Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Spending New Year's Eve Alone

With hubster working on New Year's Eve and nobody local available, I decided, for the first time, ever, to spend New Year's Eve alone.

 I probably could have imposed myself on people who vaguely mentioned plans, but after the ho ho ho-ness of the holidays, I was pretty much looking forward to a few hours of hanging out with Mazy and the cats. Actually, impossibly nerdy as it sounds, I wanted to write for a couple of hours.

 Yup, on New Year's Eve.

I thought if I took the kids to a nice place early in the evening, maybe some place wintry and cultural and made snacks, that would be enough of a celebration. I found this lovely lake in nearby Smithville - definitely fit the bill for wintry and cultural. I even found a video of the place I liked: 

So off we went, kids, friends and complaints. By the time we found the lake, everyone was cold. And hungry. And grumpy. And vocal about all three of those conditions. My vision of an enchanting early evening felt much more like this -

But, like most trips with teenagers, and Emma as the mascot, there was adventure. I took a wrong turn somewhere because we were looking at "old people" eating in an inn. I thought it was nice, but the kids could not imagine sitting sedately at an inn because it was rich with history.

 After the wrong turn, we drove for a really, really long time down a road with only marshes on either side. At the end was one of those bars that looks like it's falling into the swampland. I might have mentioned that the road was a perfect place for serial murderers to await prey. It's amazing how young they are - everyone got uncharacteristically quiet right after I said that.

I did find out a few tidbits: Christopher is going to study homeland security as a minor. Wow. I didn't realize you could get a degree in that. And Philip, being Philip, announced he wants to start a garden. I was so happy: all those seed plantings I took him to at the organic farm, all those nature walks and watching peppers grow had paid off.

Then I remembered, This is Philip talking. So I was ready for some kind of weird vegetable, maybe okra or kohlrabi.

"Know what I want to grow?"
"Umm, beets?"
"Nope. Tobacco. Tobacco and tea."
Don't all sixteen year olds?

I spent some of the night alone, but they all sent me texts at midnight, and Philip and I are going to find out how to grow tea in New Jersey, or maybe just leaves resembling tea.

And I'm taking New Year's Eve 2010 as an omen for 2011: I think it's going to be a year of surprises.


Bish Denham said...

Those tree lights are so cool Anne! (Silly teens don't know what they're missing!) Glad you didn't run into any serial killers.

I actually went to a New Year's party this year for the first time in like 10 years. Think I'll go back to staying home.

Anne Spollen said...

I really liked those tree lights, too, Bish.

And I think we may have passed a few serial killers waiting in that desolate marshland.

I used to do things like go to the East Village on New Year's, and I was upset if I didn't have like 7,000 people with me.

I think I'm about ready for the fire at the inn with the ancient folks (they had a nice warm view of the lake with the lights and music - and dessert - that sounded just wonderful to me)

Mary Witzl said...

I've gone solo on New Years Eve before. As long as you have an alternative, it's actually sort of liberating, and it's DEFINITELY better than spending it with grumpy teenagers and spouse.

Tea and tobacco? Are you sure he's not trying to tell you something? :)

Marcia said...

A New Year's Eve alone? Sounds fantastic! We went to a hockey game with our youngest and his fiancee, then settled in to watch a movie and DH started snoring almost immediately. He woke up at midnight when the kids came in. Yeah, they CAME IN at 12.

Anne Spollen said...

It was a little weird to be alone on New Year's, Mary, but I think that's because I'm so rarely alone. Even if I'm writing, I'm used to the noise of the kids and their friends.

The tea and tobacco? I don't know, but Philip usually tells me straight out. Or I'll find out this summer...

What is that snoring with the DH's?
Mine takes forever and five minutes to pick out the movie, then we all settle in, and he's out before the second scene.

Ohhh, I'm not looking forward to midnight arrivals, but it seems they are in my future.

Anonymous said...

When I'm driving through a remote place, I think about serial killers lurking about.

I've spent New Year's alone and had a fine time. It's even peaceful thinking back on the past year and plotting the new year by myself.

adrienne said...

Happy New Year texts at there is a sign of the times.

Hope you have a year of good surprises.

Anne Spollen said...

Yeah, Medeia, there is something very peaceful about NOT celebrating something that seems so forced.

Welcome back, Adrienne! Happy 2011 to you, too!

Nora MacFarlane said...

Loved the tree lights!

My husband is a musician. I think in 25 years of marriage we've spent two New Year's Eve's together. It's usually just me and the kids. I brought in the New Year writing. I'm hoping that's a lucky writerly thing to do!