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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

New Years Eve

Face it. New Year’s Eve is always disappointing, no matter how carefully you plan. No matter how great the dress is. How good the band is supposed to be. How many people have RSVP’d. It doesn’t matter. It is always a lame-ass, boring, disappointing night that is over before it has started. I can barely tell that tomorrow is New Year’s Eve, the start of 2004. I have been working a solid couple weeks and have a cold and will be on duty tomorrow night. But at least I can’t be disappointed when I have no plans.

So, the run down of New Year’s Eves past. For this, there is no family tradition being broken, no tradition with friends being broken.

2003 was by far my best New Year’s Eve ever. Matt Rudy (my original Chicago roommate) was my escort for the night. We got dressed up–me in a smashing black wrap dress and he in a suit. We started by dropping by Trish’s (the second Chicago roommate) bar for a quick tropical drink. This was at Rock-A-Tiki on Division. Over in the corner was Bart, a guy I recognized from college. He was a nursing student in a lab I TA’d, back when I was a serious scientist. From Rock-a-Tiki, we went to the very posh loft of one of his co-worker’s. It was just around the corner on Wood Ave. Great view, great apartment, great appetizers. That was where I picked up a much needed safety pin to keep from spilling out of my dress. Diane Von Furstenburg never had this problem did she? From there we hopped in a cab and zipped up to the far north side of Chicago. At the time it was the far north side, now it is a few blocks from my apartment. This was Lucy’s party, where I met up with the Illinois Wesleyan contingent of my Chicago friends. This included Cathy and Scott (Chicago Roommate #3) and the Rybicki boys. We left there and raced back to Rush N Division for the main party, the goal was midnight. My friend Brian, from True Pilsner, rented a bar with his roommate. All of the boys from True Pilsner were there, after paying $40 cover, it was an open bar. At midnight I kissed all my boyfriends from True Pilsner and then kissed them all again. Then I danced the night away with Scotty Iseri, a brilliant comedy musician. At 2 or 3 or 4 in the morning, we got on the Red Line going opposite ways. I never saw Scotty again, he quit his job and quit True Pilsner. By all accounts he is still in Chicago, but I have no idea. I haven’t seen him in one calendar year. Matt, my original college roommate, is now living with Linda, his original Chicago girlfriend, somewhere on the Northside.

2002 was a pretty bad night. Take one part alcoholic friend recovering from heartache and suicide attempt. Take one part friend with heart of gold who has a not-so-secret crush on alcoholic friend. Mix in me, do-gooder, care-taker friend with not-at-all secret crush on town’s most elegible bartender and one part town’s most elegible bartender. Toss in some creepy tourists with a video camera, too much booze, a midnight kissing spree, and a 2AM ride home from a married cop (not me.) The result–broken friendships and me kissing the most elegible bartender at 2:15 and not midnight. Follow that up a few weeks later with snowdown and a miserable breakfast date with said bartender–I drank a lot of coffee and Liane got free breakfast. A complete meal of leftovers is always the result of my dates. Five months later I left Durango.

2001…. hmmm 2001. I was still a hall director at Fort Lewis College and so were all of my friends. Except the girls had the house downtown. Jenna just wrote me and reminded me what happened. I started the night at Bill’s house and was, once again, the youngest and the only single person at the party. After an hour or so of appetizers, I was sent downtown. I found Jenna and we raced around town trying to find boys to kiss at midnight. Okay, mainly Jenna grabbed my crushes and had them kiss me. Jeff, my favorite steamworks bartender, was top on the list. Swoon. I was, however, safe in my apartment by 2:00 AM–avoiding any late night Denny’s run.

2000 was Y2K, the millenium. Scary. oooh. I went with Javier to Ana and DJ’s house in Durango. They had a Y2K party and we each had to bring a gift that we would need when systems went down. One person one the whole Y2K kit, I think it was Javier. What I put in was a thing of stove top popcorn, the type you popped over the stove in tin-foil with the wire handle. I had only been in Durango for 6 months or so and it was a very married couple party. Then Bill arrived, wearing a feather boa, I’m sure. He whisked me away to downtown, where the sidewalks were covered in ice and we could all just walk home. We had to stop every five feet to talk to someone else he knew, but we went to all the invite only bars–because Bill is invited to everything.

1999 was the last year of college. I was just back from Argentina. I want to say I was at a party that Senor DeVivo was playing at in Decatur. Before that very little sticks out, a party a Colin’s house and I wore my blue sequined dress. One or two in front of the TV at my parent’s house, feeling bummed about not doing anything more exciting that driving to Walmart and Super K-Mart. Way before that were the New Year’s Eves at the Old Jail in Terre Haute.

This year, just another night on duty in London. The Metropolitan Police said that the Fireworks are meant to be watched on TV–so I guess that’s where I’ll be.

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