Different kind of Buzz

Two weeks after the event, the only person left who’s interested in what I did for New Year’s Eve is my hairdresser.

Why on earth would I choose to spend a sober New Year with my nephews, niece and their father? She wants to know.

Fair question. I wondered the same thing when we got to the family fireworks only to discover there WERE NO RIDES. Followed by sulks and ungracious moans of boredom.

Unfazed, even, by the upturned hearts that kissed the sky.

“I’m going to send the little shits home after breakfast,” I complain to Ms over coffee the next morning.

She gently tells me how I CAN’T DO THAT on New Year’s Day.Β More sulks.

Instead, the offer is to take them to Scienceworks. As long as they eat all their breakfast. Which, luckily for them, they do.

But when it comes to getting dressed, anyone would think this is a new concept.

“I don’t want to brush my hair,” says one.

“I want to wear my onesie,” echo two.

“You can’t wear your onesie to Scienceworks, and we won’t be going anywhere without your hair brushed,” proclaims Almighty Aunt.

Long pause.


Hey look! Is that Dad’s head on a platter?

The middle one pipes up.

“But why? Sometimes, it’s nice just to be messy,” he says, one leg aimlessly kicking the air from the length of couch he’s claimed.

No denying he’s my nephew, I think, as Ms embarks on a long explanation about how, when we’re at home with people who know and love us, it’s okay to be messy. But out there, where people don’t know us, all they have to go on is how we look. And if you’re messy and smelly, they might not like you.

They might even be mean to you.


“I’m going to go get dressed,” he says. And they all shuffle off to find the hairbrush.

And therein lies the answer. Make the most of them while they still want to be socialised (plenty of time for drinking after that…).

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done on New Year’s Eve?


  1. says

    Aren’t kids funny? But they definitely got the socialization aspect of the whole thing. Well done Ms for explaining it in a way that they got.

    Not the worst thing, but the most memorable New Year’s was driving home from work (I was a bartender) and pulling a drunk young woman in to my truck before the drunk guys in the truck in front of us got to her. Luckily, I was dating a cop at the time and basically turned the whole thing over to him at Denny’s. Doubly luckily, it happened in the town where he worked. Triply luckily, I got to her before the drunk guys. So that’s my luckiest New Year’s.

    • says

      Wow! That’s a Supergirl kind of story. Good on you for rescuing the damsel in distress. That would make a great start to a novella πŸ˜‰ I can safely say nothing that exciting has ever happened to me on NYE!

      • says

        I’m actually going to give it to a character in the novel after this one. (It’s mostly plotted out, but it’s the first in a series, hopefully, and the series isn’t plotted out completely yet. )

        I dunno that it’s Supergirl so much as human person. πŸ™‚

  2. says

    “Sometimes, it’s nice just to be messy.” I love this. Of course, there’s the practical bit, but still, as a motto, it kinda works. πŸ™‚
    I don’t know about the worst thing, but the most recent New Year’s eve found me on a couch sitting with people I sort of know, in front of a TV as some football game played out, while a ten yr old boy and an older gentlemen argued over sports statistics. I remember thinking it was a strange choice for NYE for me. Although it was my choice. I was at a nice party with nice friends, but my two options were the couch or making another round of small talk at the party. The introverted choice won. Oh well.

    • says

      Funny, I don’t picture you being that much into footy (that’s what we call it here!). But given the options, even I may have ended up on the couch. Unless I was drinking, then maybe not πŸ™‚

  3. says

    I probably could have done with such Aunts when I was a child: smelly and messy being two things I spend too much time being.

    I’m going to plump for NYE 1982. My first and last out in the big wild City of Sydney.
    My wife-to-be (ex-wife-to-be!) and I managed to procure some (bad) LSD, which began working while we were stuck at the top of the broken-down ferris wheel at Luna Park. My writer’s brain managed to provide different lyrics to the song the live band below were singing β€” lyrics that were about the myriad ways they were executing people as they were brought down from the ferris wheel.
    Surviving the Great Ferris Wheel Rescue, we hopped on a ferry to escape across to the Opera House. However, I had a revelation, as I looked into the murky harbour water, that I was looking into a gateway to a better world, and did very much want to dive in, swim fast down.
    Dragged inside by people who decided I’d do better to stay on the ferry, I soon found myself smoking illicit substances from a small purple tube my intended carried in her purse β€” while sitting in a beautiful old tree in the Botanical Gardens β€” until the Ranger came around with a very large dog.
    We sat, quiet as two people who’d rather not be torn to shreds by dogs, until he left with others he’d arrested.
    We caught the last train out of the city. Once we were in it, someone on the platform used their steelcap boots to kick the train’s lower floor window β€” the one a poor young Asian guy had his face against β€” and most people in the carriage started fighting.
    The train ended up going along an unscheduled line, then terminated at a station no train had ever terminated before, and we walked home as the new year dawned, about six kilometres, heading into a terrible 17 year marriage, a horrible divorce, and lives filled with stories we’d both see very differently.

