Last evening as I was heading out for the New Year's festivities in which I planned to engage in lieu of celebrating with Brother-Dave and family, I was talking to my friend the Matchmaker about this little theory I have. This falls under the category of Superstitions I Have in Spite of Disapproving of Superstitions. It seems like, if you're going to have a cause-and-effect kind of superstition about the New Year, it should be that the New Year's celebrations should be a direct reflexion (or maybe foreshadowing) of how the rest of the year is going to go.
In my experience, however (well, okay--two years that I can distinctly remember), the "fun-ness" or misery of the New Year's experience is actually in direct contrast to how a year is going to go. For example: the party we had at my church in London as the year turned to 2000, along with the "after-party" at a friend's house, is hands-down the best New Year's Eve memory I have. But the year itself? Well, I guess I learned a lot or something (you know, like we were talking about last time), but it was miserable. So, I think, was the New Year's Eve following. But then 2001 (apart from, you know, 9/11) was actually pretty great. For me.
Anyway. If this little pattern I imagine I have discerned is true, then 2011 should be amazing.
I was already thinking this yesterday morning when I realised the cold I've been fighting had called for back-up and I was feeling miserable and might have to spend the evening with a box of tissues and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. But after a day in pj's and a nap, I was feeling ready to go out and enjoy the evening, so I headed up to Boston to join some people I barely knew for part of Boston's First Night. The main reason I was going up there was because Jason Harrod was playing at Park Street Church and the last time I heard him live was at a coffee house at Wheaton College when we were both undergrads there. He has no idea who I am, but I still like to feel like there's a connexion.
The plan, for me, was to go to the concert with these new friends and then cut out early and head back to the City for another party with some friends I actually know better. What I probably should have done, however (even though it was nice to meet some new folks, all of whom seemed very nice), was gotten there on my own steam, too, because leaving from the station that everyone else left from meant we had to park our cars a 15 minute walk away, which in turn meant that I had to walk that 15 minutes back myself at 10.00 at night on New Year's Eve. And I got lost. (I did enjoy the Jason Harrod portion of the evening, however.) By the time I found my car it was 11, and I thought I might just make it to the other party before the ball dropped.
I wasn't, however, considering the fact that I was in Spaghetti-Land. This is a part of Boston outskirts (Harvard, Allston, Arlington, Watertown, Newton) of many roads moving in and out of each other with insufficient signage. I'm sure if you live there, it all makes sense, but I don't, and I rarely visit--certainly not at night, on New Year's Eve. I ended up having to call Brother-Dave all the way out in Minnesota to get me unstuck, since he had lived on the North Shore once. I got to the party at 12.30. But at least I wasn't lost anymore when 2011 started.
I got home at about 2 a.m., and as I got out of the car in the basement garage, I thought, "What's that smell?" It was even stronger as I entered the basement. "Smells kinda like diapers." An ominous thought crept into my mind. As I emerged from the basement into the kitchen, there was no doubt.
I don't know if Oscar got sick and therefore became distressed, or if he got distressed and therefore became sick, but this little dog who only one other time (when he was sick) has defecated in his crate, had somehow bounced the crate partway across the floor, and the inside of it and the outside of him were both utterly caked with what had once been inside of him. (I'm sure you would all appreciate it if I made a New Year's resolution to stop blogging about Oscar's poop, but it's momentous, guys.)
This is how it was that, at 2.30 a.m., I found myself scrubbing my unhappy dog, scrubbing his cage, completely disposing of his blanket that was his Christmas present in 2009 and a dog-toy which fortunately he rarely plays with, and then washing my hands, arms and face about 25 times. I know people say dogs have no concept of time, but I think that's rubbish. My dog knows when to wake up in the morning, and when it's time to go for a walk at lunch time, and when it's time to go home from work. I really think that, because I left him alone for far longer than I ever have before (except once when Dear-Friend-Paulina and I went to an Over the Rhine concert), he began to fear I wasn't coming back, and freaked out. Poor doggie. And poor me.
So this is why I'm saying I think 2011 is going to be amazing. Or . . . it had better be.
I hope yours is, too.