Opinion: Forgettable New Year’s Eve memories


My wife Mary Ellen and I stayed home on New Year’s Eve. We were going to go to a party, but no one invited us anywhere.

So, the other night, we sat down and tried to see how many New Year’s we could remember what we did, a list beginning with Dec. 31, 1978.  

“Let me go first,” I said. “We stayed home on Dec. 31, 2023, and watched a Netflix movie.”

“Wow, Dick. And that was almost three weeks ago. You are a lot sharper than people give you credit for.”

 “I’m not done,” I said as I looked down at the list. “OK, in 1983, we took your sister to dinner.”

 “Dick, I don’t have a sister. That was your sister?”

 We kept thinking.

“How about ’88, Dick? The year we just got a bottle of champagne and walked hand-in-hand together in the park while the snow fell gently on our faces?”

“That doesn’t sound remotely familiar, Mary Ellen.”

“Sorry, that wasn’t you in ’88, that was Rick in ’78.”

“OK, Mary Ellen. I remember ’92. That was the year we rented a video, bought some popcorn, curled up on the couch and waited for the new year to ring in.”

 “Yes, but it rang in for you at 9:30. That last nap of the year for you is a tradition now.”

Mary Ellen filled in several more years, recalling the folks we were with and exactly where we went. Sounded like we must have had fun.

“It is sad,” I told Mary Ellen. “We have gone out with close friends and had dinner sometimes, but it’s usually at 5 p.m. because we forgot to make a reservation. But we never get invited to go to a really big bash on New Year’s Eve anymore. Why would that be?”

“One of us has a reputation for talking endlessly about why pickleball is not tennis for old people; how smart beagles are; and after a few drinks, the whole party gets to see a certain someone’s pedometer and how many steps they did that day.”

 “Do I do that?”

“Talk about being insecure. I didn’t say it was you. The answer to this problem is to throw our own party next year.”

“Who would we invite? No one has ever invited us to their party and I’m sure not going to entertain a bunch of ungrateful, insensitive people who didn’t have the courtesy to include us in their celebrations.”

“Boy, that Christmas spirit of yours carries right over into the new year.”

“OK, next year we will make it special. A trip to an exotic island, beautiful beaches, gourmet foods and fantastic entertainment. It will be a New Year’s Eve I’ll never forget.”

 “OK, but just as a backup, I’ll be sure to take plenty of photos for you.”