George and I won’t be staying up until midnight tonight. 2017 will have to usher itself in without any help from the Sawyns.
You’re thinking that has something to do with our age. Two old fuddy duddies whose biggest excitement is getting a new leash for our dog or finding a good movie on Netflix. I confess those things are pretty exciting, but age hasn’t a thing to do with it.
I lost my interest in midnight even before I was in high school, back in the days when the hours beyond bedtime were exotic and alluring. They were in the grownup’s territory where exciting things probably happened, or why would they be so determined to get us kids out of the way.
And then, one year, I had the chance to see for myself. After much begging on my part, my parents agreed that I could stay up until midnight and greet the new year. Their yes was the key into that forbidden world, thus far denied to the in-bed-by nine crowd.
Everything was in place. The television was on, snacks were spread out, my cousin Karen, invited to share in the adventure, was clad in pajamas as I was, and we settled down to wait for the magic to begin, to experience for ourselves the mysterious moment when one year fades into another.
It didn’t happen. The mysterious moment was to remain a mystery for a few more years yet, because neither Karen nor I could stay awake that long. I tried, convincing myself that I was having fun. But when sandpaper eyes gave way to a slight headache, the truth won out: I’m not a night person. I gave up and went to bed. The next morning, the new year had arrived without my help.
I’ve remained not-a-night-person my whole life. When the sun goes down, so does my desire to savor, explore, cavort or burn that midnight oil. All I want to do is go to sleep. Which is to say, during the winter months, I’m getting sleepy around 5 p.m. A party girl I’m not.
So, this New Year’s Eve will be no exception. I’ll go all out and indulge in a glass of wine, maybe satisfy my sweet tooth with usually forbidden treats, and probably head to bed around 10:30.
George will be with me. So will Tillie. In the morning we’ll awake to 2017, and for me, its arrival will still seem like a mysterious event. And who doesn’t love a mystery?