I don’t know why people make such a big deal about New Year’s Eve. If I had to pick my top three depressing events, top of the list would be December 31. (Followed by my birthday and my impending disinheritance.)
There’s something uncomfortably final about the end of the year. With the end of a great book, you can always go back and re-read the best bits. With a movie, you rent the DVD. But with New Year’s Eve, it’s right there in your face. It’s the end of the year. It’s gone. You can’t get it back. There’s no rewind button.
Taking stock of the year past doesn’t really do it for me, because there’s always so much that was undone, so many things unsaid.
“God, you’re depressing,” my flatmate Amanda said to me the other day as I was moping about the flat feeling very sorry for myself. “Don’t come to the party if you’re going to be so funereal!”
“Well, I can’t very well not go to a New Year’s Eve party if the alternative is for me to sit alone at home! That’s even more depressing!”
Amanda sniffed and turned back to her horoscopes in 8DAYS. “Well, I just hope you don’t bring down the mood of the party like you did last year when you started telling people about how they needed to get their wills made because you never know when you might get run over by a bus!”
“Well, it’s true!” I said stoutly.
“Maybe it is, but it’s not the sort of thing you say to the host’s 80-year old mother!”
“Excuse me, but did she not die two days later and left no will? And isn’t the entire family now squabbling over her estate? If she’d listened to me, everyone would now be happily enjoying their squillions.”
“Squillions? Who has got squillions? Is he single? Is he straight? What’s going on? What did I miss?” Saffy said sitting down on the sofa.
“Jason’s in a funk about Charlotte’s New Year’s Eve party.”
“Well, if it makes you feel better,” Saffy said as she reached for the TV remote control, “I hear that Charlotte just got a nose job.”
Amanda lowered her magazine.
“Turns out she wants to welcome in the new year with Fann Wong’s nose!”
“How do you know this and I don’t?” Amanda demanded.
“It’s a gift. Well, actually, you know Jane? Margaret Ho’s sister? Well, she works as a receptionist in the plastic surgeon’s office that Charlotte goes to. She told Margaret, who told Sharyn, who told me.”
“Oh, I love Fann Wong’s nose,” Amanda said.
“I do too, but I can’t afford even to get a mole removed at the moment, so my new year’s resolution is to marry rich!”
“Aren’t you dating Bradley?” I asked.
“Yes, I am, and I adore him, but there’s no rule that says I can’t marry someone rich while keeping Bradley on the side as my mistress. Really, it’s a win-win situation.” Saffy’s ample bosom lifted with satisfaction.
“Well, my resolution for 2012 is to make partner even if I have to sleep with old Mr Wong to do it,” said Amanda.
“Oh my God, that’s disgusting. Isn’t he like 105 years old?”
“He’s 55! You need to work on your ageism, Saffy. What’s your resolution, Jason?”
The question haunts me still. Every year, on January 1, I set myself a goal. Three hundred and sixty four days later, it’s always unfulfilled. One year, I decided that I would learn French. To this day, I can only say, “Voici l’hotel!” which is French for “Here is the hotel!” It’s not a very useful phrase, and you can see how it only adds to my general low slump.
Going to Charlotte’s party will probably only make things worst. Because here is a woman who is so organized that she’s already achieved her new year’s resolution of having Fann Wong’s nose. She never has to do another thing for the rest of the year because it’s all done.
Amanda says that’s cheating, but Saffy later said that Amanda would say something like that. “She’s such a Type A personality, it’s sickening.”
So, here I am a few weeks away from Charlotte’s party and trying to ignore the fact that the end of 2011 is looming and the only thing of note that I’ve accomplished all year has been to file my tax return on time.
“I feel like I’ve wasted my whole year,” I said miserably to Saffy last night as we sat on the sofa watching an old episode of ‘True Blood’.
Saffy reached over and patted my leg, and over the screams of someone having his throat ripped out, she said, “You’ll always have me to waste your years with.”