New Year’s Peeve

So, just like that, Christmas has come and gone.

The past few days have consisted of people saying things like “It just seemed to go by so fast this year!” or “I know it usually goes by fast, but this year it seemed to go by really fast!”

Well this year it seemed to go by faster than both of those overused statements can do justice to. It really never seemed like the Christmas season…until it no longer was. It could be due to the lack of snow, or television airings of Home Alone. Or maybe it’s because of the overuse of the phrase “holiday tree” instead of “Christmas tree.” Either way, it’s now done and over; time to move on.

With the exit of my favorite holiday comes the entrance of one of my least favorite: New Year’s Eve. Yes, as a man I am obligated to say that Valentine’s Day and whatever “Sweetest Day” is are far worse, but NYE is right up there in the top three of horrible holidays in my book. Yea, I get it – I’m going to put up a new calendar that’ll I’ll only ever reference four or five times over the next 365 days. And yes, I’m going to spend the next three weeks mistakenly putting the wrong year on everything I do, I’ve come to terms with that. That’s not what gets to me; it’s the actual “celebrating” of it. Personally, it’s just never lived up to the hype it’s somehow been given.  Don’t get me wrong, New Year’s Eve is nowhere near the marketing scam juggernaut that Valentine’s Day is, but it’s getting up there.

Maybe it’s because I’m too old to get excited about staying up past midnight, but too young to get excited about “runnin’ into the ol’ buddies from school.” I really don’t mean to come off as a cynic; I’m actually quite far from it (That is, unless we are talking about anything/anyone associated with “Bravo” or the “E! Network”; See: Chelsea Handler, The Kardashians or the Housewives of Who Cares.) I’m just saying; before you throw down $100 for The Night of Your Life, allow me to drop a little truth-in-advertising bomb on you. Let’s take a closer look at every poster, flyer and Facebook Event you’ve seen over the past couple weeks promoting this “holiday” event.

Join us for the Biggest Event of the Year!
Really? No it’s not. I don’t see any presents, baskets of candy or people dressed up as Mario and Luigi here. The real answer to the question, “What are you doing for New Year’s?” is “The same thing I always do, except I’ll be paying twice as much for everything… and maybe I’ll wear some dress shoes and a tie.”

Party All Night Long with Your Friends!
All night long? You’re going to kick me out at some point.

My friends? The only reason I ever hang out with that guy is because he’s friends with my friend’s girlfriend.  I’ve meet him once, maybe twice. But since we have to “get everyone together for NYE,” I know I’m going to get stuck small talking with this guy for at least a half hour.

Free Beer, Shots & Champagne from 10PM – 1AM!
Once you get through the crowd of people posting up at the greatly understaffed bar, you will indeed get free Keystone Light, water-downed Pucker and Roundy’s champagne from a timeframe roughly resembling 10PM – 1AM. So let’s get this straight, as a reward for navigating this maze of sweaty high-fiving guys and caked-up make-up girls you’re giving me these bottom-of-the-barrel drinks? Give me some good beer (cough, cough, Lakefront Fixed Gear, cough) and then I could see that actually paying off. Awful attempt at product placement aside, this “deal” is actually anything but.

All You Can Eat Hors D’oeuvres!
I hope you like lukewarm pizza rolls and microwavable jalapeño poppers, because you pretty much just paid $20 for one plate of those.

Live Band
Come see the cover band that you’ve never heard of play the songs that you’ve never liked. When they’re not busy playing the most overplayed songs from the past year, they’ll be busy playing the most overplayed songs from the twenty years prior. Expect to hear “Sweet Caroline”, “Don’t Stop Believing” and of course, some Rage Against The Machine.

Live DJ
See above, but substitute in: “Boom Boom Pow,” “Party Rock Anthem” and of course, some Kanye West.

Photos of Half-Naked Woman and Shirtless Guys
A couple observations here: a.) These people have been heavily PhotoShopped; b.) You can’t just walk around a bar without a shirt on, plus it’s like 14 degrees outside; c.) Don’t get too caught up on the whole PhotoShop or attire argument, because there’s no way people like that would come to this shit-hole you call a bar anyways.

And (drumroll, please) the biggest letdown is…

LIVE COVERAGE of the Times Square Ball Drop!
“Ohh look, there’s an oversized disco ball at the top of that pole!”

“Ohh look, now there’s not.”

And that’s what your $100 is going towards: the opportunity to sit in an overcrowded bar, sipping on bad drinks and snacking on worse food, watching this stimulating series of events play out.

Now having said all that… Yeah, of course I’ll be going out, living out all the real life letdowns mentioned above.

I mean it is New Year’s Eve after all.