some things never change.

The Hangover


“What bar we going to for the game?”

Those were the days when hangover’s didn’t make a fucking difference in your lives. Oh, you blacked out last night and copped a feel on your ex-girlfriend? Whatever, nothing a few pitchers and a couple dozen wings can’t fix. After all, you still weren’t going back to school for a solid week, so starting the New Year with a solid little bender wasn’t hurting anyone (besides your parents who had to lend you more money for books because you spent it all in the three weeks you had off for Christmas).


“Work is going to suck tomorrow.”

Whether you’re spending an hour in the bathroom clearing your system of hoppy beers and shellfish or lying in bed wondering how you could drink that much champagne, you no longer have time on your side. New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are just a blip in the radar because they’re sandwiched between hellish days of work where you wonder what the fuck you’re doing at the office when only about half the company shows up. Yeah, you were in bed at 1 o’clock instead of staying up until 4 a.m. like the old days, but you’ve got the body of a broken down athlete five years past his prime. And because of that, the Scaries are going to creep in whether you like it or not.

* * *

Watch the Grandex crew explain why your New Year’s Resolutions are bullshit.

Image via Shutterstock

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Will deFries (Twitter / Instagram) is a Senior Writer at Grandex and the world's foremost authority on Sunday Scaries (Twitter / Instagram). Email me at

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