A night to remember
Loving recollections of New Year's Eves past, at home, abroad and in the toilet
Published: December 28, 2011
It was midnight New Year's Eve 2010 at a dive bar in Taylor: I had my first kiss with the man I'd marry. —Kerry Sharp, Warren
Under the Eiffel Tower when I was 20 and everyone was passing bottles of Champagne around — drinking and spraying. Good times. Also, there was another New Year's Eve when we were at a very dear friend's party and there was dancing in the basement and I was the only guy on the dance floor. Suddenly, and with "Krystál"-clear, drunken inspiration, I said to my many hot female dance partners of all sizes, shapes and ages, "Hey, you guysh! Take turns pretending I'm a pole!" I was quickly dragged off the dance floor by my wife. That was fun. —Andrew Lark, St. Clair Shores
Mine have been uh-oh more than hellz-yeah. One year, right at midnight, when my ex and I were suppose to kiss, he runs outside and shoots guns instead. He ate all the shrimp, drank all the booze then went and shot guns. —Sandy C. Hopkins, Detroit
Ihave long ago given up on the idea of New Year's being a holiday requiring significant planning and preparation. That is what Halloween is for. My grandest aspiration for NYE 2011 is simply to avoid the bathroom. I've spent many a midnight in bathrooms (NYE 2010, Royal Oak, Café Muse, NYE 2007, Detroit, the Works, etc.) The worst is NYE 2003, at Gusoline Alley in Royal Oak. My boyfriend and I decide to stop by Gusoline Alley where some of my friends from work were hanging out. By the time we get there, the girls are already hammered and the guys are sitting off to the side acting as silent human ATMs, as good boyfriends must so often do when surrounded by a pack of women in retail (which is basically like a sorority you get paid to be in). I deposit my boyfriend at the boyfriends' table for safe-keeping, but no sooner had I ordered my first vodka tonic when one of the girls, newly single, decided to lay down on the floor of the bathroom, arms around the toilet, crying. And this is where my human empathy gets me: In the bathroom of Gusoline Alley at midnight on New Year's Eve, trying to peel my drunk friend off the floor by giving her such inspiring exhortations as, "Don't be that girl," and "Get up, you drunk fucker." After I miss the midnight Tosti toast and my boyfriend peeks his head in the bathroom with an expression of "LOL WUT," I come out and inform Kelly, "Your friend is lying on the floor in the bathroom crying." She doesn't want to be bothered with this information while she's busy getting her drink on. I repeat, more urgently and with a very clear implication that I am not going to just go away if she ignores me. I make it my mission for everyone else to suffer the same dignity-by-association of being a 22-year-old girl spending her New Year's Eve trying to convince her puffy-faced, sputtering, snotting, blubbering hot mess of a friend-of-a-friend that she is in fact beautiful and any guy would be lucky to have her. There is no way I am doing this alone; I lack the sincerity.
Through much prodding and pep-talking and pulling, the now-merely sniffling drunk girl acquiesces and vacates the bathroom. She waltzes out with a "Who, me?" look that would make you think she just did something salaciously scandalous in the bathroom and not that she was in fact just face-planted in the toilet sobbing. My silent human ATM boyfriend, who, four years later, almost turned me into that girl (and perhaps I have this girl to thank, as it was probably only because of the nagging memory of this previous, wholly undignified experience that I didn't) hands me two shots of whiskey.
—Nicole Rupersburg, Detroit
It was Belfast in the late '90s — somewhere in town there was a blast in response to the death of an IRA leader. But we were insulated in another area by drink and friendly people.
My friend Anita said that, in Northern Ireland, it was common practice for bar hoppers to "snog" strangers. I'm not sure if she was playing a joke on this naïve American girl, but I liked the idea so much that I declared myself a goodwill ambassador to the boys of Belfast.
And the boys of Belfast, whether Catholic or Protestant, welcomed my goodwill. I kissed one after another and it was good, clean, fun and nobody got hurt.
Later that week, we went to Mass... —J. Galuszka
On Dec. 31,1999; we took a limo ride to the Palace of Auburn Hills. We saw the concert of a lifetime, and the greatest rock and roll band of all time: the J. Geils Band. This was a new experience for me — a classic rock band that could actually play music that sounded great. They were better than the Rolling Stones. The whole show was magical. The band led a countdown to midnight. Guess what? Nothing happened. Remember all the computers and clocks were supposed to shut down at midnight at 01/01/2000? A loud roar came from the crowd and Champagne was flowing on the stage. Everyone was cheering and happy. The next morning I woke up a little tired and happy, because we were married on 01/01/2000. My husband David picked that day because he said if he got married again, it would have to be a day he couldn't — or can I say wouldn't — forget. —Shari & David Seruga,
> Email Metro Times readers and staff