The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

CityBeat testimonials to lower your New Year's Eve expectations

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Every year, New Year’s Eve arrives with an unavoidable air of hype. Loud, glittery, booze-ridden events abound, there’s social pressure to scope out the hottest party, drink the best champagne, kiss the right person at midnight and dress the flashiest. In our own futile attempts to make the night story-worthy for years to come, we often end up with botched nights that end in trouble, disappointment or just a totally unfounded hangover.  

We at CityBeat have come to terms with the fact that expectations of just about any kind usually end up blighted. In honor of arming you for a story that, in all likelihood, won’t be nearly as glitzy as you may envision, we’ve gathered anecdotes from CityBeat staffers that make for a collection of nontraditional holiday testimonials that are sometimes lame, sometimes nerdy and, in general, pretty anticlimactic. And somehow, they’re still remarkable, in their own small ways. Here’s to a very vanilla transition to 2013.

— Hannah McCartney

Maija Zummo, Her Cincinnati editor and CityBeat contributor: 

One New Year’s Eve, my friend and I were having a serious problem finding something to do. She claims that it’s because I wasn’t old enough to get into a bar, but in my memory, it’s because we were both socially awkward and afraid to go to a “cool” party. So we ended up chaperoning my little brother’s pop-up high school NYE party (my parents weren’t home because they were at an actual party). It was fine at first because my parents have a fully stocked liquor cabinet, but things quickly went downhill. All of a sudden a ton of my brother’s friends were super drunk, probably off Nati Light or something, and barfing in different household sinks — laundry room sink, bathroom sink. And then one of the teenagers started hugging my friend and groping her butt. She claims it was my butt he was groping, but I don’t think so. I think we told on my brother and made my parents come home after that.

Hannah McCartney, associate editor: 

In the past year or two, my social life has blossomed a bit, but for most of my teenage and adult life, I’ve spent New Year’s with pretty much one person — my best friend Ashley. I’d say without a doubt the lamest New Year’s experience (although not the most unenjoyable) happened during our senior year of high school, when Ash and I were still averse to the dangers of drinking and being normal teenagers. We were going through a Star Wars phase in which we’d repeatedly fast-forward through Return of the Jedi just to get to the parts with Ewoks, which, for some reason, we found particularly hilarious. We did this for most of the night in her parents’ basement (with her parents upstairs). Over and over. Her parents essentially dragged us up from the basement at midnight to watch the ball drop. Immediately after that, we spent some time googling Ewok trivia and fell asleep. You can’t make this shit up.

German Lopez, staff writer:  

In the past few years, I’ve grown into a specific lifestyle that embraces doing absolutely nothing. Doing the least means I’m doing the most, in my eyes. Fortunately, sometimes I get carried away with my doing nothing. Last year, Derek (my husband and partner-in-nothing) and I were maximizing our lack of productiveness on New Year’s Eve by playing video games. I don’t even remember the video game, but suffice to say, it held our attention long enough for us to completely forget it was New Year’s Eve until about 11 p.m. At this point, most people in our position would try to frantically connect the antenna, digital box, or whatever the hell it is to the television to watch Ryan Seacrest look beautiful while reading a teleprompter on television. Not us. We decided New Year celebrations suck anyway and we kept playing video games instead of paying attention to time. For me, it was probably the best New Year’s Eve ever.  

Jac Kern, arts and culture editor: 

I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of an apocalyptic event. Judging by the popularity of the zombie genre and the new “prepper” phenomenon, I suppose many people share this interest. As New Year’s Eve approached in December 1999, I was 12 years old and nearing the peak of my AOL obsession. As buzz about the infamous Y2K bug increased, I became equally nervous and excited by the possibility of a new way of life. While my parents did not give into my pleas to stock up on water and non-perishables, I awoke early on Dec. 31 to track the inevitable destruction as other time zones around the world rang in 2000. I glued myself to the computer and TV screens as the clock struck midnight in Australia and… nothing. While I was relieved that my precious AOL wouldn’t be crashing any time soon, a strange part of me was kind of disappointed that we wouldn’t be going back to prairie days.    

Jesse Fox, CityBeat designer and photographer: 

The best New Year’s happened for me a couple years ago when my group of friends ventured up from Cincinnati to meet our other half of friends who lived in Columbus. The shots started early and by 8 p.m. we were all past our “limit” ... but no one really paid attention to that. The night was filled with everyone kissing everyone else, drinking games, blasting Die Antwoord, my friend Alex and husband Macy lining up to puke on the side of the garage so our friend Justice could puke (because he actually needed to and they were being good friends), laser lights, midnight burritos and passing out before 2 a.m. ... and waking up the next morning with scratches all over, pretzels in my bra and a camera full of pictures that no one but me will ever see. 

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