The Changing of the Guard
I can remember the day when I walked into a room of revelers on New Year’s Eve with a great white sheet wrapped around me – and perhaps three sheets to the wind. I was supposed to be father time and it was close to midnight. I was fading fast. The people in the party room were amused. They were hissing and booing for me to get lost. It was the end of my existence (being the old year).
Then suddenly they broke out in uproarious laughter and applause. I didn’t know what to make of that until I looked around to see my brother-in-law come flouncing down the stairs also wearing a white sheet, but arranged in the style of a giant diaper - at exactly midnight. That of course was my signal to exit and I slunk away up the stairs like a worn out prostitute.
We had naturally pre-arranged this, not telling anyone about our antics and the whole thing came off as a hilarious stunt. It all added to the merriment and we suddenly had a feeling of embracing the New Year with a gusto that sort of mitigated the headaches most of us would have to deal with the next day.
Well that was a long time ago. It almost seems like another lifetime. Now in the cold light of day, New Years Eve is actually Monday night. Not only that, but it’s cold as stink. Well and New Year’s Day – that’s Tuesday for crimeny sakes! You’ve got the whole weekend to get ready for a cold Monday night to party so that you can be hung over on Tuesday and get over it more or less just in time to go back to work on Wednesday. Doesn’t seem right – downright uncharitable.
So along with all the extra pounds you put on over Christmas, what with all that turkey, the chocolates and the cheesecake making your clothes two sizes too small, you get the chance to face all those other idiots who did the same as you and it gets to be a lying game of how wonderful it all was (while your guts are still churning and your head is still throbbing). And you’ve still got the longest three days ahead of you until the weekend.
When the Friday you’ve been praying for finally arrives, all you can think of is to get home and rest your weary eyes and even wearier body. Among the pile of letters in the mail slot you find the credit card company’s bill. Oh for God’s sake, they’ve sent it a week early! The final insult! Dejavu! The buggers did that last year too! It’s all starting to come back to you. Wasn’t it July fourteenth when you made the last payment on your Christmas spree? Oh, groan, just put the stupid bill in the inbox and crawl into bed. Everything else can wait – even supper. You’re not hungry anymore anyway.
I wonder how much of this is a product of my imagination or of past experience. But I’d be willing to bet that many who read this will say “Oh yeah, been there, done that, got the Tee shirt.” Or at least that’s the way it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.