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Happy 2005!

I don’t know about you, but my head is still pounding from the infamous night of debauchery, which unfolded this New Year’s Eve. My headache arose not from the drinking, but more from the exorbitant amount of time spent planning the night’s events.

I don’t know about you, but my head is still pounding from the infamous night of debauchery, which unfolded this New Year’s Eve. My headache arose not from the drinking, but more from the exorbitant amount of time spent planning the night’s events.

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It’s like Thanksgiving, people spend days on the menu alone — not to mention the time actually spent in the kitchen cooking for the feast, for what? It boils down to spending about half an hour, at best, eating the methodically planned meal. New Year’s Eve requiring much of the same meticulous preparation, works out in much the same way — a full belly but not a lot to show for it. According to a survey conducted by Impulse Research, 62 percent of Americans decided to skip the hassle and stay home whereas the other 38 percent braved the night’s Bacchus overtones.

I, choosing the latter, decided to make plans. Being a transplant from the Washington D.C. area to New York City, I experienced my first New Year’s Eve in the Big Apple, and accordingly, it had to be memorable. I opted against Times Square after hearing too many horror stories (e.g. thousands of people and no bathroom); plus, I road into town on a bus the day before with swarms of tourists seeking to celebrate the final minutes of 2004 with a few thousand of their closest friends. New York’s new maxim, at least for New Year’s, should be, “Give us your drunk, your crazy, and most starved of human contact.”

As usual, I overheard a couple of telephone conversations while I was on the bus. People were busy discussing plans for the festivities — like one woman’s debacle over which shoe to pair with her earrings in order to look just right at Snoop’s New Year’s party. Much like her agenda, mine included living out the evening’s delights in one of the “exclusive” clubs in the City’s Meat Packing district.

With all of these people emigrating from their homes for one night of carousing with millions of total strangers, I thought to myself, “The night might wind up being interesting after all.”

My destination was the Pink Elephant Club, 2,500 sq feet, which even in non-metric terms doesn’t prepare you for just how small it really is. I went with some people who knew someone (how it usually goes) and we received a special deal discounting the ticket price, which ran about $150 general admission — still cheaper than many other parties I had seen advertised.

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We made our entrance slightly before midnight, much to my chagrin (I arrived at my friend’s apartment at 9:30pm). After checking my coat, someone spilled their drink on my shoes, which I didn’t really care about because, hey, it’s New Year’s! Needing to catch up to this flagrant glass dropper, I went to the bar. This is where things become fuzzy.

A few drinks, a champagne toast, and a lot of dancing later, it was time to go. Wait a minute — all this planning and oh no, how could I have underestimated the level of difficulty that went into finding a cab in New York City on New Year’s Eve.

The convivial atmosphere of New Year’s took a sudden turn for the worse. Once well behaved and jovial people became cab thirsty cretins. Regrettably I was one of them, but in very uncomfortable shoes making me all the more fierce.

Some semblance of thought began to occur to me. Even if a cab decided to pull over and all of the home-bound partygoers didn’t bully their way in front of my friends and I, the cab driver wouldn’t take us anyway–I live in Brooklyn.

So, needing to find sanctuary, all of my instincts to flee went to work. We wondered past a couple of unknowing good Samaritans at their car, twenty minutes of cajoling and a small bribe later, we were on our way. Yes, New Year’s was a success–we made it home!

Home–that sounds nice; next year, who knows, maybe I’ll join the 62 percent whose “plans” included staying home.