Thursday, January 3, 2008

Why I'm glad New Year's Eve only comes once a year, Part IV

New Year's Eve 2007

I'm in a bar in Brooklyn across the street from Talia's apartment. There's a band playing, and hipsters as far as the eye can see. Shortly after we arrive I realize that I have to go to the bathroom. The line for the restroom is much too long, and so I decide to go across the street to Talia's apartment. It's a quarter of twelve, and I know from experience I'm taking a chance, but I decide to risk it. This time, even after unlocking and relocking three sets of locks with color-coded keys, I'm still back with time to spare. I head straight to the bar to order a round of drinks. The crowd around the bar is two people deep, at least, and I can't get close enough to order. I hang back, waiting for my chance, when to my right two inoordinately tall hipster girls squeeze past me to the front of the bar. I sigh and narrow my eyes at the back of their well-coiffed hipster heads.

"You have to be more aggressive," says Talia's friend helpfully, who has seen what's happened.

"I can't help it," I say. "I'm not from here," as if this is a perfectly reasonable explanation for why I'm incapable of ordering drinks in a bar. Tis the season, I remind myself. Be of good cheer. I'll get my turn. I think about how good the champagne will taste when I finally get it, the cold bubbles tingling as they wash against my lips. Yum. The hipster girls order their drinks and walk away with two plastic flutes of champagne. Finally. "Two glasses of champagne, one red wine and one club soda, please," I say.

"Sorry, we're out of champagne," the bartender tells me.

"But...but..." I sputter helplessly, as he turns away to take the order of someone else capable of forming coherent sentences. I stand staring with my jaw open in disbelief. It's just my luck.

"That's rough," the guy at the bar next to me sympathizes.

"Those girls, first they cut in front of me, and then they stole my champagne!" I rage. "Bitches!" So much for holiday cheer.

"And you know," he says, "I'm pretty sure I just saw them open a new bottle."

"They're probably saving it for themselves!" I fume.

I manage to calm down enough to re-evaluate and order, substituting chardonnay for champagne. I distribute the drinks and suddenly the countdown starts as I look around helplessly, stranded at the bar, waiting to pay. Then everyone's cheering and embracing, and I'm alone with my arm outstretched, holding a fistful of bills. Behind me Talia and her boyfriend are kissing. I look at the guy at the bar next to me. Behind him his friend is kissing one of the girls he's been hitting on all night. We look at each other, and I shrug my shoulders and half roll my eyes, and I'm smiling. "Happy New Year" I say, and I'm smiling at life, at myself, at sharing this moment with a stranger in a bar.

"Happy New Year."

And after all, it could have been worse.

4 comments:

  1. Maybe Congress or the pope or the UN need to remove one day from the calendar each year to keep you from the December 31 blahs. But we all live with the terrible burden of unmeetable expactations, so perhaps you're not so alone after all.

    Have a happy year,

    M

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  2. So when are you going to write about this New Years? or was it so bloody uneventful you have nothing to write about? Somehow with you.....I doubt it!! Waiting patiently....or dying trying!! Bonne Nuit!!!

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  3. No, this WAS this New Year's! See, I knew the date thing was going to be confusing. New Year's Eve 2007 = New Year's Day 2008. Right? Am I doing this wrong? It's not even math and it's hard!

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  4. It is hard, sorry for mistaking you Rachel!!! Louise pointed it out to me that I should have known, the confusing part for everyone (myself included) is that when we celebrate NYE, we are celebrating the Eve of the New Year, so does that mean we count it as the date of year we are in? or the date of year we are going to? Obviously I am rambling here, but heck, why not....lol. Also on another topic, I just realized yesterday that when we (Louise and myself included) commented on Georgia's blog, we spelled your name like Canadian's tend to do. We added in an 'A' for flair.....hope ya didn't mind. We know the right way now!!!
    Have a great day!!!
    Always
    Heidi

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