    • says

      Mr iPants! This right here is the reason Australian films seem quirky and unbelievable – because no-one would ever think that stuff actually happens! Of course, nowadays what we have instead are police who assault and break the legs of young women for fare evasion. What ever happened to old Australia?! I love your story. Please write more about your wild adventures (those of us who have lived through many tame and uneventful NYE’s need them!)

  4. says

    I think writers in general embrace the concept of messiness being perfectly fine. πŸ˜‰

    I don’t really have any terrible NYE stories, but that could be because I don’t remember some of those nights. πŸ™‚

  5. says

    Cute/funny post! Yeah, kids never want to do anything that’s your idea. I learned a long time ago that only three things works with kids: making them think it was their idea; making it a competition (I bet you can’t finish that before your brother!); if all else fails, bribery.

    My worst NYE was spent at home with a stomach flu! Bleh. No fun. And two years in a row my mom came in town over that week and ruined my evening. That sounds mean….but it’s true! Lame to be with your parents on NYE!

    • says

      Those three parenting pointers seem scarily accurate! Luckily, mostly, I don’t have to think about it, but it’s always a reality check when I do!

      Not mean, truthful πŸ™‚ There have to be some occasions that don’t involve family. I broke that rule this year, but that was for the sake of the kids. I can’t imagine ever spending NYE with my folks!

  6. says

    I had to think about the worst thing . . . I think our quiet family nights are way better than the few times I was traipsing around NYC or downtown Chicago forcing myself to have fun. So much work. (For real!)

    • says

      “Forcing myself to have fun” – so true! The whole trip felt like torture to me (plus I had a bad back for the occasion). All I could think about was going home, or drinking. Neither of which were possible πŸ™‚

  7. says

    You know, it never occurred to me that people were being mean to me because I was wearing a onesie, but now I’ve seen the light. But seriously, it sounds like you at least got some laughs out of your New Year’s festivities, which is time well-spent in my book.

  8. says

    I had a niece that had living organisms growing in her hair. Her mother (My husbands sister whose a flake) said she didn’t believe in making kids do anything! Coarse me, I’m all for child labor!! lol. I watched her for the weekend while her mother went to another self-help group & decided that she would get the first solid brush after a year of neglect. As I approached the giant ball of a mess, I thought I saw something looking back at me! I grabbed some water, blessed it & a bible then splashed the water & banished the creature back to hell then went about brushing. When the child pitched a fit, I told her, “If you don’t let me comb this out, that damn thing will return!!” True story. ‘Course she needed therapy afterwards & her hair stayed the same!! As for the worst spent NYE, it could never compare to the child hair combing incident, so I’ll leave it at that!! Best post eva Alarna!! You had me at “little shits!!!” lmao πŸ™‚

    • says

      This is one horrific story!! I’m still twitching :/ But seriously, how do parents like this expect their kids to grow up and cope with…life?? Brushing teeth and hair are two of the most basic chores one has to do as a kid. It would never have occurred to me there was an option! Phew… yep, that trumps NYE. (Oh, and I should clarify…”little shits” is, of course, an affectionate Aussie term for “little darlings in disguise” πŸ˜‰ ).

  9. lynnkelleyauthor says

    Love, love, love this! What a crackup! Kids are a riot, and the things we come up with to get them to comply is so funny, too!

  10. says

    The worst and the best thing I do is the same thing I do every year. Nothing. The calendar feels so arbitrary and meaningless to me, really. But for Valentine’s Day I’m having a little finger food party– you’re only allowed to eat with your hands and you have to feed someone else. Fun.

  11. says

    NYE, once every five years is enough for me, the rest are spent by the sounds to the sea, beneath stars as far from urban light, and strange scented air as can be. The worst, well that’s between me, and me.

  12. says

    Ha! I used to teach dance to youngsters and that is a tactic I’ve totally used before. A couple of reasonable points about the “norms” of society, met by silence, and then a glimmer of obedience.

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