Traditionally, I’m not a massive New Year’s Eve fan. Too much pressure, too many people, too hungover come the first day of the year- which in my imagination is akin to being handed a huge piece of good quality white paper and a pack of colouring crayons. It’s like a nice man with a whistle is counting down from twelve and then screams GO. GOGOGO! DESIGN ANYTHING THAT YOU WANT! IT’S A BRAND NEW UNTOUCHED YEAR! THE WORLD IS YOURS! START WITH THE FUCHSIA! EXCLAMATION POINT!
New Year’s Day is where it’s at.
Absolutely related (unusually): this weekend I held my first goal-setting brunch. Sounds ridiculous? Yeah, it did to most of the work colleagues and Internet-to-real-life friends and hey! We met in Italy and now live down the road from each other in LONDON! fellow travellers I forced into attendance, right up until they realised the power of the crazy. Every. single. one. independently emailed me in the days leading up to Brunch of Awesome to say “So, I just bought a really nice new notebook and pen for Sunday and I think I’ve got my keyword for the year…”
It was after five of those messages that I realised: I done gone found my people. Communal cake and annual keywords? I’M IN.
And I suppose whilst we’re on a tangent unrelated to what I intended to tell you about, which involves my New Year’s Eve, baby oil, and an accidental meeting with a lesser known character from Gavin and Stacey, I may as well do the big reveal of my 2013 keyword… NOURISHMENT.
Wanky and unapologetic, people. Wanky and unapologetic.
Every year needs a keyword. Last year it was potential, and it damned near killed me. I was super fun company when I headed back to mum and dad’s for Christmas: I basically slept a lot, refused to wear make-up, and sat in front of the T.V. whilst somebody else prepared every meal I ate INCLUDING BREAKFAST before I deuced.
But I was just so tired. Potential is like, a way hard keyword. Mama understood.
As it got to December I did getting sick and getting emotional and WOAH I’M A BULL IN A CHINA SHOP AND WANT ALL THE THINGS AT ONCE, AND WORK HARD, PLAY HARD, USE ALL THE CAPS LOCKS. I was an empty shell of a woman by December 21st. Hence, therefore, nourishment.
Alternative keyword: calmthefuckdown.
I sat slurping tea in the living room with my brother before work on the last Friday before the holidays, and I said to him, “Baby bro, I just… I’m up and I’m down. I have this cycle where I’m brilliant and achieve everything and exercise and eat well, then I get bored and be drunk for two months, hate myself for it, wallow for a month, and then return to pious, and then drunk, and it happens about three times every year. I just want to be more consistent, you know?”
My brother looked at me. “Or maybe that’s just how you are, and maybe that’s okay.”
Buggar me if that didn’t change my whole perspective on what it means to be me. Acceptance rather than change, embrace rather than alter. Goal setting brunch quickly morphed into book tickets to do a bunch of fun shit brunch, and then I learned how to Vogue after watching brilliant documentaries about 1980’s transvestites and drag queens in Brooklyn.
I’d call that a success. And much less exhausting. Funner.
Reflection leads me to conclude that it was always going to be that way. That I was always going to have somebody say to me, “Hey- just give a fuck, and the rest will work itself out,” and that that would be like a light bulb switching on in my imagination.
And so back to New Year’s Eve again, because I do have a point, I swear. It’s an evening I traditionally loathe. But Jack the Dancer invited me to be a dreamer with him, and when Jack the Dancer says COME HAVE FUN obviously a girl shimmies into her tightest pleather trousers with the help of much baby oil and elbow grease, dons enough red lipstick to have her blush at her own provocative reflection when she looks in the mirror, and pull out the largely unworn- because it’s just not natural to bend feet that way- stripper heels.
We plumped and we preened and we were still in the bathroom at 10p.m., getting ready. By half past we decided to have a sit down with a bottle of Amaretto, and that meant that at 11.15 p.m. we realised we were basically late for New Year.
I tottered down the road in a crippled fashion only brought on by ridiculous shoes, clinging onto Jack the Dancer’s arm and doing hysterical laughing at almost everything because, well. Life is brilliant and we were dreamers against the world and also: amaretto.
As we arrived at our destination I let go of his arm to push open the door of the bar, OBVIOUSLY didn’t see the tiny step up, tripped up over my FUCKING HIGH HEELS, and fell face-first into the bar, right to my knees, splaying out like Alice after she falls down the rabbit hole.
Every person in there turned, saw I’d split those god-awful spray-on fake leather trousers, and applauded me as I came up into a curtsy.
Only then, I couldn’t see a bloody thing because going from cold air to warm air meant my new Atticus Finch glasses steamed up, so as Jack the Dancer pushed me, giggling til he turned purple, to grab a glass of champagne because it was almost time for to the ball to drop, I sort of thrust out my arms in front of me, Zomie-style, grappling for guidance as to where I could pretend not to be bothered by what had just happened. And somebody held onto my hand, and it didn’t feel like Jack the Dancer, and so I lifted my steamed up glasses to be confronted by Chinese Alan from Gavin and Stacey, who apparently owns the bar, saying, “You alright, love?”
BECAUSE OF COURSE AS THE CLOCK STRUCK TWELVE I WAS GETTING UP FROM MY KNEES TO CHINK GLASSES WITH DREAMERS AND CHINESE ALAN WHILST I PRETENDED NOT TO NOTICE MY BRUISED ANKLE SWELL.
Like my brother said, that’s just who I am. Consistently.