Saturday, 29 December 2007

Stop forcing me to be happy!


People say that Christmas is for kids, and New Year is for grown-ups, but I’m not so sure.
Unlike New Year, there are several different reasons to celebrate at Christmas, or the Solstice, depending on your sensibilities; but by the time New Year comes around, I’ve had it with enforced festivities.
I’ve smiled my way around crammed shops to buy presents.
I’ve kept my cool in the supermarket when my trolley is blocked between herself with the three kids and the special promotions stands the shops put up to sell even more stuff but just get in the bloody way.
I’ve been sung to by thousands of Muzak tapes that ‘tis the season to be jolly, and I have been jolly. My heart had been warmed by the smiles of the kiddy widdies. My palate has been pleasured with foods of all kinds and levels of cuisine. My liver has been under siege from the ports, brandys and cold ones from the fridge.
What about the whiskey, I hear you ask?
Didn't you know? Whiskey doesn’t count.
Oh my, so so jolly.
But now I’ve had it with jolly.
Now I’ve had just as much fun as everyone else, and I want it to stop. I love fun, and I love being happy, but don’t tell me that Christmas was just the hors d’oeuvres for the main course to come, because I’m not interested.
I think Christmas is for kids and grown ups, and New Year is for people between the ages of 18 and 25.
At those splendid years all you really want is an excuse to get plastered. You feel the need to drink insane combinations of as many different kinds of alcohol together as fast as your poor body can take it.
You want to be in a crammed pub with all your mates, or squashed into a house party with a multitude of fellow hedonists of little experience.
I don’t. To be honest, New Year has never really tickled my fancy. Don’t know about you, but the movement of a metal arm from one minute on a clock face to another does not make me feel excited. The fact that there has suddenly been a sequential increase in the number allocated to each year I find incredibly unexciting.
When I feel like it, I love to party and have fun. I have been known to dance, and smile for long periods of time, sometimes simultaneously.
But spare me from being compelled to cheer and yell and sing.
If my grump is upsetting your equilibrium; if you think I am being unnecessarily grouchy, please tell me why I should celebrate something that affects me not in the least.
Okay, I’ll try it out.
Here I am at 11:59 on Monday night, and here comes the next minute.
Oh whoopeeee, it’s New Year.
No, sorry. Still underwhelmed to the nth degree.
Some of the insignificance I attribute to New Year might come from the fact that while the culture in which I live is celebrating the arrival of 2008, my family’s culture is already in the year 5768.
Yep, sorry folks, but in the pointless world of years and numbers, the Jews are way ahead of the pack.
We all have different New Years anyway. The Chinese say ‘Gung hay fat choy’ in February and go partying the streets with dancing dragons and swathes of red silk, so who can say which is the most significant?
The best New Year’s Eve party I ever attended was held by the Guru, back in the days of yore when we all still lived in London. He hid his TV, radios and clocks, and upon arrival at the door, we all had to hand over our watches (this being long before the intrusive invasion of the mobile phone).
We just partied and had a great night. Of course there were a few wimps who started getting a bit antsy around what they considered to be midnight, but the Guru held firm against their pleas for contact with the world outside.
We all knew we were in the New Year when we saw the first gentle and pale shards of dawn seep from the grey London sky.
“Happy New Year, lads!” we said to each other, slumped by then on our arses, past caring what planet we were on, never mind what year or time zone we were in.
We are are naturally a happy species, and lose sight of that fact far too often, so we have constructed a formal time, precisely at which we have to be instantly ecstatically happy, and it simply doesn’t work.
When you’re nineteen years of age, and the bells of midnight strike, you live only if you have managed to grab a bird or bloke and are playing tonsil tennis as the New Year comes in. You sing and dance in an alcoholic haze and love life like there is no tomorrow.
Fantastic. But not for me now, thanks all the same.
What will I be doing when we ring in 2008? What will Mister So Very Mature be doing, that’s so bloomin’ different from what he was doing back in the 70s?
Well, errr, hmmm, I suppose I’ll be intoxicated, surrounded by beloved friends, probably having a lovely time.
But I won’t feel I have to enjoy myself.
Sadly there can be no DV Awards for the year of 2007, because the absurd truth and rank reality of Irish politics this year simply leaves no room for satire.
There is, however, room to recognise the winner of The Worst Lyric Of All Time, as voted by the listeners of the BBC.
Beating off serious opposition from this enigmatic little ditty from Snap:
‘I’m as serious as cancer / when I say rhythm is a dancer.’ and the crass efforts of Razorlight: ‘And I met a girl / She asked me my name/ I told her what it was., the runaway winner was soul singer Des’ree, for her 1998 song ‘Life’:
‘I don’t want to see a ghost / It’s the sight that I fear most / I’d rather have a piece of toast / Watch the evening news.’
Mazeltov! Great goin’, girl!
On that magical musical note, I thank you all, new readers and time-hardened colyoomistas, for bearing my blather in 2007, and for the New Year, I wish you all you wish yourselves.

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