For Auld Lang Syne, yadda yadda

When I told The Wife I was going to write about New Year’s Eve parties, she said:

“Like the one where we were stuck with your great aunts who were listening to Guy Lombardo and we were playing canasta.”


“Oh, wait, that wasn’t you. That was in ninth grade. That was a different boy.”

Growing up, I really didn’t celebrate New Year’s in any party hardy kind of way. In our family, we’d sit around or sometimes stand, if we’d been sitting too long on the couch, and watch the ball drop on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. Then we’d watch the horrible bands that played afterward there and on MTV: like The Go-Gos or Belinda Carlisle sans Go-Gos or Ray Parker Jr. or his nemesis, Huey Lewis and the News.

Except for that one year when I discovered the group Lone Justice, still one of my favorite bands, even though they only had two albums and disbanded shortly after they were on the MTV New Year’s Eve special in 1987 (seen at end of post).

Most of the time, we just called to wish each other a Happy New Year.

“Did you see the ball drop?”


“So did we.”

“Well, see you later.”


So after we got married, for a few years, when we ended up going to an actual New Year’s Eve party every year at the house of the parents of a friend of hers from high school, I was in heaven.

When I say “house,” I use the term loosely, because while it wasn’t quite a mansion, it definitely was on an estate. For me, who grew up in a simple (read: just short of falling apart and being a bit “drafty” in the winter) two-story house in the country, the sprawling house-garage-side-house-complete-with-a-separate-kitchen-for-the-catering- company-to-prepare-the-food-for-the-party, though, it was a mansion.

At the party each year was a five-course meal: starting with an appetizer of caviar in the main kitchen, and then later such exotic dishes as venison and Brie, and I was introduced to Pimm’s and Cuban cigars there.

As much as things were different, in a way they still were the same. We still watched the ball drop though on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and I ended up calling my parents where we’d have the same conversation, starting with:

“Did you see the ball drop?”″

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