I will most likely ring in the new year on my couch, in some state of undress, at least half in the bag (if not all the way…) with Netflix playing on my television. I have a small hologrammy noisemaker I picked up at the Dollar Tree when I went to buy mixers; I’ll probably blow it sometime around midnight to mark the occasion. Depending on how many cocktails I’ve had, I may plant a big ol’ sloppy kiss on my teddy bear’s face.
Some people may be reading this and think that it sounds like a tragic pity party. I think it sounds delightful. I’m not having the evening described above because of lack of other opportunities; my phone has been blowing up all day with potential shenanigans to ring in the new year with. No, I’ve chosen this rather boring and perfectly me evening for one simple reason: because I can.
Here is why I refuse to bundle up, trudge out into the cold, and join the forced merriment that accompanies the changing of the calendar. First of all, it’s amateur night. Hollywood legend has it that Humphrey Bogart, a notorious lush, refused to drink on only one night a year: New Year’s Eve. Why? He wouldn’t drink, he said, “Because everyone else does.” And that is exactly what happens: the bars fill up with people looking to have the party of the year (well, of the last year anyway), being loud, acting stupid, and generally invoking the death rage of those of us who long ago figured out how to drink in public without turning into total fucking asshats.
I’m no stranger to a strong cocktail, and I’ve spent plenty of nights at any one of many local liquor establishments (my current favorite is the Hub in downtown Grand Forks; if you haven’t had their Hub Burger, you really need to…like, now). I know how to have a cheap night out if it’s between paychecks (better get hope they have a special you like!), or which bartenders at my usual places mix long islands the way I like them (burnt, but not to the point of being something I could scrub my bathtub with) or when it’s safer to stick with something fruity and delicious. What I’m saying is that I’m a modern, liberated drag queen, and I don’t need the permission of some stupid holiday to get completely schnockered and make bad life choices. In my world, we call that Saturday.
Granted, I’m going to have some cocktails this evening, but I’m fairly certain that my evening will be much less eventful than anything going on at any bar filled with inebriated frat boys looking to get laid or squealing sorority girls falling out the heels they can barely walk in when sober. And I am just fine with that.
In addition to just a little bit of booze, I also like my New Years Eve to be a time of reflection. I’m not the angsty English major I used to be, so I doubt I’ll take furiously to some leather-bound journal with an ink pen, noting down scraps of poetry or my thoughts on the last year and my hopes for the new. This blog will probably be the extent of all composition I take part in as one year slips into another, save for those regrettable drunk texts I seem to have become so fond of the last couple of years. But I’m choosing my Netflix fare carefully to encourage thoughtfulness and self-reflection on what I want out of next year, and what I would most definitely like to leave behind from this one.
Two years ago I posted THIS BLOG about my resolutions, or lack thereof, as I contemplated a new year. I noted then that I hated resolutions, and I still do. Why only allow for self-improvement and reaching for a better experience when the year changes? I said then that I wanted my life to be more authentic, and I am still working toward that though I have managed to get rid of a great deal of drama from my life. Over the last year, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about where I am headed and what I want from my life; I was pleasantly surprised when my friend Lisa posted this in anticipation of 2015:
I’m not sure where she found that, or in what context it was created, but for me this is definitely the truth. I spent much of this last year focusing internally, figuring out what makes me “tick.” I worked at removing as many of those things that weren’t serving me as possible, and the loss of a vibrant and immensely creative friend (you can read my reflection on her passing HERE) forced me to once again confront the uncertainty of life, how fierce and yet how delicate the fire of inspiration can be, housed as it is in these fragile mortal bodies.
I’m getting philosophical; the Absolut must be kicking in. That’s why the first stop on this evening’s tour of delights was “Once More With Feeling,” the musical episode from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It’s my second favorite episode of the series, following closely after “The Body,” which is still one of the most poignant and finely constructed episodes of television I have ever seen; it has some serious themes but is also very playful, a nice warmup for the entertainments yet to come.
Next up will be a horror movie. Ending before midnight, of course. Before we hit the new year, I want to take some time to recognize my fears, and then banish them. Plus, I love a good slasher film. I wrote one of the chapters of my MA thesis on horror films and all of the mixed up, crazy gender they usually present. I’ve never bought into the idea that teenagers are simply being “punished” for misbehaving; if that were true, then there wouldn’t be this spectacle of tracking down the killer and punishing them for disturbing the community. I’ve always found horror films to be full of queerness, even before I knew the term or its dissident voices. They are complex and slippery, with identities and investments that are shifting and hard to pin down. But that’s not the point of this particular post. Suffice it to say, before the ball drops at midnight, there will be blood.
After the horror movie (which I’m going to select as soon as this post is published), it’s on to one of my favorite movies: Young Adult with Charlize Theron. This is the movie that I want to be playing as we hit midnight and head into the new year; the film is all about growing older and trying to grow up. It’s about clinging to missed opportunities even though they are dragging us down, and how frightening and tragic and ultimately hopeful it can be when we finally let go. There’s no happy ending promised when the credits roll, and all we can do is hope that Mavis Gary is going to do better, just as we all hope to do better as we move out of the past and look toward the future. Sometimes we succeed and sometimes we don’t. That’s the way it goes.
Then assuming that I’m not snoring away on my kitchen hardwood like a classy fuckin’ lady, I’m going to throw in Pitch Perfect. Why? Umm, why not?! Because it’s joyful and hopeful, and funny. Because it’s Anna Kendrick, who I love just a little bit more in everything I see. Because Skylar Astin is hot. Because it’s full of arrangements of songs that make me smile. And because Rebel Wilson is my famous plus-sized sister from another mister. I’m not sure how big the routes usually are, but I like to believe that her mom and my mom had the same Schwan man. A girl can dream…and these are the kinds of feelings that I want to start off this year of manifestation with. I want to manifest more laughter, more singing, and more hot boys who love 80s movies.
And assuming I make it all the way through that cinematic marathon, I’ll drag my tired ass to bed and happily sleep in until at least 10 am, scandalous for a Thursday when I normally would have to roll into work at 8 am (or thereabouts…I’m not great with mornings). If I don’t then I’ll wake up wherever I landed, comfortably lodged in 2015 feeling not that much different than I did the day before but having had a tremendous time without having to shout over a cacophony of fools to order my cocktails or weave my car through the nightly downtown “running of the whores.”
Happy New Year to me!
Tags: celebrating, celebration, drinking, Humphrey Bogart, Janessa, Janessa J, Janessa J Champagne, Janessa Jaye, Janessa Jaye Champagne, Miss Jaye, New Year, new years, New Years Eve, Party TIme, partying, World of Champagne, Year End