Originally published on Dec. 29, 2012
Another New Year’s Eve is fast approaching and this old “party animal” can’t help but get sentimental about all the good times we had, over the course of four decades.
Back in the 70s and early 80s, it was our annual tradition to invite friends over for a night of carousing that always lasted into the next morning. Thankfully, we lived in a two-storey walk up, with only stores below and neighbours who either didn’t care or weren’t home. In any case, no noise complaints, ever.
We always put on a good spread and the booze was flowing like water, but, nobody got out of hand. Must have been sweating it out on the dance floor. Yes, we managed to move all of our furniture out of the way to create an area for just that purpose. Imagine fitting 30 or so people into the living/dining area of a two bedroom apartment and having enough seats for everyone as well as a buffet table and a dance floor Does anybody need to plan a party? Give me a call. One of my few real talents.
We even hosted a party “in absentia” once, the year we spent Christmas and New Year’s with my parents in California. Didn’t want to disappoint our friends, so we had supplies ready for them in the fridge and on the bar. Gave one of them the keys and headed off to the airport. From all accounts, everyone had a good time and they did a great job cleaning up. Even left us a full bottle of champagne.
Surprisingly, (given the era), nobody in our group was into drugs at all. On the other hand, most of the guys were soccer players, (hubby and I were proud administrators of the team, along with a few others), and in great physical shape, so, maybe not? I do remember a couple of people smoking grass on the balcony, but, this was an infrequent occurrence.
One of the most memorable New Year’s Eve parties ended up with several of us going to another friend’s apartment, (right across the street), at 7 a.m. to enjoy a meal of Spaghetti Aglio e Olio. That hit the spot at the right moment. Delizioso!
Our last big gathering was in the early 80s. The guest list had dwindled somewhat and people were going home sooner, plus we were growing weary of the amount of work required to pull it off. One of our team’s sponsors also owned a banquet hall and he had recently started hosting formal dinner dances for special occasions, including New Year’s Eve.
Thus, we changed gears and started “puttin’ on the Ritz”. Hubby still had his tux from serving as “best man” to a friend and my closet was stuffed full of fancy clothes, thanks to all the previous weddings, club dinners, christenings etc. we had attended.
The 80s were a different time and I buried my hippie self in this new, corporate persona who became a workaholic and got dressed “to the nines” all the time. Looking back on it now, I wonder where that energy came from, considering how much I bitch and moan about having to wear anything other than jeans in the present day. Well, the answer is clear, of course. That was over 30 years ago! We were young and brimming with enthusiasm, whereas now, we are just old and tired…..
Still, we have never, ever spent New Year’s Eve alone and don’t intend to start. For us, that’s a sure sign of being “past it”. The last few years have been quiet dinners with a couple of friends either at a restaurant or home, followed by champagne toasts at midnight.
HA! There’s life in the old party animal yet!
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