Well it's upon us again.
New Years Eve.
It is a hyped holiday that never lives up to the promise. For years I would always do the same thing: Go to my local pub, see my mates and have a few drinks. Midnight comes. Midnight goes. I go home.
Well, here's a New Years Eve story that will make you laugh at my misfortune.
I honestly don't remember the year. I'm thinking it was New Years Eve 2003. It was the first time I was dating Lisa, and we were about 5 weeks into dating...the relationship stage in between dating and being exclusive.
For the backstory on Lisa, she was someone I met through a mutual friend. She was six feet tall (yes, she played basketball in college), blonde, with a body that would turn heads as soon as she walks in a room. She was smart, worked for a global investment banking and securities firm, and 25 years old (while I was a few years older). On paper she was perfect, but the bottom line is that we didn't have that "right chemistry". We didn't have common "mundane" interests. Sure, we had the same outlook on life, but she was "Sex In The City" and I was "The Matrix". She was the kind of girl that loved to get dressed up and go dancing and I was the kind of guy that liked to play darts in a dive bar. Our conversations were, for me, a bit forced. You know when you just are with someone where you can talk for hours about anything - I just didn't have that with her.
At the time, however, I was psyched to be dating her. Who wouldn't?
She suggested that for New Years Eve 2003 we go to a trendy club, to celebrate. It would cost $125 for an open bar and hang out with some of her friends.
It sounded fun. It would be my first REAL New Years Eve party, rather than just going solo to a bar with friends. I'd get to spend it with someone special, and in the city, dressed to the nines (which, I don't mind every once in a while) and having a blast.
Well, that was the idea.
We started off with a house party on the West Side. It was Lisa, her two roommates, her sister and her friends. Our relationship was still a "new thing" so I small talked with her friends, but the party was a bit of a drag. It was about twelve people, standing in a one bedroom apartment, with wine glasses and some chips and dip, with music playing from a boombox. Eventually, we headed down to the club around 10pm, running late because when ever you try to organize something with more than four people, you always run late.
We get to the trendy club, which had the whole bouncers, velvet rope and guest list. We signed up early, but still had to wait in line for a good 15 minutes, because a big crowd formed outside. We get inside after a bit of a wait in the cold, and the place is jammed with people three deep to the bar, and we can't find a place to sit, so we stand off in the corner.
I get our drinks, and it's more small talking and not much dancing because the music sucks and the vibe of the club isn't fun. It's just loud music, with no one dancing, and sipping their drinks, with a large ring of people surrounding the open bar trying to get their drinks...fast.
Time progresses. We drink. Chit-chat. I'm hoping it will get better, but it's not. Just feels like a night out in a place that I don't regularly hangout at with people I don't really know, with a girl that i'm digging, but i'm competing for time to talk to her with her friends. Lisa is definitely the center of attention and a big fan of these trendy kind of places. I forgive her, because almost every girl at 22 to 26 years old who moves up to New York City gets into that "Sex In The City" mentality with needing to go to the "It" places.
I continue to drink, get drunk, and midnight comes fast - I kiss Lisa when the ball dropped and that was the highlight of the my night.
Drink, drink, drink. Trying to get my $125 dollars worth. It's around 1am, and the bar is still somewhat full. The bar area was on the other side of the club, away from where we were standing, and I went for another round.
I got the drinks, and i'm holding them in both hands. Even as a big guy, i'm usually very polite about getting past people. I always say "Excuse me" or "Pardon Me" and 90% of the time I get a glowering look from the person like i'm the bad guy for being nice. While I was walking back to Lisa and her friends, I try to manuver around some people who are at a table. Some are standing and and some are sitting. One of them doesn't move, and he trips me. I fall face forward, both hands holding drinks into a glass table. Fun.
The glass table shattered, and sent the candles on top of it flying with hot candle wax, glass pint glasses & broken tabletop glass spraying all over me and some other people.
Somehow i'm ok and get up, yelling at up the guy who tripped me up. The bouncers are there before I can get four words out. The guy protests and yells back at the the bouncers. The bouncers see me in my sad state, and toss the other guy out of the bar.
Candle wax in my hair, my goatee, my pants are soaked from beer on the floor mixed with cigarette butts. I'm completely embarassed and my only saving grace is that my new girlfriend didn't get to witness this. I get another round and go to the bathroom to wash up. I notice that my hand has a small cut from the glass, and I even see some shards of glass in my hair. I brush them out and return back to the party, not bothering to mention what happened, out of embarrassment. It was 2 or 3am and i'm really hating this place.
Some dancing goes on, and I try to get into it, but i'm just not. Lisa and I leave around 4am, taking a taxi back to Hoboken. We were so drunk that by the time we got back home we just passed out in bed together.
I learned that for the "Amateur Nights" (New Years Eve, St. Patrick's Day) I prefer a pub with a dartboard (or pool table), playing good music and my friends.
That's the problem, I guess. It was a night that I was with her - and her friends. Her with me and my friends. One of my many faults is that I hate being in a situation where I feel out of place. I like going to my same old bars, because I like knowing the bartenders there, the regulars and feeling like it's a second home. In the right circumstances I like trying new places, but for something like New Years Eve, my advice for people who feel the same way as me is to just do something local, with friends, at a place that you normally haunt. You will be much happier.