In most years, the last couple weeks of December are a frantic rush to make sure I have New Years plans. Not necessarily anything big, even, but an opportunity to bring a few friends together, share a bottle or two of champagne, and watch Ryan Seacrest be a dipshit on TV. Making these plans is usually pretty stressful, because I know that if I spend yet another New Years alone, drinking shitty beer and playing a game of Civilization in which all of my cities are named some variation of Gooch — Goochtown, Goochville, Fort Gooch, Buenos Gooches, Stratford-Upon-Gooch, you get the idea — it’ll be a little bit depressing.
This year, though, I had an excuse to not make any New Years plans, because of the pandemmy. And it was…magnificent? I made dinner, took multiple edibles, watched Greyhound (it’s not a terrific movie!), and went to sleep at 12:30pm. I woke up feeling distinctly un-hungover and, besides the usual existential malaise one naturally feels upon waking up to realize the world is still turning, pretty fantastic.
It makes one wonder: has New Years always been such a useless holiday?
Like, I get that it’s a natural occasion to celebrate. The passage of time, new beginnings, fond nostalgia for the last year, posting all your stupid pics on Insta, etc etc. But are there not better ways to celebrate? For instance, getting high as balls and watching a joyless Tom Hanks pace around a destroyer in the North Atlantic?
Here’s my proposal: let’s all just agree to not celebrate New Years anymore. No more starting the year hungover, no more fretting about plans, no more making out with your friend’s high school friend in a suburban basement. How about we all just stay at home, watch a movie, notice that it’s past midnight, and go “oh wow, guess it’s 2022 now. Huh,” then promptly go to bed and have dreams about getting married and opening up a Bed-and-Breakfast with Elisabeth Shue.