It’s New Year’s Eve, my least favorite holiday. I’m sitting on my couch in a seat marked “boring” drinking tea, trying to get the boy to stay in bed. He came out again with a Lego device. He said it could blow up the world.

“Mom, here’s where the detonator goes, and the fuel.” That frightens me–not because I’m a Gandhi-loving pacifist, but because the NSA’s watching through the webcam, especially on a busy holiday like New Year’s Eve. Maybe they’re busy eating popcorn watching New Year’s drunks Skype. Perhaps we’ll get off easy.

Anderson Cooper is manning the Times Square ball drop filling up the time between commercials. He’s told me it’s New Year somewhere else in the world, which is fortunate because I won’t be up long enough to ring it in it on the East Coast.

I always wondered who’s on call for the real news while Anderson Cooper’s busy being Dick Clark covering balls dropping in Times Square. He usually covers balls dropping in Washington DC.

I’d never go to Times Square on New Year’s Eve. The idea of being in ten degree weather with one-fifth of the world’s population is my rough equivalent of living three years in the life of Ivan Denisovich, collecting data for student learning objectives, or making vacation reservations in Dante’s eighth circle of hell.

I just discovered dealbreaker–there are no bathrooms in Time’s Square.

That’s a surprising fact. Not a single port-0-potty. With one-fifth of the world’s population crowding in the same three feet for 24 hours straight, you’d think someone in the sanitation department would lend the good people of Gotham a roll of one-ply–maybe even get Charmin to sponsor the event. As it turns out, New York has a shuffle your feet lose your sewer grate heat policy. In the city where people will kill you for a parking space, I wonder what they’d do to someone who took their manhole.

“How long have you been here?” the field reporter asked the man. She probably has a bathroom press pass.

“Since 9AM.”

“Have you gone to the bathroom?” There is a CNN microphone in the man’s face. It’s the microphone usually reserved for dignitaries Anderson Cooper’s interviewing, but tonight it asks how long people can hold their bladders. Everyone’s always hoping for a disaster. If there’s no cab crash, rubbernecking for bladder accidents is the next best thing.

In other New Year rules, no backpacks are allowed. No snacks, no bathrooms, no flasks. A billion people herded into pens. Sounds like a sequel to something with the word “Gulag” in the title.

I once went to a winter football game in my 20’s completely sober. I think stacking up seventy snow games in a row might remind me of what I imagine New Year’s Eve in Time’s Square to be, only better because no one can steal your seat if you pee, and it’s not so hard to get a hot dog if you’re predisposed to eating such things. You just have to mortgage your house to pay for it, not unlike  charging hotel rooms on New Year’s Eve.

I made it to 10:30. I finished my tea and texted a friend. That’s about all the partying I can handle at my age.

Time to hit the hay so I can get up and pack the Christmas ornaments. Valentine’s Day’s been in the store for a month now–time to start planning hearts and flowers.

If you’ve had a good 2014, may 2015 be more of the same, if your year’s been lacking, may 2015 send blessings your way, and if you’re my proxy in Times Square, may you find a bathroom without a line as soon as humanly possible.


[Photo credit: Wikipedia]

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