Fear of the Midnight Chime

“You can see this everywhere you go: young middle-class people whose lives are beginning to disappoint them making too much noise in restaurants and clubs, and wine bars. ‘Look at me! I’m not as boring as you think I am! I know how to have fun!’ Tragic. I’m glad I learned to stay home and sulk.” – Nick Hornby

Here’s a secret: I don’t like parties very much. This isn’t a big secret, as I’m sure most of my friends hate me for it (possibly one of the many reasons why I also only have about 2 of those critters left) but I thought I’d share it since tomorrow is the biggest party of the year: New Year’s Eve. I’m sure we’re all aware of the New Year’s Eve curse, that being that if you plan too much it won’t go to that plan, plus it always manages to be a let down. Last year things did go to plan, but admittedly they were pretty dismal plans: invite 2 friends over, make some fun drinks, that’s it.

We made awesome Mango Margaritas last year. They made me sleep for 2 hours. Also, 'we' includes just 2 people and 2 guests before they left for their real party. We rock hard, sir.
We did make these smashing mango margaritas (they sent me to a 2 hour nap) but really, it doesn’t matter how smashing a drink is if your dislike of parties means you only have a couple of guests.

I enjoy parties that are held at places close to my own house, preferably where I’ve been before and with people I mostly know. I also don’t like there to be any rowdy young men (read angry 17 year old boys on drugs) or old mate dickheads, or skanks, or parties that have that tense, danger coming energy. I like ones that involve awesome chats, good music that isn’t so loud people seem to buckle under it and with visible exits. I don’t like aresholes in crack houses where I don’t know anyone and all the men have spaced out eyes and the bathroom is permanently occupied by drug users and there are shirtless neighbours attempting to gate crash, and the moment someone suggests people do something crazy I’m outta there quicker than I can put my coat on.

Basically, to anybody who likes to get loud, drunk and crazy I’m a total bore. I can’t help it if my idea of a good time is in a cosy pub having a great conversation with some smart, funny people over some food instead of skulling something potent to maxed out speakers with party people who seem to have a need to yell at each other. Some of us just swing that way. You’ll know us because we use phrases like ‘swing that way’.

news-graphics-2007-_652412aPlus, alcohol puts me to sleep. Only takes two drinks and I’m head down snoring – until bed time when I’m suddenly wide awake and suffering a headache. In Australia, alcohol is the center of any party or gathering, and people will generally not listen the first time you say “No thanks,” to their offer of a beer, mate. This isn’t so bad, I don’t normally bend to peer pressure, but I do seem a downer when I turn down their offers. New Years is the biggest drinking night of the year, aside from Australia Day (I assume) and so I tend to try to steer clear of any alcohol fueled parties, and that’s hard because everyone from my 50 year old mother to my younger cousins are on it.

My biggest problem is feeling safe. I do not feel safe around people who have been drinking when I have not. Anxiety makes me run away from the trigger and hide somewhere where I can be comfortable. I’d very much to like to be able to have a party where I can be comfortable and have fun but of course, life doesn’t happen that way. When you’re an anxious sort of person there are no chances for your friends to care what you’re up to when they just want to let loose like normal people. I just want to have a good time that actually involves me having a good time. You can say, ‘well just go to the party and let your hair hang down and you’ll get over it!’ but changing who you are is hard, and mostly requires that alcoho concoction, and well, I don’t want to fall asleep during my metamorphosis from sitting in the corner to party fiend.

I have to admit, though, that when the clock starts ticking past 10 I start to get itchy feet. A feeling of dread fills up my stomach and sweat drips on the back of my neck. Smiles stop and a mad dash to the phone to find something to do begins. Am I too late? Am I missing out on something? Fueled by the desire to not miss out on memories being made without me I push myself up and head somewhere. And then, inevitably, I wish I was back home. Fickle minded, me.

This year, you’ll find me in the kitchen making dinner and drinks for two. It’ll be Monday for New Year here so most people (including my boyfriend) will be working. I’m okay with that, though. It means that after he’s finished he can come home to a feast (of sorts, there won’t be a dead pig as a centre piece or anything) and a movie and we’ll take it from there.


