My friends can attest that I have never really enjoyed New Year's Eve. As an eternally single gal, an annual event that forces you to find someone to kiss by midnight feels like God's little game of Dare.
Additionally, I found early on in my NYE career that, at least in San Francisco, it is near impossible to get where you want to go when you want to. This usually happens at the most crucial point of the night - the point at which you want to go home. You'd be amazed how competitive otherwise joyous revelers can be when trying to get a taxi at 3am.
So I was happy this year to open my house to the few people I knew that might not have plans already. Most people did have plans; I knew it would be a small crowd. And it was small indeed! In fact, by about 9:30 there were only 4 of us: me, W.R., John T and John I. Most of the group that was intending to come were comfortably stuck at the party before mine. It was walking distance away, so we joined them instead.
We were having a lovely time for twenty minutes before I was ushered to put my coat back on and go to a different party. So we walked (and walked and walked) the wet streets of San Francisco to another party further from my house. Luckily I was wearing my Kenneth Cole high heals, the ones with the tennis shoe soles. Otherwise I wouldn't have even bothered.
The next party was a "shoes off" party, which I always feel asks a lot of the guests. Required to display socks that were not intended to be seen! That was really the only part about it I didn't enjoy, and I wasn't wearing any socks anyway. There were some cool people there; the host Noreen and I discussed how she looked Jewish but wasn't, and I how I was but didn't look it. Close to midnight, someone did a false New Year countdown, which we all kind of went with, and I kissed all my male friends and hugged my girlfriend W.R.. I thought, "wow;" at least everyone here wasn't panting to kiss just one particular person. It felt grown-up. It felt good. Three minutes later someone tried to do the real New Year's countdown, but it didn't really get the same response as the false one.
Well, don't get settled now because we are walking to a bar. We get our stuff and start walking back toward my apartment. We stopped in this raging dance party, but didn't stay longer than it took the guys to realize it was a gay party. Back on the streets.
We ended up at Hobson's Choice, a favorite a bar of the guys. I was just happy it was around the corner from my apartment. We stayed there till it closed, and I was ready to invite everyone back to chill at my house. W.R. and I were waiting outside for the rest of the group, and there were a lot of people still on the street. I decided to make the best of it. Because really, all you have to do is say "Happy New Year" and lean in, and that guy walking by will stop and kiss you! It's amazing! This was going quite well, I had 3 kisses in, and then we got dragged to another party down the street.
So we went to the next party, which wasn't really a party because the host wasn't even there yet. He came around the corner shortly after we arrived and let us in. It took about a half hour for people to really start showing up, and I was getting to the point where it wasn't that fun to be sitting around drinking in some gross bachelor pad with people I wasn't the least bit interested in getting to know. W.R. and I discussed leaving, and the guys of course said "Wait! There's another party around the corner!"
OK, next party. I was loosing interest fast. I was really only going to look at the crowd and decide if it was worth my time, since it was 3am already. It ended up that a guy I worked withon a project a few years ago was there, P.W., and we had a good time catching up and gossiping. He was also instrumental in keeping an older Korean gentleman from asking me out. He started laughing when he realized that I was pretending he was my boyfriend, because he was there looking for a boyfriend of his own.
Wrapping things up at that party when our girl C.H. finally met up with us. She had a group of 5 with her, and about 12 or so of us stood outside deciding what to do next, for a long long time. Finally, I said, "W.R. and I are going back to my place. Anyone who wants to come along is welcome to." And so W.R. and I and 2 French guys from C.H.'s group ended up at my apartment. The people in the upstairs unit were still up and I invited them to come down the fire escape for some champagne. I was having a good time speaking French again, and W.R. was happy being the apple of a French man's eye. We all crashed around 5:30am.
So there you go. W.R. ended up having sex on my sofa bed with one of the Frenchies that night, while I was fighting the other Frenchy's hands away from me. And believe it or not, after all that walking and party hopping and alcohol and horny Frenchiness, I still had a good New Year's Eve.
Flash to the next day and you see me basically lying on the couch, watching the AMAZING Rose Bowl game of Texas v. Michigan, and you have a clear picture of how productive I was on the first day of 2005.