By Jeff Dauler, Eldredge ATL January Guest Editor
The whole New Years Eve / New Years Day process is cruel and seems to exist just to break down even the strongest and most resilient man or woman. First, society mandates that we all declare our ambitious resolutions to the world. “In 2016, I will …” followed by the most optimistic tally of goals one will create in the next 12 months. And then, society also wants us to celebrate in such a grand and uninhibited way that all of those goals are smashed into tiny, unrecognizable pieces before the sun even rises on the new year. Society hates us and laughs at our failures.
I’ve crafted this short timeline and list to help you survive the first 24 hours of 2016, while keeping your resolutions intact. (I cannot, however, help you with your dignity.)
January 1, 2016. 12:00 AM: Scream Happy New Year! Find the one you love and kiss them awkwardly and drunkenly!
Scream sing “Auld Lang Syne” as loud as you can with everyone else. (Don’t worry, they don’t know the words either).
12:45 AM: This is when you SHOULD leave the party. You won’t, because one member of your group will be missing or sick somewhere.
This is when you REALLY should leave the party. You won’t because you are having THE BEST TIME EVER! And 2016 is going to be THE BEST YEAR EVER!”‘I fu&$ing LOVE you guys,” you scream. A LOT.
2:30 AM: This is when you leave the party. Uber, obviously. (Yep … surge pricing. What did you expect? Don’t get mad at your driver. He doesn’t control it).
NOTE: Eat something substantial before bed. Fast food, an entire pizza, a grilled cheese. Take asprin and drink two huge glasses of water. TRUST ME ON THIS.
2nd NOTE: You shouldn’t be cooking in your state. Don’t make your own frozen pizza or grilled cheese. You WILL fall asleep and wake up to a smoke-filled house. Get take-away food or wake up your Mom.
11:30 AM: Wake up and think that you don’t feel as bad as you thought you should be feeling. Group text everyone to tell them that. Doze off.
Drink more water here, take a few more aspirin, and wander into the kitchen for some toast. You won’t do this. But you should.
1:15 PM: Wake up again with the worst hangover of all time. Think “I should have paid more attention to what Jeff said above.” Contemplate death as a more comfortable alternative. Force down water, aspirin, and because the toaster is too loud, you just eat a slice of plain white sandwich bread. Group text everyone to tell them you might die. Doze off on the couch, trying not to move because everything hurts.
4 PM: Wake up. Inventory your body from toes to scalp, assessing the damage. Hangover has faded to a manageable level. Some unexplained bruises. Your mouth resembles the lint trap in your college-dorm dryer. And you are pretty sure you were wearing a jacket when you left the house yesterday. Where is that? Otherwise, you can move. Let’s start this first day of 2016 like a champ!
Group text: ‘Hair of the dog? I need to eat SOMETHING.’
5:15 PM: Everyone meets at the new / old Rio Bravo on Powers Ferry Road. The Buckhead classic is back with the (almost) original menu. Nothing absorbs last night’s bad decisions like tortillas and queso. And a margarita. Or one of those upside down bottles of Corona in a margarita.
5:30 PM – 6:30 PM: Last night is pieced together, with prequels and sequels added as they are imagined … much like the “Star Wars” movies. At some point, it becomes abundantly clear that 100% of the participants destroyed 100% of their resolutions in just a few short hours. More queso and more margaritas are summoned to help with the realization that before the Earth even turned once, the entire table failed. And, because society only allows resolutions on just one day a year, it’ll be another trip around the sun before redemption is possible.
7 PM: More margaritas. “Might as well just bring a pitcher!”
8 PM: Tequila shots. “You’re SURE Uber will come get us out here?”
“You know that cupcake store at Lennox has an ATM. You can get a cupcake via robot.”
10 PM: “As long as we’re already in Buckhead, we could retrace our steps from last night and try to find your jacket.”
11:45 PM: “GUYS GUYS GUYS GUYS GUYS. C’mere! COME! HERE! I just thought of something. OK. So today is FRIDAY. NOBODY can start a resolution on a FRIDAY. That is STUPID. So what if we just say f&%k it, and just have a regular weekend. Right? Like one last blow out. Then we start our resolutions ON MONDAY! How smart is that? We can totally start them on MONDAY and this weekend won’t even really count! You guys want to do that?”
11:50 PM: Fireball shots.
Sing-screaming “Auld Lang Syne” … because resolutions can happen ANY DAY! Pope Gregory XIII doesn’t get to make a calendar back in 1582 and tell we when to celebrate. NOPE! I resolve things whenever it’s convenient for me. SCREW YOU POPE GREGORY XIII!
Happy New Year, readers. I’m looking forward to spending he month with you … once we survive this weekend!
Richard L. Eldredge is the founder and editor in chief of Eldredge ATL. As a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Atlanta magazine, he has covered Atlanta since 1990.