Two thousand and six bottles of beer on the wall
For a brief moment, right at midnight, it no longer matters who you are, who your friends are, or where you come from. Differences fade away and people turn to whoever is next to them, giving out hugs, sharing champagne, and wishing everyone a fantastic year to come. As I walked down Götgatan last night on my way home from the party, three or four different people smiled at me and wished me a "Gott nytt år!" That, combined with the powdery snowflakes flowing down from the sky, made for a very cozy, and surreal, evening.
Unfortunately, a few hours after midnight, after the revelers have finished off the last bottle of bubbly, the merriness is overtaken by an extreme state of intoxication. For some, a little alcohol only increases their well-wishing, but for others, it unfortunately results in various forms of obnoxious and inappropriate behavior.
This includes the gang of teenage boys who decided to serenade the entire train car on the blue line all the way from Solna Centrum to T-Centralen. (The Backstreet Boys they were not.) It also applies to the woman who consumed so much liquor she was entirely unaware of the fact that she vomited all over one of her fellow passengers somewhere in between Slussen and Medborgareplatsen.
And I must say I also felt a bit sorry for the sorry for the pre-teen girls who were trying to wade their way through the slush in their kitten heels and miniskirts. I'm glad I learned that lesson in high school (after an ill-fated prom date); it doesn't matter how pretty the shoes are, it is NOT attractive if you walk like a Chinese princess with bound feet, or WINCE with every step you take, like the piercing-sword feeling the little Mermaid experienced when she traded her fins for ball shoes.
Not that I let such events ruin my entire evening (it might have, had I been the fellow passenger who was vomited upon), but it certainly took a little pleasure out of the journey home. Maybe it's time to award myself a few "grown-up points" since I no longer understand the joy of public displays of drunkenness.
I think the best New Year's Eve’s I've had have been the ones for which I had the fewest expectations. It always turns out better if there is not the pressure to have "the perfect night." It also makes me think back to previous New Year's festivities, which include barhopping in Idaho last year, celebrating the year-before-last with two of my best friends from college in our nation's capital, Washington D.C., and of course dancing the ceilidhs (pronounced kayli) with Scottish guys in kilts at Hogmanay three years ago in Edinburgh.
It also makes me remember a few New Year's make-out sessions. As I watched some of my friends ring in the New Year with a kiss from their beloved, I have to admit I was a bit jealous. Although I’m sure he was having a fantastic time partaking of tequila and catching up with his family, I wish that Tonto would have been there with me.
I know that our time will come; that this is just the beginning of rather strange relationship. I’m looking forward to exploring it together with him.
So here’s to the first day of a brand New Year!