The main downfall of any NYE plan is excess ambition. You get it in your head that you can do something totally classy, complex, and out of the ordinary for you, and not only will you pull it off, but you'll have the best time of your life.
DO NOT THINK THIS. IT IS CRAZY.
Every time I pay some exorbitant cover charge or ticket price for a NYE party, it turns out to be a big disappointment because my expectations are outrageous and no night could possibly live up to them. Or maybe I'll decide to go out "in the city" for a change, even though this now means someone needs to stay sober for the 20-mile drive home past every police officer in the county. Or perhaps I'll just go to a party with all the people I see on a regular basis, but somehow I'll expect them to become 200% more interesting for that one night because DAMMIT IT IS NEW YEAR'S EVE AND I NEED TO HAVE A CRAZY-GOOD TIME OR THE WHOLE PRIOR YEAR BECOMES A WASTE. And guess what: the crew does not become 200% more interesting.
So here's the new blueprint for a perfect New Year's Eve, based on what we did right this time around:
1 -- eat your most favorite awesome thing for dinner. Close the year out with a meal to remember, and start off the new year with a fridge full of leftover favorite thing. We went with tacos. Holy shit I love tacos. I wish it were taco night every night. I wish I had a taco right now. Instead it was just taco night New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. But that was a hell of a lot better than no taco night at all.
2 -- don't drive anywhere. Either go to someone's house and stay there, or have people over to your house to stay there. Driving means destroying someone's boner. Even people who don't plan to drink a drop on NYE still don't want to drive anywhere, because the cops are everywhere and the roads are full of drunks. It sucks.
3 -- drink your favorite things and engage in your favorite hobbies. If this means getting drunk on Bud Light Lime while playing Modern Warfare, then by all means, do that. This is your night. You don't have to impress anyone with fancy glitter tank tops and mojitos. I drank rum-and-cokes while playing guitar and singing badly until my fingers nearly bled. It was awesome.
4 -- find a local bar that you can get to very easily, preferably without driving (hint: choose whose house to stay at based on who lives within easy bus/subway/taxi/walking distance from a dive bar). Head over there around 11:20PM. Be sure to bring a bag filled with New Year's paraphernalia, especially crowns and horns. You will need those.
5 -- once at the bar, look around and gauge who the drunkest patrons appear to be. Approach them with your bag of crap like the New Year's Santa, and make them do embarrassing tricks to "win" these items from you. Make sure to work quickly, because your currency will become worthless as soon as the new year actually hits. Don't worry; once the drunks realize you've got those shitty "Happy New Year" tiaras they never realized they couldn't live without, they will do almost ANYTHING to get one from you.
Fact: at 11:30PM on December 31 every year, this piece of shit becomes more precious than gold.
6 -- Participate in the countdown to the New Year and then toast and kiss your partner in a bar crowded with strangers. Feel like a part of something bigger than yourself. Sing "Auld Lang Syne" at full volume even though you don't know any of the words and actually thought it was called "Old Landmine" until you just saw it written here in this blog.
7 -- Stick around the bar for another twenty minutes to half an hour and watch chaos unfold: a level of drunken desperation unlike anything you've seen before. Examples: one drunk bimbo being Night at the Roxbury'd by two pathetic hipster douches who think this is an appropriate way to fight over the same girl. Two fat girls pulling each other's hair. Blonde sorority-looking chicks grinding even though they're obviously not into each other, desperate to catch some guy's attention so they can start off the new year by being haphazardly banged out in the bathroom of a dive bar by a complete stranger.
8 -- Get the hell out of there before things get too bleak, and before you become drunk enough to start grinding along with the bimbos.
9 -- Once you're back at home, crack open the bottle of champagne you bought in case the whole going-to-the-bar thing didn't work out. Drink one glass of it, then decide you've had enough excitement for one night and go to bed.
Results: you got to eat your favorite food, do your favorite thing, drink your favorite drink, hang out with your favorite person/people, make drunk people do tricks to get a $.50 tiara, laugh at people who will start the new year filled with regret, drink some champagne, spend roughly $8, and WAKE UP FEELING MOSTLY AWESOME! (I saw *mostly* awesome because I bought REALLY cheap champagne and the next day my body was all "wtf, what kind of a monster does a thing like that?!" There's another lesson for next year -- spring for the decent stuff).
I watched two hipsters fight over a girl by giving her the Night at the Roxbury treatment.
This actually happened.
Best. Night. Ever.