Five Ways Something Ruined My Life Five Ways New Year's Eve Ruined My Life Erin Mallory Long

New Year’s Eve (except as depicted in When Harry Met Sally…) is a holiday in which I find more stress than fun. It feels like once Halloween rolls around, it’s all Thanksgiving and Christmas and then everyone kind of forgets about New Year’s Eve until that last second and then I’m faced with crippling anxiety around the evening of December 31st.

But maybe that’s just me and my slight social anxiety.

I think the problem is partly related to the fact that this is supposed to be a celebration of a new beginning and a new leaf and it’s the one time of year where you honestly think, “I WILL read 100 books by next NYE, I WILL lose that 10 pounds” and think it’ll work. Because you have hope on your side! And a new year is starting! But really, it rarely happens like that.

And let’s face it, not all New Year’s Eves are:

“I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you’re the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

Here are five ways the holiday of New Year’s Eve (mostly spent in NYC) has ruined my life:

1. Makes Me Stress Over Finding an Appropriately Sparkly and “Nice” Outfit

You know what I mean. NYE is a time when every store is displaying the perfect NYE outfit and I always find it so stressful to find something both sparkly and NYE-y and comfortable and not expensive.

Why must I put so much pressure on what I wear when I know that all that’s going to happen is I end up at some bar with some cheap NYE accessories on at midnight? And really, when you primarily take self portraits, who’s going to see if you’re wearing heels or not?

2. Which Then Forces Me Into Really Cold Situations All Evening

The coldest I think I’ve ever been in my life was the night of NYE 2006-2007.

I was wearing a dress and heels and tights and I thought I was going to die. It wasn’t a problem while bar hopping in the East Village but it became a problem once we were walking from the subway to the apartment at 2am in the freezing rain.

It was a moment where I actually had the thought, “I’d be a lot warmer if I curled up on the sidewalk and just went to sleep than if I kept walking.”

And the ONLY REASON I was dressed like this in New York on December 31st was the pressure of New Year’s Eve.

Whatta jerk.

3. No Plans Ever Seem Good Enough

Like, your friend says, “oh what’re you doing, I might go to this party” and you think, “hmm, something better might come up.” But the only “better” thing is always something that costs a ton of money and is actually super lame and you’re always going to have a better time if you just HANG OUT WITH YOUR FRIENDS. And do anything. Really.

And I’ve only finally realized this at 28.

And so you end up waiting forever to make official NYE plans and then it’s never how you imagine it in your head. And then sometimes you just forgo the whole “NYE thing” and stay in and drink wine and watch TV and then you feel so much FOMO you can’t even handle it.

4. And Then You Think, “Maybe it’ll Just Turn into 200 Cigarettes!”

One year, my friends and I decided we wanted to try to have a 200 Cigarettes New Year’s Eve and just “see where the evening takes us.” So we went to the East Village and just…wandered.

But you know what? We ended up having the best time.

We ended up at a bar where Piper Perabo and Sam Rockwell were also celebrating New Year’s Eve as well as these two gents who we SWORE were famous somehow…

And we just bar-hopped the whole night and because we had no set plans we had no expectations and that is exactly how I want every NYE to be.

5. Sometimes Good Things Actually DO Happen on NYE 

Okay, full disclosure, I got engaged on New Year’s Eve in 2009.

So I’ve had one, fully awesome, totally unexpected NYE and now I’m sort of like, I can give up. But as a result of the happiness surrounding that day, everyone assumes I want to celebrate the engagement on New Year’s Eve when really, I’m fine with just celebrating the actual anniversary of the wedding.

I think I’m mostly over my New Year’s Eve stress fear and this year I’m planning on staying inside, eating and drinking and probably still wearing a tacky, cheapo NYE hat.

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  1. I think those guys may be a little famous. I think the one of the left is Sam Endicott, the lead singer of the band The Bravery. Your sorta-famous radar works! :)

  2. I like your article, very fun :-)
    I remember going to a NYE party years ago with my cousin. We agreed to volunteer and be waiters. We served people and while they were eating and enjoying the party, my cousin & I had to make more food for them. At midnight, when everyone was dancing and having fun, we weren’t. We were eating rice. It was one of my worst NYE celebrations I’ve ever done.
    A couple of years ago, my cousins & I went to a party. We had paid a lot for it. When we got there, we realized we knew nobody. The food wasn’t great, we were cold and the music wasn’t fun at all. We left after a couple of hours.
    My sister is planning to go to a party tomorrow with a cousin of hers. I’m not going, I don’t want to spend money on something I’ll find boring. So I’m staying home and I’m going to watch the DVDs I was offered on Christmas.
    Whatever you’re planning to do tomorrow, have fun! :-)

  3. Fun article!

    Oh and “It was a moment where I actually had the thought, ‘I’d be a lot warmer if I curled up on the sidewalk and just went to sleep than if I kept walking.’” – I had this same EXACT thought once! I’m glad I’m not the only one. I’m also glad I was with 6 other people and didn’t give in to the brain-numbing cold by actually laying down on the sidewalk. It did seem like a brilliant idea and my only hope at the time though.

  4. For the past few years, I’ve just made it a point to spend it with my best friend whose birthday is actually December 31st. I changed it up last year and was miserable, but every single time I’ve committed to spending it with her, I’ve always had a blast. It starts with a birthday celebration and ends with the new year. At the end of the day, its one night and if everything goes right, you wont remember it.. so just have fun!

  5. LOVE this article, Erin! I agree on all points!

  6. Totally agree with point #3. No plans are ever quite good enough – you can be sure that people will have a better time at the option you *don’t* choose.