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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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Chicago Review Press

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Let's Panic

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At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

« A long humorless screed about the evils of dessert. Get ready. | Main | Briefly, before the year ends »

Happy new year, or whatever.

Look, I’m generally a fan of celebration, but New Year’s Eve is the worst holiday ever. Am I right, folks? Can I get an amen? Why are you all looking at me like that? What are you pocketing—are those sparkly 2010 glasses? What party did you all go to and why wasn’t I invited?

I just can’t get into New Year’s. If we stay in, I’m certain I missed something, and if we go out, I have to kiss people I don’t know and there’s noise and my feet hurt from the high heels and I’m wondering why I didn’t just stay home. Bah.

I may be crankly this morning (crankly? I’m leaving it) because my building neighbors all decided the advent of a new year was a perfect excuse to unleash their heretofore-contained need to DEAFEN THE WORLD. Open your doors, folks! Play that thumpy-thump music louder! Do you have an air horn? Well then BLOW IT! Blow it so all the world can hear that you are, you know, alive, and you are capable of blowing things! That sounded wrong! OH WELL!

We decided we’d stay in and “enjoy” a “quiet” New Year’s, just Henry and Scott and myself, and all was well until the stroke of midnight, when there was some inexplicable squabbling as the ball dropped and we began the New Year with tears and recrimination. How festive! Just as we all made up, the building went insane. It seems a massive celebration was raging in our building all that time, and yet we didn’t hear a single peep, not a footstep outside our door, until the stroke of midnight. Suddenly there was shouting and bombs were going off and we all made a run for our beds and hid under the covers, praying for a quick ending to whatever was going down in the rooms around us.

Fortunately Henry was exhausted enough to drop right off, noise be damned, but it took the two of us a little longer. We somehow managed to get to sleep by, oh, two a.m., and were then awakened at FIVE by some drunken neighbors in the hall, leaning against our DOOR and yes I realize I am CAPITALIZING random WORDS. I listened to some guy I’ve never seen before leaning against our door (why yes I WAS peeping through the peephole—that’s what it’s for!) loudly questioning another guy about where he was going to do…something. Drugs? Urination? Unclear. “You going to do that outside? Not in here? Are you going to do it in the hall right here? Or you going home?” Murder? Knitting? What was going on?

At this point Scott arrived and took the bull by the horns by opening the door and informing this total stranger that the hallway wasn’t the best place to carry on an INCREDIBLY LOUD conversation and could he maybe go back to, you know, his own place of residence. We got a look at this guy, and oh my, was he drunk. So, so drunk. Eyes rolling in the head, weaving around drunk. He just kept saying “It’s New Year’s Eve!” (“It’s New Year’s day,,” I observed) and telling us he’s lived in the building for 20 years. 20 years! That gives you tenure, or whatever, so of course you can do drugs or murder in the hallway or at least TALK about it, geez.

So listen, I haven’t had much sleep, and I’m in a little bit of a bad mood and I may be contemplating running up and down the stairs with a large pan and a mallet and making some traditional New Year’s Day Racket for my hungover neighbors to enjoy, SEE HOW THEY LIKE IT. But in all truth, 2009 was kind of amazing for the Finslippy household—sucky for the rest of the world, sure, but total aces for us!—and I’m sure 2010 will be even better. Once I get some sleep. And stop wondering what that guy was going to do in the hallway. His taxes? Really, I can’t figure it out.

Reader Comments (37)

I haven't seen midnight on NYE in eons (I abhor forced fun). But this year we sent the kids to grandma's, put on some glitter and stayed out until 6AM. Yes. 6AM in the MORNING. Fun to mix it up every decade or so. But you don't get to feel smug in the morning.
January 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSamantha
Happy New Year !! I keep want to start this comment with ‘good’ or ‘nice’ or ‘great’ but none of these seems strong enough, or appropriate enough for what you just posted.Just fantastic and mindblowing blog keep it up..!!!
January 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersaksham
Ha ha I totally agree! The expectations are simply tooo high. My New Year's Eve was much the same except for the guys (planning to knit/murder/whatever) in the hall LOL!Thanks
January 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEve
The very worst thing about New Year's Eve is that it's my f'ing birthday. I spent years trailing people to huge parties where I don't know anyone, or trying to trump the holiday with a blowout party of my own. Now I just go to bed at 10 pm and forget the whole thing.
January 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBeth
As holiday, it has potential... but the timing is all wrong. One week after Christmas, everyone is still bloated, broke and cranky.

Now, Chinese New Year is far more civilized... give us a month to recover from Christmas, and make the holiday about eating.

Win, win.
January 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaren
Amen. New year's eve sucks. I refuse to acknowledge it as a holiday. The "traditions" surrounding it seem to be rooted in the worst aspects of our culture. And why, of all days, do you want to be hungover and miserable on the first day of a new year? Sorry your neighbors made that choice for you. Maybe next year you should spend it in the country.
January 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterspoiledonlychild
Amen to that sister! I hate New Year's Eve! Stinkiest holiday EVER!
January 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlibby
Amen, sister. Amen.

Although I do have a penchant for fireworks. But other than that, New Year's stinks.
January 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDawn
I hate it, too. I keep thinking there must be a way to fix it -- stay in with good food? -- but whatever you do, the expectations just kill it. I have tried camping and even that wasn't enough to overcome it. It's just too weighted to ever really work. Strangely, Christmas isn't, and really, if there's a holiday that ought to sink under expectations, that's it.
January 6, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterreadersguide
Well, I was going to say how I haven't always liked NYE, but then I gave birth on this last one, and then I read Beth's comment. I kept telling my little one to wait, Beth, I did, I wanted a January baby, but she had other ideas. Now I'm panicking over her future birthdays. Dang.
January 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKim
New Years Eve as a holiday is stoopid. Worse, I have to share my dumb birthday with it and this year I turn 40. I was watching the Sex and the City movie at about 12:25 AM ans grunted to my spouse. dumb.
January 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterjenB

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