LC Van Savage
New Year's Eve - 2005
Well, here comes my thirteenth New Yearís Eve column, this one on the eve of my 68th birthday. Mongo and I truly dislike New Yearís Eve parties, so even when invited, (and those invites are coming less and less often---must be all our friends get the flu around this time of year or something) we always turn them down. Those parties can be fun, but weíre not heavy drinkers and all that waiting around for midnight to give embarrassing, sometimes slobbery, sometimes air kisses makes me very nervous. I actually donít drink at all, although for 2006 Iíve resolved to learn to love wine and have gotten so far as tolerating girlie-girlie, juicy wines a little. Especially if thereís fruit on the label.
So we stay home on New Yearís Eves. Mongo usually beds down around 11 as always, and I stay up and write my annual column and try to watch that ball fall.
I likely wonít see it however, because this year I broke my last yearís resolution to never say the words ďThanksgivingĒ or ďChristmasĒ after June 1st. I did the latter and got nailed and everyone came here the day after 12/25, and frankly, Iím tired and donít think Iíll make it to midnight to see that big shiny ball sliding down into 2006.
The gang arrived in waves and it was the most din-filled, wild, fun, intense, roaring and fabulous Christmas ever. Kids, dogs and really loud, hungry adults. I truly enjoyed it although all our wee bairn arenít so wee anymore and they now wreck the house a lot, careening and ricocheting off of absolutely everything we own. Iím discovering lots of hairline fractures everywhere. Sending them out to play in 14 degree weather might be considered child abuse, so we didnít.
And so Iím sitting and staring at the wreckage we used to call our home and I wonder why we did it. Isnít it time Mongo and I in our retirement dotage started to freeload off our kids a little? Should we not be visiting our beloved grandchildren instead of cramming them all into our small home? Is it not time to call in our markers and be given the royal geezer treatment? Yeah. Eighteen people with three birthdays to celebrate can be exhausting. #3 son Paul, born Christmas day, #1 son Erick born 12/28, and their beloved mother, thatíd be moi, born January lst. Mongo was born 3 weeks before Christmas, #2 son Mark born near Easter. What was with me and my penchant for birthing holiday progeny? Well, it sure got me out of packing up and putting away decorations.
So here I sit on the eve of my 68th, not thrilled to be so near 70, but glad Iím here. It was a great year, was í05. Meeting new friends, TV show up and running, radio show going well, good writing gigs, great family vacation, our kids remaining our best friends, Mongo staying around, and of course, we get to keep on living in Maine.
But tonight Iím wiped out. The 18 have all left and my exhale as they finally drove away was embarrassingly loud this time. I know itíll take a month to pull the house back to normal and weíll be finding their residuum for weeks.
Iíll never make it to the falling ball tonight; my 67 nearly 68-year-old eyelids are heavy.
I dread having to blast through the mess tomorrow. Everythingís grubby. Everythingís broken. Everythingís sticky. Nothing works. I canít find my stuff. My pillow is missing. Soís one of our phones. That group of 18 trashed the joint and emptied our larders. I have to tunnel through the laundry. My weekly to-do list was cut up with pinking shears. Hey, Iím gettiní too old for this. Iím not feeling especially grateful for anything tonight.
Except for, oh yeah, everything. And especially that 18.
Hear LC on http://www.studorgs.bowdoin.edu/wbor
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