My most dreaded 24 hours of the year (unless it’s time for a colonoscopy) is New Year’s Eve, going into the horror of New Year’s Day. What’s supposed to be a frothy time of celebration inevitably turns into an occasion for ripoffs, embarrassment and deep despair. Here are the 10 worst things about it:
Boîtes and eateries cost too much all year, but on New Year’s, they up their game and hold you hostage by the balls, charging entrée rates for appetizers and 16-room mansion rates for champagne. It’s outrageous and should be illegal, but hey, it’s better than sitting home and cooking a lasagna.
You can’t get a cab
New Year’s Eve in a big city is extra hellish because it’s impossible to find an available taxi, leaving you with the terrifying reality that you’re going to have to take a subway, looking like an utter fool. There’s always Uber, but just like all those restaurants I just referred to, car services jack up their prices on big nights like this one, so that’s not an option for sensible people. Maybe try just finding a fast-food place within walking distance from your house. Sad, but at least not scary (except for the food).
The bridge-and-tunnel people come into town in droves
Along with Halloween, New Year’s Eve is one of the two biggest holidays for amateurs. In other words, people who never dress up, go out and celebrate are suddenly doing all that because it’s on their calendar, and they’re supposed to do so twice a year. I’m not talking about the fabulous Williamsburg and Bushwick people swarming in. That would be a godsend! I’m talking about really cretinous creatures who walk the streets with their arms outstretched as if out of a George Romero film. Bolt your doors shut, for sanity’s sake!
He’s all right, but haven’t you seen enough of his puss all year ’round? Do you really need to focus on one more venue for his omnipresent visage? Yes, there might be the amusing sight of a pop tart’s wardrobe malfunction or someone puking in the crowd, but still, the whole “Rockin’ Eve” show is depressing, especially since you realize it’s the biggest night of the year, and you’re watching TV!!!!
You think back on all the horrors of the year
When I was growing up, my mother would start crying at the stroke of midnight every New Year’s Eve. Rather than rejoice, she’d be reminded of all the people who died, got sick or were mean to her that year. I’m a mama’s boy, so I’m the same wacky way. The chimes of midnight are like a death knell to me.
Kissing strangers—or even people you know
Not only do I dread the midnight gong for the reasons I just mentioned, but I also don’t look forward to the embarrassing game of smooching everyone in the room, whether you’ve even been introduced to them or not. It’s dumb and unsanitary and not my idea of a good time. In fact, I have a very quirky ritual every New Year’s Eve at about 11:58 p.m., no matter where I am. I promptly lock myself in the bathroom and stay there till the coast is clear, for at least five minutes, then I crawl out and act like nothing’s happened. Hey, you do what you gotta do.
People force you to make them by constantly asking for yours. Just to shut them up, you come up with some answer — usually involving losing weight — but naturally you don’t take it seriously or even remember what it was five seconds later. You certainly don’t remember last year’s! So everyone should just shut up about resolutions. If you really believe in them, why wait a whole year to come up with some?
People drag you to Times Square
You hate this “holiday” to begin with, and you’ve always been wary of communal activities (You never danced the Hustle or joined a reading group), but suddenly you’re standing there, freezing, in the most-crowded, uncomfortable and boring spot of the whole year. With no bathrooms! In which universe is this considered fun?
All the accoutrements are extremely silly
You’ve maintained your dignity all year long (Well, I haven’t, but presumably you have), and suddenly you’re sporting a funny hat and those silver glitter glasses with the year on them, and you’re blowing all manner of annoying noisemakers and throwing confetti at people you supposedly like. What’s more, you’re drunkenly trying to remember the words to “Auld Lang Syne,” which you never even knew sober. When you see photos of this experience the next day, you want to die. When you see video of it, you want the whole world to explode.
You know that New Year’s Day will be long, lonely and sad
As treacherous as the Eve is, at least you’re generally surrounded by people, chatter and joviality. But on New Year’s Day, if you’re a swinging bachelor like I am, you’ll usually find that you’re just laying there alone watching “The Twilight Zone” marathon and no one’s contacting you for any reason. They’re all busy or hungover or not interested, and you’re feeling even more desolate than you did the night before. Great start to the new year!
Michael Musto is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine.