Historically, New Year’s Eve has not been my holiday. The early years were spent arguing over Scrabble with my sister in the motor home and eating a camping version of Hopping John, a dish my mom had read would bring good luck. The main ingredient was black-eyed peas, and the only good-tasting ingredient was sausage. Once my sister and I became vegetarians, New Year’s Eve sucked a little more.
I spent NYE Y2K in San Francisco with my sort-of boyfriend Alex. It was a big deal because 1) I was in San Francisco and 2) I had a sort-of boyfriend for the first New Year’s Eve ever. My main memories of that evening are of thinking I might be trampled by my fellow celebrators at the Embarcadero, and of Alex yelling at a drunk guy he thought was being racist, and wondering if the fact that I was embarrassed by Alex made me a racist too.
I was excited to ring in 2001 with the coworker I had a big crush on. I should add that he was gay and we were house- and pet-sitting for friends of his. At midnight, he turned to the cat and said, “I’ll kiss you, kitty” and I thought, I’m starting this millennium feeling jealous of a cat.
Last year AK and I prided ourselves on taking the Gold and Red Lines to an assured-to-be-awesome Andy Warhol-themed New Year’s Eve party. But somewhere between the Sunset/Vermont stop and the house, we got hopelessly lost. We were arguing about directions as I sat on the sidewalk exchanging my walking shoes for party shoes when we heard whoops of midnight revelry from houses up and down the block.
All of which is to say, I was so happy to start 2011 with AK, my sister and a handful of good friends at my own house. We made paninis in the panini maker and watched a compilation of clips from old Busby Berkeley musicals. Even though we weren’t high, I really have to recommend this DVD for next time you are: Think rows of dancers twirling cardboard blowups of Ruby Keeler’s head; a midget toddler making pervy faces at every grown woman who walks by; Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell dressed as cats in hot pants (yes, him too); a song called “Dames” from a musical called Dames.
AK heard that it was good luck to say “rabbit rabbit” at midnight, which seemed more appetizing than Hopping John, so we said it. Two thousand ten had some great moments and a lot of exhausting growing pains. Maybe it’s asking too much, or asking for the wrong thing, to hope that 2011 will bring only the joyful brand of growth. Is there even such a thing? But a little bunny luck and more nights like last night would be nice.