Kathleen Norton

Happy (boring) New Year

Posted on: January 3, 2011

The time: New Year’s Eve.

The setting: Our house.

The situation: Two middle-aged Baby Boomers who cannot remain awake past 11 p.m. though they desperately want to believe they still can.

But no matter what, our eyelids begin to close well before Leno and refuse to open until dawn. Apparently, we need our beauty sleep so desperately that Mother Nature gives us no say in the matter.

She just steps in and renders us unconscious.

What happened to the good ol’ days? What happened to the good ol’ us?

Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, our weekend nights routinely began AFTER Saturday Night Live was over at 1 a.m.

And New Year’s Eve was no different. But now, on Planet Middle Age, things are quite the opposite.

I have my flannel jammies on as soon as the sun goes down, which this time of year is before dinner. And he is slumped over the latest biography of Lincoln while I rally to stay awake for “Glee.’’

The last time I can remember staying awake on New Year’s Eve was to ring in  2000, and that was only because Y2K madness and mayhem were predicted.

If we were going to lose modern civilization, we wanted to be awake for it.

Even with that hanging over our heads the kids were nudging us on the couch because we kept dozing off. They were disgusted that their parents were so old they could not remain awake on such a momentous occasion.

Actually, now that I think about it, they were teenagers then and were pretty much disgusted about everything, especially if it had to do with us.

We could have been leading the New Year’s Eve charge at Times Square and they would have been disgusted about that, too.

At least in 2000, we gave it the old college try. We wore party hats and made onion dip and roused ourselves to shout “Happy New Year!’’ when the ball finally dropped after what seemed like the longest night of our lives.

Since then, we’ve called it an early night and mumbled something about “getting over serious colds’’ when confronted by other middle-agers who party on New Year’s Eve because they go by the Second Childhood Approach to Middle Age.

But this year, we came up with a new scheme. We choose to ring in the New Year according to a different time zone.

We decided on Brazil because their clocks are several hours ahead of our own and because it is the kind of place we are very likely to never visit.

A quiet round of golf in upstate New York is more our speed so this would kill two birds with one stone.

We have no clue how they really celebrate in Brazil.

Based on the pop-up ads we have seen for “Brazilian butt lift’’ exercise routines, it’s probably pretty good.

After all, if they can invent aerobics look make you look like that, they probably can throw a great party.

Besides, just saying we had a Brazilian New Year’s Eve, even if it only means we rang in the New Year a few hours early, sounds lots better than the reality:

Warm jammies, a New Year’s toast with hot cocoa and bedtime before 11.


3 Responses to "Happy (boring) New Year"

Sooooo glad I’m not the only Boomer snoring before rather than after (or at times there for a while…during..) SNL… The alternative would’ve been to go out on the town, and do my snoring in public…I’m glad I chose your approach.

Funny and familiar! I find the alarm on the iPhone to be rather helpful in situations (such as New Year’s Eve or business meetings) where one needs to be awake at some critical point…)

This year we lucked out. We were still on California time! I felt like 9 PM!

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