We went to the NC State/Vanderbilt bowl game in Nashville for the New Year’s weekend. Take the outcome of the game out of the picture, and it was a really nice jaunt.
I’ve never really loved New Year’s Eve. I think in middle and high school I usually spent the night with my parents and other family friends who had kids my age. In college we spent multiple years following the Wolfpack around to bowl games in the southeast. Once we were in Atlanta and a girl friend and I were walking down the street. A homeless looking guy walked up to her and shoved his tongue in her ear. I’ll never forget the look on her face. It was one of the highlights of my life.
Although Lisa and I enjoyed having plans on New Year’s Eve, it wasnt that important to us. We could grab dinner somewhere at 8 and be home snuggled in bed at 10 watching Dick Clark. Now they’re both gone.
Like Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve screams in the face of those who don’t have a mate, or at a minimum a date. Mother’s and Father’s Day is like that for those who don’t have kids. That’s whats supposed to happen: at 25 you get married, at 28 you have a kid. And then they grow up and produce your grandchildren and you live until you’re 94 and don’t know your daughter from the nurse technician who changes your diaper and gives you a bath.
But that’s often not how it works. It’s more likely that you’ll divorce, or you kid will struggle with alcohol or drugs or that you can’t have kids of your own. And it’s likely, at some point in your lifer, that you’ll find yourself alone – or at least at a place you never dreamed you’d be. It’s my turn now. I’ll take one for the team.
Don’t get me wrong, my New Year’s Eve wasn’t bad. I was with my kids and two other great families when Ryan Secrest ushered it in. It was when I got back home – that’s when it felt a bit hollow. The kids went upstairs, we needed some space after a nine hour car drive. I glanced at our drooping Christmas tree. It looked like it felt about like I did that night – tired and a bit lifeless.