Thoughts From New Year’s Day (2017)

Happy New Year Wonderful Listeners!

I do hope that you all had a wonderful time celebrating the start of another calendar year! 2016 was full of stories, antics, craziness, and more. We can only wonder what 2017 will bring us all right? But I’ll tell you this much at least, that my 2017 start was hectic!

Allow me to start this off properly by going back to the beginning. At least this way, no one will get lost (well, perhaps not right off the bat anyway…)

Picture it. Sicily. 1942. Oh wait, wrong story. My mistake.

Imagine it. 10:30am. I was woken up by my mother’s call. I already knew what day it was. It happens every year, and every year, I cannot manage to avoid it. I was needed to make the impossible happen.

I get out of bed in my pajamas. I start cleaning up the house. I’m called all over the place in the process as well. I’m trying so desperately to sweep the floors, clean the bathrooms, mop the floors, wipe down furniture, etc. Alas, my attention is divided between janitorial work, and culinary assistance.

Somehow, I do manage to get the everything done, and on time. Of course, between doing all of this work, I’m looking quite the mess. I’m in desperate need of a shower and a change of clothes. Yet, I’m not rushed to take care of that issue until the last minute (as I always do.)

During this entire experience, I’m thinking to myself, how impressive my parents’ resilience is. They manage to pull off a clean New Year’s party every year, but they don’t do it alone. It takes a team, and a team we are indeed. We were a bit out of luck this year since my little sister was basically an invalid from working a 13 hour shift the night before. But, I pick up my own pace to make up for it.

By the time we’ve gotten past the habitual and inevitable frustration, arguments, etc. The entire house is spick and span. We’ve kept the kitchen in order and we manage to even get Sasha, the family dog, pristine. In the back of my head, I sometimes wonder what it would be like if it was only my parents left to this.

My parents disappear to groom themselves. As for myself, I’m fending everything until at least one of them returns. By this point, it’s about 4:45pm and dinner starts at 5pm. How did we manage to be on time this year? That remains a mystery to be solved… Well, OK, that’s a lie. We weren’t on time technically but it wasn’t due to our own actions. We were still waiting on a particular guest to bring their ready-to-go dishes, and then we’d be finished. She didn’t show up until 6pm.

This year, we did something a little different. We decided to do Mexican, instead of Soul Food like we always do. I’m looking forward to the change of scenery and so are my taste buds.

I took it upon myself to invite Alex, one of my best friends, to dinner. We hadn’t seen each other since I had gotten back into town and so I was absolutely thrilled to be seeing him again. I wasn’t going to pass up an opportunity to do so, especially since we only get to see each other like maybe 2-3 a year.

Well, just after 5pm, the first group of guests arrived. I still hadn’t showered or anything. But I greet them as they come in. Thankfully, my mother is ready to present herself at the same time so she takes over. I rush upstairs to shower and change.

After finishing that much, I hear the doorbell ring. It’s Alex. The time is 6pm. I allow him inside, greeted with a hug (because he likes hugs like me), and we go sit on the couch. We begin catching up with each other. We do this all the time when we see each other. I let him ramble on about his life, just because I like listening to him.

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I always get a picture with him when I see him…

I swear, we’re sitting there talking about his misadventures before and during Christmas for like an hour. It’s so easy for time to just fly by when he and I get together. All the while, I’m still being asked to do a few little things here and there, but I promise I’ll get to them later (and then I forgot. 😛 )

Around 7pm, my little sister, Mya, and her friend Nicole show up. We had all decided to finally eat instead of just sitting around and talking. We grab our food, and sit in the dining room since everyone else was in the living room and at the kitchen table. I wanted to be removed anyway to have more time with Alex.

Over dinner, the four of us are talking an assortment of things. We bring up Naruto, as well as some other things that were trivial. Either way, the conversation is quite inviting. I had to dip into the rum punch that my mother so generously made. Damn, it sure was good. Alex preferred the lemonade instead, although I certainly don’t blame him.

I think both Alex and I went back for thirds the entire night. We were certainly hungry, and well-deserved since neither of us had eaten all day. For me, being up since 10:30am and working constantly without food, I really deserved it.

Well, after dinner, Darryl, my childhood friend, shows up along with his mother and sister. Mya suggests that Alex, Darryl, Nicole, her and me all go to Main Event to find a way to enjoy ourselves. I agree, although I didn’t want to necessarily put Alex in an uncomfortable position. Thankfully, he’s cool with it. (I suppose he’d be cool with a number of things as long as we stuck together.)

We all put on our jackets and whatnot so that we don’t get cold and we book it out the door. We weren’t really worried about anything since the adults were going to be getting intoxicated anyway. Alex is nice enough to let us all carpool in his car so we take off for Main Event. (I felt a bit bad about since I know his economic situation. But once again, he’s fine with it.)

Well, before we walk into Main Event, we all decide to light some greens. We pull into the back of the building where no one ever is, and smoke. I genuinely ask Alex if he has a problem with this and he tells me he doesn’t. I was a bit worried since he had never seen this side of me before, but then he tells me this wasn’t his first time either… (There goes my worries!)

Well, we get lit together, for about a good 20 mins, and then we all stroll inside. We start with bowling. Man, Mya left me to look after Alex and Darryl so of course, I had to sober up a little bit. But regardless, I manage to get us a lane and some shoes. I guide the two wandering minds up to the lane and we get started.

