ringing out 2009 with a half-hearted “whee!”

My kids enjoy going to the sixties-style Chinese American restaurant in town; they in particular love C., the friendly and very beautiful Korean American server who is almost always working. Nels in particular talks to her constantly; asking for more tea, fortune cookies, telling her very long and elaborate stories about every part of his life. Tonight over his barbecue pork he wishes C. a Happy New Year and asks what her plans are for the evening. She responds, “I’m working, then I’m going to go upstairs and watch a video, then I’m going to bed.” “That’s not partying,” he frowns, his voice 70% observational, 20% disappointed, and 10% disapproval.

And boy, do my kids feel the festive vibe of the evening. They definitely have brought more “party” to the equation than we parents this year; continuing in the vein of this recent Christmas I – to use a bit of Scottish phraseology I read somewhere – “couldna be fucked” over the whole business. Maybe next year, if I’m still living. 2010? I don’t feel the need to write a respective or resolutions; I don’t want to go out, shout and cheer, or clink champagne glasses (although I do want a kiss from my husband).

At midnight a countdown, fireworks, a libation, a serving of homemade apple pie. By 12:05 Nels is staggering around, saying faintly, “Please… I want to party…”, his little face flushed. A few minutes later he has a crying meltdown when he begins to understand our fireworks are gone. It’s an impressive, over-wrought display, eerily reminiscent of the adult male alcohol-infused versions that are no doubt disgracing themselves in a social setting as I type this. And at least Nels won’t be waking up in a strange place or wrapped around a steering column, and no one will be starting the year with a hangover.

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