Is It Cynicism?
It’s New Year’s Eve and I’m struggling with a blog post. I would love to share my New Year’s resolutions, but they are utterly pedestrian, and they are all the same as the ones I failed to follow last year. New Year’s is a difficult time for me. It is really a young person’s holiday, with the drinking and the partying and the staying up well into the night. Those are all part of a lifestyle I’ve given up in the interest of family and being a functional adult. I’m not wondering who’ll kiss me at midnight. With any luck, I won’t be up at midnight. If I am, I will have been called into work.
Of all the holidays, I like New Year’s the least. It’s at the end of Christmas; at the end of all the holidays that make the winter bearable. There is nothing but cold and resignation afterward. We make resolutions; we don’t keep them. We know we aren’t going to keep them when we make them. We didn’t keep them last year. There are the fireworks (here in the South they are legal, and we enjoy them mainly on July 4 and New Year’s Eve). The catch is, it’s so dang cold on New Year’s usually. It hardly makes going outside bearable, fun explosions or not. And this year it is supposed to rain, all night. That puts a, well, damper on the firework thing.
I remember when I was a kid my folks went to bed about ten o’clock on New Year’s Eve. I never understood why, but I do now. What was going to be any different in two hours? Staying up until midnight was pointless. We didn’t even have a TV. No ball dropping for us. What is the point of watching a ball drop in a city where you are not anyway? It’s like being allowed to peek in the door of a party you weren’t invited to.
My favorite New Year’s was Y2K. There was truly the possiblility of a Zombie Apocalypse, or some similar event (what is the obsession over Zombie Apocalypses, anyway?). People had stocked up on flashlights and filled their bathtubs with water. I thought the whole thing was ridiculous. I prepared for nothing. I woke up in the morning and the world was still there. I was on call that year too. The only thing that happened of note on that New Year’s Day was that I got somebody pregnant. Literally. I had an artificial insemination to do in the office on New Year’s because the nice lady was ovulating. It later turned out she got pregnant.
One year when I lived in New Orleans we went out partying. We went down to the river to see the fireworks at midnight. The fireworks never came. Mounted police came by on their horses to tell us there would be no fireworks and cleared us out. It turned out the fireworks had exploded earlier in the day, on the barge, killing one man and horribly burning another. How festive.
Another New Year’s, I went out with a boyfriend to see Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown play at a local club. I was all excited because I was finally going to have somebody to kiss me at midnight. The boyfriend was totally antiromantic and was in a cluster of people when the witching hour came. I got no kiss. At least he wasn’t kissing someone else.
So as far as I’m concerned, New Year’s is a total wash. A total non-event. I won’t be making any resolutions. I probably won’t be keeping any. And once again, I’m on call. Mainly because I don’t mind. Of course, my patients are giving me all kinds of trouble. The nurses are blowing up my phone. I have one in particular who has every kind of problem it is possible to have, at least it seems that way. I have three different doctors consulting on her. I am sure they are enthralled to be called out on New Year’s Eve.
So there you have it. A total nothing. I’ll sit here by the fire until I go to bed around 10. Providing I don’t get called in. Feeling sorry for myself? Probably. I excel at that. Being realistic? Also probably. Here is my New Year’s question for you: is it cynicism if it’s true?