I’ve heard it said that the way you spend New Year’s Day is a good indication of how you are going to spend the rest of your year. If that is true, then I give up: I certainly don’t want to spend an entire year vacuuming up cheese balls and scrubbing silly string off of the walls. Yeah, you guessed it: I had a New Year’s Eve party this year, and if you’re wondering why you didn’t get your invitation, don’t. I didn’t get one either, because, as it turns out, it wasn’t so much that I had a New Year’s Eve party as that my house did. That’s right: I wasn’t there.
The funny thing was that my husband had been saying for weeks that he wanted to have a New Year’s Eve party, and I had just kept saying “no.”
“You think you want one now,” I said, “but just wait until you have to clean up after it the next morning.” I painted a convincing enough picture of doom and destruction that I managed to talk him out of it, something he reminded me of the next day when we were gathering up glasses (all thirty-one of them) from the various nooks, crannies, bookshelves, backs of toilets and couches where they had been stashed. (Yes, I counted them, because all thirty-one of them had to be washed. By me. I was actually a little impressed; I hadn’t known we even had thirty-one glasses. But then again, I guess I hadn’t ever really considered a vase to be in the “glass” category before, either. It’s probably a good thing I’m not one of those people who keeps Grandma’s ashes in an urn on the mantel.)
“Hey,” I told him, when he complained about finding a bottle of root beer on the roof, “you’re the one who wanted to have a party.”
“Yeah,” he shot back, “but I kind of wanted to be home when it happened.”
And therein lay the problem. In the absence of a party at home my husband and I had decided to go out on New Year’s Eve. Which is why our daughter, Clementine, asked if she could have a few people over while we were gone.
“How many?” we had asked her, instantly suspicious.
“Just two or three,” she had replied, the very picture of wholesome innocence.
Hmm. That sounded reasonable, we thought. After all, you really need at least four people to have any kind of fun. Think about it: any less than four and there’s not enough of a fight over Boardwalk and Park Place when you’re playing Monopoly. And forget about UNO—“skip” and “reverse” just don’t have the same punch in a UNO game with less than four. That was my thinking, at least.
Of course, the way things turned out, the only way the Monopoly game would have gotten used that night was if someone had decided to use the thimble and top hat for micro shots. Which, in fact, may have happened—I guess I’ll know for sure the next time I have a hankering to visit Marvin Gardens.
In Clementine’s defense, she didn’t actually invite all of the people who showed up. “Every time I came out of the bathroom there were another twenty people here.” My first response to that was, “Well, then, you should have stopped going to the bathroom,” but one glance at the thirty-one—thirty-one!—glasses lined up on the kitchen counter and I realized that not going to the bathroom probably wasn’t an option for anyone there that night.
Come to think of it, two bathrooms aren’t a lot for thirty-one people. I sure hope all of those glasses were used to hold drinks. Because that would be an even worse way to spend the New Year.