Wednesday, December 31, 2014
New Year's Eve Resolutions
The best New Year's Eve I ever spent was in Baltimore. Kerry, Luke, and I were hanging out at my tiny little studio apartment on Bond Street in Fell's Point. We were waffling between just staying in or heading out, stymied, in part, by the thought of dealing with the crowd of drunk frat bros stumbling through the streets and vomiting in the gutters. At 11 p.m. we decided to head across Bond to a local dive with friendly bartenders who gave us free drinks (now it's One-Eyed Mike's, and none of us can remember the name when we were there). At midnight we stood in the lot next to the bar and watched the fireworks over the Harbor, way back before Harbor East rose up and took over the view with its massive gym, condos, and Whole Foods.
We stayed in that bar until 6 a.m., when we may or may not have gone to breakfast at Jimmy's. The last actual memory I have of that night is the firework that exploded in the shape of Saturn (the first time I had ever seen that shape in fire), but I also remember the good time and the contentment of that night. Being happy.
I am a creature of habits, odd ones to be sure, but there they are. Before the clock strikes 12 on the 31st, I usually buy a ridiculous amount of food (like Y2K amounts) and put in several bottles of wine or other good booze (it's an abundance thing, I suppose). In addition, I have spent New Year's Eve in various places and with various people, but there are three things that are always constant, three minor rituals that I always do on or the day before New Year's Eve.
1. I shave my legs. I do a good job, all the way up and all the way around, not the normal winter shave of "not at all" or "just up to the kneecap."
2. I get rid of all the grey in my hair. Drapes and carpet. This may be TMI, but it's the truth.
3. I wax my eyebrows. Have someone else wax them, truthfully, but either way they get waxed.
It's odd that all of these three things have to do with hair, the plucking, shaving, coloring or otherwise altering my hair in shape, color, or location, but I only just realized that of everything I have done all of my life, all of the resolutions I have made and unmade, these things are my true north on New Year's Eve. Maybe it has to do with getting lucky. Maybe it has to do with the turning of the wheel and pushing back time.
Whatever it is, there is only one other thing that I have done more than once on a New Year's Eve, and it's a resolution, the same words, and it works every time, for better or worse. Once, it resulted in moving across the country. Once, it resulted in a death. Once, it resulted in a birth. Every time I make this resolution, it happens. I have only made this resolution three times (see the above three results). It is powerful, maybe because it is vague enough to be open to interpretation, but on the years I don't make it nothing much seems to happen. The resolution is this:
This time next year, I will be in a different place.
Sometimes I feel like tempting fate and making it to see what happens, but it's truly a crapshoot and I am not sure I am feeling all that lucky. If I do end up making a resolution this year, I will damn sure not say it out loud or write it down unless I am 100% prepared for the consequences. This is none of this The Secret bullshit, which has resulted in millions of people waiting for things to happen to them instead of getting off their ass and going out and doing them. It seems that when I put something into words then every cell in my body is bent on making whatever I have said happen. So I am already in a different place, and I am not sure if I want to be in an even more different place this time next year.
What say you? What rituals or resolutions follow you around?