We certainly assign a lot of significance to the New Year, don’t we? I try to pretend I’m not a part of that, but then I catch myself frozen at my keyboard, blank-minded but determined to pull something really meaningful out of thin air. It’s my last post of 2014, I kind of want it to be good. I’d like to go out on a high note, thank you. But then the rebel in me snidely points out the arbitrariness of a calendar year. “365 days” wasn’t a thing until someone decided it was, and then the cast of RENT sang about it. Part of me thinks, “hm, maybe I’ll make it a point to really think about this in the coming year,” while another (bigger) part recognizes how enormously ironic that would be. Isn’t it fun when I talk about nonsense? Let’s do that more.
But before everyone cracks open the champagne and Jenny McCarthy kisses an unsuspecting stranger, let’s wrap up this series of stories, goals, and songs.
A story: One of the things which makes very little sense to me is how late most parties start. If I eat at six, I can easily be ready by seven – but then I have to sit around waiting for like three hours till it “starts,” and then another hour till it’s socially acceptable to show up. Is anyone really doing anything important between 7-10pm? No. So let’s start at seven and just get it over with, and I can go to bed at eleven.
Back in March, my friend Sav and I were gearing up to attend one of these functions. We were in that awkward post-dinner, pre-party time of day, didn’t really know what to do with ourselves. But lucky for me, Sav is an idea machine and soon we were in throwback city, playing a game from our freshman year of high school… Hangover.
“Hangover” is a simple but competitive game invented by our freshman lunch table, in which the plastic ring is removed from the neck of a Gatorade bottle and flicked back and forth between two players. It’s basically poor man’s ice hockey, except instead of flicking it off the table, the aim is to get it hanging juuust over the edge – hence the name “hangover.” Fourteen years old, and already inventing games and mastering wordplay. Get on our level.
Well, Sav and I did this for approximately two hours. Eventually we had been playing so long we started forgetting our scores, so we started keeping tally with crayons:
The soundtrack of this intense athletic event was, appropriately, a bunch of 80s pop. Heart, the Cars, Madonna. A little Tears for Fears. God I love 80s music…
Anyway, this was a great little 2014 moment I thought I’d remember (ya know, publicly).
A goal: Every so often, I read through the journals I’ve kept so far in my life (unshockingly numerous). Usually I stick with my more competent writing (10th grade onward), which means I tend to forget there is any valuable sentiment in, say, my 11-year-old musings. This is a shame, because when I was eleven, I wrote about how badly I wanted to go down and help the victims of Hurricane Katrina, something I was unable to do at such a young age. I resolved to give my hands to whatever cause I was passionate about, as soon as I was old enough to do it on my own. Well, friends, I am now old enough to do it on my own – I have been for a number of years. But I’m not fulfilling those charitable aspirations I had in my heart as a kid, even though they’re still there.
I realized this the other night, and to be honest I was pretty disappointed in myself. Here I am, privileged, acutely aware of the injustice and hurt all around, with a strong desire to do something about it… and yet I don’t do anything about it. It is very important to me that I change this. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, hey, that’s what the comment section is for – I’m not lying to myself, I know this will be the most challenging goal I’ve made, so any comments are more than welcome.
A song: I am ending this year with my favorite retro find of 2014: “Next to You” by the Police. In all the other Police songs I’ve heard, they lean toward a slower tempo and reggae vibe. Ska? I think they’re missing the horns. I don’t know my music genres. But this song is incredibly high-energy, so much so that its repetitiveness doesn’t bother me in the slightest.
WHAT CAN I DOOOO, ALLIWANTISTOBENEXTTOYOUAAA
Happy New Year, readers far and near. May 2015 be filled with friendship, pizza, great antique finds, good hair days, and lots of songs that make you think. I appreciate all of you.