12/30/08

New Year's Eve...

I'll be staying home for New Year's Eve, thank you, and that's alright with me.

I've never been much of a New Year's person. As a child we would go to church on New Year's Eve for a program and a prayer meeting so I never had the whole wild party thing as part of my experience. I often don't even stay up until midnight. After all the year will change whether I'm awake to see it or not.

When I served as chaplain at a care center for men with addictions and mental illness I learned the Residents, long practiced in the art of inebriation, called New Year's Eve "amateur night" the time when accountants and other assorted varieties of "straights" tried to make it as drunks. In the weird world of street drinkers there's a perverse kind of pride in knowing how to keep the buzz going, what things to avoid, and how to live through it all including the next morning, knowledge the average guy with a goofy hat and a tipsy girlfriend just doesn't possess.

Wisconsin, too, is a drinking state. Crossing the river from the scolding moral Lutheran universe one discovers a different world just east of Minnesota, a world where there are often four bars on four corners and all of them open long after decent folk should be in bed. If Minnesotans do bad things and then enjoy feeling chastised for it people in Wisconsin have no such issues. Folks are more honest about it on the LaCrosse side of the river but that doesn't make it more safe. I'd rather not have to drive south in the wee small hours of the New Year to take care of a parishioner who has, shall we say, suffered the affects or worse yet was seriously injured by an amateur with too much booze and too little sense.

So it'll be my wife and I, my mother, and the cats, watching movies eating pizza and doing our best to keep off the streets. Time will do its work and while the party animals sleep and dream feverish spinning dreams we'll be up and free of headache.

2 comments:

Mimi said...

Father, bless,

That's how we do it too. A toast at midnight and then fall asleep.

Fr John said...

We'll see what movie marathons are on the dish and maybe get into one of them. I mostly envision warm food, lots of pillows and blankets, and sleeping in on the 1st.