And A Happy New Yezzzzzzzzzzzzz

- by Michael

New Year’s. A time for laughter, wine, and song. A time to watch watered-down bowl games and wonder why the heck anybody thought watching Northern Illinois get mauled by Florida State was a good idea. A time to take stock of all the ways you’ve disappointed yourself over the last year, resolve to change all of your habits effective immediately, and then drink champagne until one in the morning. A wonderful, festive – OK, I can’t fake it anymore. New Year’s is my least favorite holiday.

By a long shot.

Sure, I could give you rational reasons. I could say that I dislike New Year’s because it steps all over the Christmas season, interrupting the Twelve Days until Epiphany like a streaker running through a full cathedral.  I could talk about how obnoxious “Auld Lang Syne” is after the five hundredth iteration. But honestly it comes down to one thing:

I am secretly an eighty-year-old man.

It’s true. I am. My idea of the perfect holiday is to spend the entire time in a rocking chair with a book – or a series of books – and maybe some crossword puzzles for between chapters. I enjoy soup more than I really should, and I honestly like the taste of prunes – have for years. Anything involving World War II is automatically fascinating to me. I am inherently suspicious of social media of any form (although, to my credit, I manage NOT to believe everything sent to me in an email forward).

And, most importantly for the current discussion, I think 9 PM is a perfectly reasonable bedtime. Honestly, there are times when 8:30 sounds even better, but I manage to keep going that extra half-hour on general principle.

I mean, there are times when I stay up later. Sometimes it’s just not up to me, I have something to do for work that requires more time, or an errand to run, or some such. Other times I’m genuinely interested in staying awake because of a movie, a book, an interesting conversation.

But for the most part, I like my early bedtime. And on New Year’s Eve, when staying up WAY past my normal operating hours is almost an obligation, my stubborn streak kicks in and I start heading for the bedding even earlier, just to prove that YOU ARE NOT THE BOSS OF ME, JANUARY.

Thankfully, I’ve married a woman who likes to go to bed even earlier than I do, a woman whose idea of a great way to spend New Year’s Eve involves eating pork and sauerkraut and then taking a nap. For eight and a half hours. So we back each other up in our octogenarian leanings, steadfastly refuse to force ourselves to stay up to the ungodly hours demanded by this particular holiday, and look forward to waking up early the next morning, bright-eyed and not-hung-over and obnoxiously chipper because of it. We’re a great pair.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, Joanie and I are going to feed some ducks.