This holiday season, Chow Bella asked some of our favorite writers to regale us with tales of the holidays -- and food. We're at the tale end this week, with New Year's. Today: Eric Schaefer on the
joys horrors of a NYE birthday.
See also: - Champagne: Good, Better, Best Options with Kimber Stonehouse of Sportsman's - Where to Drink and What to Eat in Phoenix on New Year's Eve - Eating Christmas: Valley Writers Nosh on the Holidays
Take my word on this: Don't have sex in April unless you're supremely confident in your chosen form of birth control. Had someone shared this sage advice with my parents nearly 40 years ago, there's a chance that I wouldn't be forever cursed with a birthday that falls on the worst day of the year: New Year's Eve. Don't take the chance of inflicting upon your child the lifetime of misery that was unwittingly bestowed upon me.
New Year's Eve is the holiday that we all secretly despise. We feel compelled to go out and have a great time but, really, it's never very much fun. We force a smile as we adorn ourselves with stupid New Year's themed accessories, and feign excitement as the clock ticks down to midnight. Driving will get you a death wish or a DUI. And even the best restaurants frequently disappoint. Recent years have included an almost-unheard-of lackluster experience at Binkley's, a culinary clusterfuck at Quiessence, overpriced glitz at Dominick's and even dinner at my beloved that Noca failed to excite.
What normally costs $25 is $50 on New Year's Eve. When we go out with the expectation that it has to be fun, it almost never is and you'll pay through the nose for the privilege of feeling disappointed.
Truthfully, I've only had three truly great New Year's Eve birthday dinners. The first was in Amsterdam and that's probably because I only vaguely recall the bulk of it. Something about several grams of Jamaica's finest, a live sex show, and a banana, but I digress. My friends told me I had a good time. The second was a meal on the beach in Nice, France, but the fun quickly came to an end when my girlfriend overindulged on Grand Cru and spent the night getting intimate with our hostel's plumbing system instead of me. We missed our train to Florence the next morning and she dumped me a few weeks later.
Happy birthday to me, indeed. I should have opted for a tall glass of hemlock instead.
And the third involved dinner with my wife in rural New York at a continental restaurant where we were the youngest customers by at least 40 years, the stereotypically French proprietor had relatives in Tubac, Arizona, and on the drive home we found ourselves lost at the set of Stuckeybowl from the since-canceled sitcom Ed. Bizarre.
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But before you label me a miserable bastard, I'm vowing to have a better attitude this year. I'm going to take all that I hate about being a New Year's Eve baby and I'm going to celebrate it. I intend to be dressed head-to-toe in Made in China New Year's Eve Crap from Party City. A little tip: invest in confetti, because I'm buying all of it and it's going to be everywhere. I will drink every crappy glass of champagne that I'm served, hangover be damned.
Shit, I might even be okay with the fact that Carson Daly is clearly responsible for Dick Clark's premature demise. I'll watch the ball drop in Times Square with the knowledge that 2012 was in many ways the worst year and the best year of my life. I'm glad it's over, I'm excited about the future and I don't intend to look back.
As for the food, I haven't yet made any decisions. But as long as I'm surrounded by the ones that I love, I could be happy with a nice bottle of champagne and some 99-cent tacos from Jack in the Box. Hell, I'll even pay two bucks for them on New Year's Eve.