Have A Golden Mean New Year

by Kat Arnsby

What to do on New Year’s Eve?

This isn’t going to be a blog about a terribly lonely person with nothing to do. Nor will it be a blog about some diamond studded baller with more caviar soaked, sex-party invitations than she can count*.

I am an average woman, of average income, of average intelligence and bears. With golden locks. Wait… I’m getting off track. I have two very nice party invitations, and I don’t know which to choose.

Maybe you can help.

Invitation 1:

Over 30 friends with all the kids

Pros:

  1. Nice wine
  2. Good conversation once the kids are packed off
  3. M+S finest nibbles
  4. Some of the kids will be old enough to have really good toys

Cons:

  1. Someone will drag out a super fucking lame active group party game (probably ‘adult themed’) and I’ll want to die in flame
  2. Sometimes people who are parents have forgotten how to be children
  3. Reasonable chance of getting covered in baby sick.

Invitation 2:

Under 30 friends without children

Pros:

  1. No-one gives a shit when I inevitably spill everything
  2. I can dress like a maniac and no-one looks scared
  3. Twenty-two year olds always want to argue ad infinitum about pointless nonsense
  4. I’ll feel young

Cons:

  1. Someone’ll suggest ‘Truth or Dare’ because they’re too young to say ‘I wanna fuck you’
  2. I’ll be starkly reminded that I’m not twenty-two
  3. High chance of getting covered in drunken sick.

WAIT!!

SECRET CANDIDATE NUMBER THREE!!! DRUMROLL…

(Fantasy) Invitation 3:

Single/Childless people my age eating some food

Pros:

  1. No-one’s getting wasted, man
  2. No-one’s running upstairs to de-shit Little Laura’s pyjamas
  3. We sit round a table and talk about big subjects. Chat some nonsense, uninterrupted
  4. The topics of conversation don’t constantly revert on the rearing of small, bald apes
  5. Maybe someone’ll get laid
  6. Maybe someone will get heartburn, get your number and catch you later
  7. We might play a game of dominoes, or Rummy or Trivial Pursuit
  8. The night’s a cornucopia of mystery when you’re not that old and childlessly single

Cons:

  1. The food might be terrible. Not being able to cook is common among my people.

I want to spend New Year’s Eve with a low forecast for getting covered in sick. I want to spend New Year’s Eve with vibrant, young thinking people who have chosen, or been forced, to have a different life path than the 2.4 family set up. But not people so young of mind that they have no idea what path they’re on. I want to spend New Year’s Eve with people who are confident enough to make fools of themselves without having to blame it on drink or drugs and yet are still unfettered enough to see themselves as the number one focus of their own lives.

Where are these people?

I am an average woman, of average income looking for some middle-of-the-road friends. Not too parent-y, not too child-y, but just right. I want to spend New Year’s Eve, and in fact, more time generally, with some proper adults who still have the right to be as selfish as children.

Maybe the middle of the road is where I should always aspire to be, in every area of my life.

Wow. Let me just extract myself from up my own arse there.

It is so delightfully easy to be philosophical on NYE, isn’t it? Even the cynical faces who say ‘it’s just another day of the year’ are being deep. What the cynics say is true and beautiful; every day is ‘just another day of the year’, every day starts a new year between that day and the same day a year later. Whatever the date, you are always at the start, the end and the middle of a year.

I’ve sat quietly on previous NYEs and considered how I could make my life better going forward. Asked myself massive questions like: “What do I want?” “What do I need?” “What do I have to get rid of?” and then changed nothing that night, the next day or any of the days after.

I’m getting wise to myself and I’m ready to challenge me.

I’m going to search for the middle ground. I’m going to get a little bit less excited about some things and reduce my misery in respect of others. Before I wail in grief, I’m going to force in a happy thought. Before I get caught up in something, I’m going to be surer it’s not a net. I’m going to hunt for balance.

Where I’m stuck for choice between two excellent options, neither of which I actually want, I’m going to walk right between the polar opposites and find the thing I do want. And when I inevitably fail on a day and go to bed overexcited or crying, I can wake up the next day at the beginning, end or middle of the year and start again.

At the very least, I’ll zig-zag stagger across the middle path.

So… Should I go out tonight? Or should I stay in and stroke my soft toy collection that I pretend are live cats? If I go out I’ve got a better chance of having an amazing night and meeting some new people. If I stay in, there will definitely be no tedious drama or abject boredom, but I’ll be spending 23:59 on NYE totally alone.

This is preferable to me over the tradition of hugging/kissing someone (anyone) at exactly midnight. Physical contact on the clock, from a random stranger/work colleague/mate’s cousin/Joyce who looked after our Sally when she were a nipper, is my idea of a personally crafted hell. And then they queue up to kiss you! FUCK OFF! Let’s all hug and kiss total strangers and then worriedly discuss the spread of Ebola! Why don’t you keep the hug for now, when I’m holding a glass of wine I’ll probably spill on you, and save it for a day when I look sad. Hug me randomly at an unpredictable time because I look like I need it. Spread it around a bit… get some in the middle there.

As a woman of average income, I also have to consider the financial ramifications of going out tonight. If I spend my limited leisure resources in the longest, coldest financial month of the year on a night out I don’t want to be involved in, I might be forced to miss one later in the month that I do.

If something’s going to throw me off balance either way, then it should be something I really wanted in the first place, otherwise I’ll make my way back to the middle path anyway and realise I’ve just been wasting time. Heart-break and joy are so close, that to experience either is a gamble that should not be taken lightly.

The guaranteed, glorious and safe pleasure of a hot bubble bath, a cold glass of wine and a book against the potentially higher stakes win/loss scenario of going to a party which, in truth, I’ve been to before. Do I take the gamble or do I get my slippers on?

I think the fact that it’s 19:00 and I’m still in my pyjamas demonstrates that a decision has already been made about going out tonight. I don’t care that it’s New Year’s Eve. Tomorrow can be New Year’s Eve and the day after that, and the day after that, et cetera. On a night that I feel like going out, I will, and party like everything starts again tomorrow. But not tonight, not just because of the date.

I hope I’m not just a blob of seasonal party poop. I don’t mean to be. I should have done a positive message round up of the year, or even just my year, but I bet your year was much the same. Periods of high and low and the somewhere in between. Let’s not share too much, I hardly know you.

As I freeload off the fireworks that Manchester’s residents let off at 00:00 tonight I will be peaceful. I won’t be having loads of fun, but I definitely won’t be suffering the extremes of holding back a young person’s hair whilst they vomit or being sleazed on by the only other single person at the parent party.

In the absence of something definitely worth sticking on my eyelashes for, I think I’ll stop here in the middle instead, at calmly proportionate peace. I’ll drink some vintage, eat some cheese and enjoy the golden mean pleasures.

Happy New/End/Middle Year To You!!

Every. Single. Day.

*If anyone’s actually having a caviar soaked sex party, I would like to come. At least once.