I was mainly keeping eyes on Alex because I wasn’t sure how he would react being under the influence. I noticed he was really jittery so I told him to calm down, and that everything would be fine (because I just knew it would be.) Of course, after a while Alex finally does calm down and we enjoy our adventure together.

Bowling was so hilarious in this state. Alex wasn’t a very good bowler and neither was I apparently. Normally, I’m not that bad but under the influence, I was kinda awful. It’s OK though because I had loads of fun. Mya and Nicole eventually rejoin us later, and with milkshakes no less! 😀

We kept bowling, although it took us almost an hour to finish one game (normally it takes 30 minutes.) Afterwards, we realize that we need to return Nicole back home so we go back to the car and drop her off. I thought that that was the end of going out for the night. Nope! Apparently, we were going back to Main Event to continue having fun.

I’m not really in the mood to go back but I do anyway because Alex was in the mood. Well, we get back in his car and head back to Main Event. When we get there, Mya hooks everyone up with some time cards for the arcade (that’s a full 90 minutes for free!) Alex and I venture off on our own.

We start off with air hockey. Alex manages to kick my butt for the first like 5 points. Then, oh, the tables turned! I went from having no points to matching. Although, my pride was crushed when he beat me for the last point.

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Fine… you win this time buddy. But next time won’t be so easy!

Afterwards, we ended up playing some FPS games, although our aim is garbage because we’re under the influence. Mine was especially terrible because I don’t normally play FPS games anyway. We hop across 2 shooting games and eventually we end up playing Fast & Furious. Thankfully, I can still drive pretty well under the influence so I take my top 3 placement with gratitude.

I just had to show Alex this game called Speed of Light though. It’s a game where you have to hit buttons to turn off lights as they pop up. The point is to him them before they turn off on their own to earn combos and gain points. I slayed the competition with 458 points. Alex only got 217 or something. (It’s OK buddy. Maybe next time! 😛 )

After that triumphant win, we decide that it’s time to head back home. We get in the car and drive back. At this point, we’re sobering up pretty well. Although, Mya and I were dreading having to take care of the kitchen upon returning. We knew it was coming too because, well, who else was going to do it? Certainly not my parents…

But then we were blessed. How? Darryl and Alex jump in to help us flip the kitchen in a single hour. We managed to put up all of the food, clean off the counters, sweep the floor, and wash, rinse, and dry the dishes! Normally, just my sister and I doing this would take 3 hours since it was a party mess we were cleaning up.

I gotta say, having friends who will jump in and help you do chores just because is pretty great. I couldn’t thank those two enough. After cleaning up a bit, we decide to relax upstairs. We weren’t really up there for very long because Mya, once again, decides it’s a good idea to go out. By this time it’s midnight.

I figure that we might as well go along since we weren’t doing anything else. Also, at this point, I could tell Alex was enjoying spending time with the group as a whole, so I didn’t want to ruin that. We all pack back into his car again and head for Hookah Cafe about 6 minutes away.

Upon arriving, we decide to smoke again. (Well, everyone except Alex did. He was driving after all.) My little sister had informed me that smoking before going to hookah actually prolongs the effects. I took her word for it. Although, I did not enjoy mixing vodka in with the experience. That was quite awful.

Funny thing happened though. Alex and I both had to pee but we couldnt’ go inside to any establishment. Instead, we ended up peeing behind a dumpster. Call it a bonding experience or something but regardless, somehow, it brought us closer.

Well, we roll into Hookah Cafe to meet with Kevin, one of Mya’s acquaintances. He had already ordered a hookah and didn’t mind us just smoking his stuff with him. How nice, don’t you think?

I particularly remember that his flavor blend was not one to be smoked quickly. It needed time to breathe and to fully enjoy it, you needed to smoke it over a prolonged period of time. Well, that was my take on it anyway. I found that the others, except my sister, didn’t enjoy it so they didn’t partake. I didn’t blame them. I hardly could really enjoy it.

I don’t think we were there for longer than 45 minutes. We just sat and chatted with Kevin, talking about whatever. (I couldn’t really remember at this point.) Then we split. Thankfully, the server is quick and efficient and has us right. We even help her clean up to return the favor.

Then we all drive back to my house. It’s probably 1:30am at this point. We roll into the house and upstairs. I’m starting to feel a headache from the hookah (as I always do.) Alex and I decide to retire from the rest of the group for the night. We return to my room alone.

I believe we spent the rest of the night, that is until 5am when we fell asleep, just talking. We love to talk to each other about life. I also found time to pull out {The And} which is a game that asks intimate questions based on your type of relationship with a person. We played the “Friends” category.

That game was spent doing a lot of reminiscing and it opened our eyes a little bit about each other. Some of the things we already knew but it was good to reaffirm. The game must’ve taken a rather long time because it was 2am and then it was 4:50am. But when we get to talking, especially on something that charges our words, we don’t stop. We just keep rambling…

Then it was 5am. Just before falling asleep, we had decided to spend tomorrow together as well (but sadly that would not occur.) I fell asleep in my bed, and Alex on my floor. I offered to let him have the bed but he prefers hard surfaces. I got him a blanket, pillow, and comforter instead to help make the floor more inviting… and then, it was lights out. 🙂

*******

How’s that for kicking off the new year huh? Quite the adventure! Well, that’s all I got for you guys! Catch you later. Cheers! Happy New Year!


Are you excited for a new year? What did you do on New Year’s Day? Do you find yourself staying in or going out when with friends? Leave all your thoughts below!

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