For Those Who Hate New Year’s

My name is Anne T. Donahue, and I hate New Year's Eve. And guess what, friends: I'm not alone.

For years I pretended I wanted to party; that I wanted to stay up past midnight and force myself to make this the Best Night Ever. Remember when Marissa Cooper told Summer that the way you spend New Year's is the way you'll spend the rest of your year? Of course you do. It was terrible, and it put so much pressure on everybody that I almost cried one New Year's Day, thinking I was going to spend the rest of the year lying completely still because the Jello shots I'd taken the night before had murdered me. "Will this be it?" I remember thinking, watching An Inconvenient Truth while convincing myself I wasn't going to throw up. "Will my hands always be peeling because of how dehydrated I am?" (Yes, for about 24 hours, and it was so gross.)

What's even worse is what followed was the most terrible year ever.

So around 2008 I stopped caring. New Year's could go fuck itself. You know why? It's a night. A NIGHT. A night out of 365, or 14925825285 if you don't give a shit. I no longer do because I've tried it all — I'd tried taking shifts, or going to parties, or chasing some guy I liked to a party where nothing even happened. And guess what: NYE is now amazing. Last year me and my best friends sat around eating stew and watching Naked and Afraid. Then everyone went home and I ate donuts in the morning. VIVA LIFE, GODDAMN IT.

Anyway, here are four ways you can set yourself free from the confines of NYE this year. Because I believe in you.

1. Red Lobster
Look. I'm about to solve all your problems not just for NYE, but for life — so listen up. First, Red Lobster is delicious, so why WOULDN'T you go? Second, do you know who goes to Red Lobster? No one you know on New Year's. Older people. Respectable adults. This means that come 8 p.m., it is ~*dead*~ and you are entitled to almost any seat in the joint for however long you wish (or until about midnight). Do you know how many cheesy biscuits you now get to have? How many pieces of shrimp? From someone who's done it, trust me: a lot. Because you deserve it. Enjoy your "reservations," hip people.

2. The movies
Did you know they screen movies on New Year's Eve? Of course you do because you are a thinking, wonderful person with impeccable taste in pasttimes. (Also, if you've made it this far down the list, you and I are probably pretty similar so you know when every movie is screening, ever, always.) The movies on New Year's are the perfect way to avoid the pressure of the midnight kiss/hug/handshake/embrace/acknowledgement. All you do is sit up, look at your friends, point to your watch, and say very quietly, "Happy New Year's!" They will quietly say it back, and then you will get back to watching The Hobbit which I did one year. (Though, the movie ended way earlier than any of us thought and we had to go to a family restaurant next door to ring in the official time change.) (But whatever! It was moose-themed. Cool party vibes = avoided.)

3. A house filled with people who hate New Year's as much as you do
Last year, making New Year's plans looked something like this: "What are you doing for New Year's?" – "Ughhhh I don't know. Want to come over? I'll make food." – "Cool, I'll bring cookies." And that was that. That's how a room full of grown-ass adults accepted that for the next three-to-four hours we'd sit nestled on the couch watching the Naked and Afraid marathon. I think some people had beer? Who knows. There was, as mentioned, stew. Also, a shrimp ring. My friend Nick and I snuck into the garage and found a bunch of leftover Christmas baking and ate 65%, crouched in the light of the fridge. Endless hours of television and our laughter at the expense of the contestants happened. (I'm sorry but if you are Naked and Afraid we will laugh at, well, everything. We will laugh at it all.) And guys, oh man, it was the BEST.

4. Board games
But not just any board games. When my pal Judith and I needed to forget everything we saw in Black Swan, we sped to the nearest Shopper's Drug Mart and purchased Twilight: Scene It which we played for a million hours because the winner was rewarded with a clip of Whats-her-name kissing Who's-that-guy. Another year, a bunch of us got way too into Scattegories and it was fun until it was too real. Ultimately, board games should be your last resort. Why? Because you will inevitably get bored or get angry, but if that's your idea of a decent night, congratulations: you've found your dream evening. 

Happy 2015, fellow "no plans" enthusiasts. Remember: find the baking wherever you are, and eat a lot of it.

Tags: Anne T. Donahue, friendship, Holiday, New Year's, New Year's Eve, NYE, plans, self help, staying in

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