Friday, December 28, 2007

The Ghosts of New Year’s past

New Year’s Eve seemed so simple in the 70s when I was a kid. My parents and I would make homemade onion rings and watch Dick Clark on the TV. It was a big deal that I got to stay up until MIDNIGHT. I used to save a Triscuit and eat half in one year and then half in the other. Those were the days.

At Penn State, where I went to college, we had First Night, which was an alcohol-free event with stage performances and fun stuff to do. That didn’t really stop us rowdy college students from having our own brand of fun.

When I first moved to Bradenton, a bunch of friends urged me to go with them to Ybor City. I had never been there. And because of the craziness of that evening, I haven’t been back. Wall-to-wall crowds and $20 cover charges aren’t my idea of a good time.

In past years, my husband and I have made the rounds to friend’s house parties or gone to see a band we like at a club. But we were always worried about getting home safely. You try calling a taxi at midnight on New Year’s and see how fast you get one. And the idea of strangers attempting to kiss me at midnight freaks me out.

For the last several years, we’ve been staying at home and having a small group of friends and neighbors over to cook good food and have some drinks. In fact, I think I’ve had the most fun of all in my own home, with my husband, eating my Triscuit before and after midnight. We are looking forward to the New Year and thinking of all that we wish to make better about ourselves in 2008.

But, if I were 10 years younger, I’d be at The Distillery in Bradenton ushering in the new year with the Skyway Jumpers.

- Jana Morreale

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