1. December 31, 1985: In the Longo house, New Year's Eve was a night for eating chips and dip, playing Trivial Pursuit, and watching the ball drop. This is how I remember most of our New Year's Eves growing up. This particular year was memorable because we ran out of dip and had to bake up an emergency batch of cookies to keep the junk food coming. Also, I remember the newscaster breaking in on the Times Square footage to show us a shot of Ricky Nelson's plane crashing. My mom was sad. Happy New Year.
2. December 31, 1986: Hoping for better things this time around, we invited friends over to ring in the New Year. My sister and I and our friends Jen and Chuckie watched movies. Our selections? Witchboard and Children of the Corn. I was 13. We had an Ouija board. We lived on a farm, with acres and acres of corn. It was all fun and games (and more chips and dip) that year, but I'll admit that it was no "accident" that the Ouija board wound up in the dumpster shortly thereafter. Also, I was terrified to walk in the corn for years, convinced I could feel Malachai's breath on the back of my neck. Totally psychologically damaging New Year's Eve fun.
3. December 31, 1993: Funny, I don't remember any New Year's Eve celebrations from my college years. Before my roommates from that era chime in and tell you I was a lush (I was, but that's not the point) I'm sure I was on winter break during these New Year's Eves. So I'm going to guess this was another evening of chips and dip at home.
4. December 31, 1999: I rang in the turn of the century on Block Island, at Sam Peckham's Tavern. I usually hated going out on the island on New Year's Eve (or, as we called it, Amateur Night) but made an exception this particular year. I remember a woman named Paula was playing a rousing rendition of "Blow Me (a Kiss as You're Leaving)" on the piano, which at the time I thought was brilliantly witty. I might have been drunk.
5. December 31, 2008: Fast forward a few years. At this point, Jason and I were newly married, and had both agreed that we didn't want to be out on New Year's Eve, as we were now mature enough to realize getting wasted with strangers was not particularly fun. We stayed home to play Trivial Pursuit, eat pizza, and watch the ball drop. This year was memorable because at approximately 11:42 PM, Jason was struck with a virulent stomach bug, and began power-vomiting into any receptacle he could find. At 12:07 AM, I followed suit. We barfed at least three times an hour for the next 48 hours, making for a memorable New Year's celebration together. Honestly, we were pushing each other out of the way to throw up in the toilet. I was so mad because I was sure nobody would believe we'd been home, sober, behaving like grownups.
6. December 31, 2013: This year, we plan on staying at home. I'll mention that it's been 28 years since Ricky Nelson died; we'll throw on some scary movies, like Children of the Corn. We won't order pizza, since now the thought of pizza on New Year's Eve makes us think of barfing, but I'll make chips and dip. We don't have TV anymore, so no watching the ball drop, but that's okay, because Dick Clark won't be there to count it down. There's a 50/50 chance that I won't stay awake 'til midnight anyway.
I hope everyone has a happy and healthy New Year!