30 thoughts on “Fear of the Midnight Chime

  1. I swear we are like the same person. I hate parties too. I tried to go to an RSL a few years ago with some women, but it was a “juke box Saturday night” thing. The music was bad, the dance floor was bits of plastic they put together and taped down.
    I went a few times, and I drank and danced, but it was horrible; I would rather be at home alone with a good book.
    Why is it the creepiest men always go to RSl’s to imbibe? I only want to dance with my girlfriends, not some creepy pervert who stinks like a brewery, has pit stains and thinks stomping on my tiny feet with his massive Blundstones is acceptable.

    1. Ooh it does sound awful. For some reason lots of places depress me and RSLs are one of those.
      I haven’t ever been hit on or danced on by a creepy old man, I feel very lucky haha but that does suck. I have however had them stand too close to me in check-out lines, shudder. Every time you shuffle forward a smidge to obviously move away from them they have to step up even closer to you. Gross.

      1. Lol. I agree, gross. The man was bald and ugly; if he was handsome I wouldn’t have minded so much.
        Yesterday I was walking to the shopping centre and a man walked really close up behind me. I became creeped out and looked behind me and moved over to the other side of the path.
        There really was no reason for him to walking behind me, except if he wanted to steal my handbag, which was on my shoulder.
        I don’t understand the lack of respect for people’s personal space. The path was as wide as a road, and we were the only 2 on it, so there was no near for him to try and rear end me.
        But then, thing kind of thing has happened to me a few times.

  2. Oh, totally with you on this. There’s so much Hogmanay pressure in Scotland. I never liked it, but it gets much easier as you get older, I reckon. People used to really hassle me when I was in my teens and twenties about not drinking/partying on NY’sEve, but now when I get asked the question ‘what are you doing on…’ and I fix them with a gimlet stare and say sweetly ‘nothing’, they let it lie!

    1. It definitely does get easier when you get older, especially when everyone starts getting boyfriends / girlfriends and having families, people start peeling off and doing more couple things. It’s good to see all those friends when you can though, since we do peel off with age. (That last bit sounded weird)
      haha nice, I might have to do that to my mum – it’s funny, she’s the one pushing me to go party and I’m the one pushing to have a relaxing time!

  3. Hello fellow party disliker! While I was reading your post, I couldn’t help but feel like it was my own thoughts written down. I spend most New Year’s (and other big party holidays) in pajamas, on my couch, enjoying the tele and my dog. For my age group, that’s considered endlessly boring and dull, but I just don’t feel right anymore in “the party scene”. Here’s to a nice, laid back New Year’s for us both!

    1. Pajamas on the couch is a good way to spend holidays 🙂
      For some reason I like to do the dressing up and partying thing just when it feels right, or on anniversaries,but holidays feel so forced sometimes.
      Hope you had a good one 🙂

  4. Oh my my my, what to do with you. I’m a drinker. I like to drink. I like parties with music and say cards like poker. Playing cards, listening to some good rocking music, getting drunk and having friends over just having a good chat is my kind of party. That and hitting the bar and dancing. So with that said, would you like to come to a party at my blog and be my next guest blogger? 🙂

    1. Hahaha I am sorry! I do like a game of cards though…
      I’d love to come party at your blog, thank you very much for thinking of me for a guest post! How does it all work? 🙂

      1. Let me know when you e-mail too so I can look for it, just in case my spam decides it likes your e-mail better than my inbox.

  5. I like your idea of a “party”. No loud people with obnoxious music and alcohol flowing freely. Those things make me anxious too. People tend to get unpredictable and potentially dangerous. I’m totally a “bore” to a lot of people but I am okay with that! Hope your get together goes well and Happy New Year if you’re not around WP ’til 2013.

    1. Thank you, I hope you had a good evening too!
      I guess we’ll have to forever be those boring guests, until of course those type of parties slow down as everyone gets older and over it. Then well be guests of honour.

  6. I totally agree. Years ago in days of old I’d party till the sun came up. Not today. Your idea of a good time is much more appealing. Wish I’d have taken your approach when I was twenty something.

  7. I know how you feel, I really do! I’ve been invited to someone’s house who is of a like mind, so I’ll be hanging out with just a few people, a few drinks and nibblies, and intelligent conversation.
    I’m getting way too old for these crazy parties, especially on New Years…plus people can be so boring when they have to get drunk to have fun. Alcohol shouldn’t be a replacement personality, but for some people (particularly here in Australia it seems (especially here on the central coast)) it seems to be.
    Hope you have a lovely New Years! 🙂

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