The Most Overrated Holiday is Upon Us
Every big holiday is overrated and the most overrated is New Year’s Eve. It’s the same jazz every year. Massive plans about two weeks before the end of the year, a group of people thinking about possibly getting a suite or a large hotel room, partying in said hotel, and then staying the night in luxury. Then hotels publish their New Year’s rates and the plan downgrades to ‘let’s get dinner and watch the fireworks and then head home’. Then restaurants publish their rates for dinner and it’s something ridiculous like 2000 Dirhams per person with alcohol and a direct view of the fireworks. When you get to the venue, your view is blocked by someone who got the 3000 Dirhams package and got a table closer to the fireworks. This plan then downgrades to ‘house party at mine and then we watch fireworks, and then we party until the sun comes up’. We get to the house party, things get ridiculously hot and intoxicated, you miss the fireworks because there is no direct view from wherever you decided to go, people hug and kiss each other from midnight until the end of the party because the new year is here (and this goes on roughly until the 5th of January- anyone celebrating the new year for longer than that is causing anarchy), and then you go home and sleep like nothing has changed. It’s the same jazz every freaking year. Why do we need a new year to have a new beginning? Why are restaurants so overpriced for a small, pretentious meal and house beverages to watch fireworks that are frankly underwhelming at this stage (I grew up in Dubai, I have seen all kinds of fireworks imaginable)? Why are hotels so overpriced for bad service, a small room, and a DJ that is only so-so? I know, I know, it makes business sense to overcharge gullible people who will pay anything to have a direct view of the fireworks for insta-worthy shots. I have done this multiple times, paid to be at the centre of all the action. But I have gone home every time feeling a little bit daunted at the idea of another year of disappointment and being out another couple of thousand Dirhams for a frankly inadequate night.
You know what happened on New Year’s Eve 2020 in my life? I had a car accident. It was minor, you can’t even see the dent in my car which is why I haven’t got it repaired yet. But the car is registered under my father’s name who was in Ghana at the time on business and the news that I had been in a car accident spread to him like wildfire because the police got involved and phoned the number listed on their records, which belonged to my father. He naturally assumed I was dead and called home in a frenzy enquiring after me because I wasn’t answering my phone. Of course I wasn’t answering my phone, I was in a boxing class. Twenty minutes into the class and I had to stop everything and call my Dad to assure him I was alive and well. The incident gave me a great story but I was left with a scary thought for the new year- start as you mean to go on. I started with a bang because I meant to go on with a bang. Unfortunately that bang has now turned into a full blown pandemic (#corona2020).
You know what’s worse than New Year’s Eve? People posting on social media about all the blessings in the year gone by. Given how 2020 went, there’s probably going to be more of that, with more gratitude than ever before. I don’t mind the gratitude, please express your gratitude, we’ve all had a difficult year and should be grateful to the people who made it tolerable- my issue is with the overused hashtags and captions. I have made a drinking game, though, to cope with this in a more fun way. Scroll through your instagram feed in the week between Christmas and New Year and drink for the following:
- Posts that tell you it’s okay if you haven’t achieved anything
- Posts that tell you they have achieved a great deal by getting more time to focus on themselves
- Anything about how much someone wanted to travel in 2020- we all did, get over it
- ‘Top 9’ posts from 2020
- A picture that has nothing to do with the caption — this isn’t a New Year thing, this is an all year thing and it pisses me off somehow
- Posts about wanting a trial of 2021 before getting a full year subscription- that joke is so 2020
- Posts about COVID-19 saying ‘New year, new me’- I said this to a friend recently and he told me this is already a meme and I was sad because I thought I got there first
- 2021 resolutions
Obviously I’m just being a Negative Nancy and people are free to post whatever they like- I’m just trying to live my best life by making a game out of it.
Finally, let’s not forget the New Year’s Resolutions. In my younger days when life had more hope, I had the same resolutions every year (I stopped resolving in 2018)- a) Find me a boyfriend, b) get a bikini body, c) get a tattoo, and d) travel more. Every year gives us a chance to do something new and different, and by all means, go ahead and plan for these things, but I just wonder why we create goals just before the new year. What’s happening in the new year that is going to help us achieve these goals? Is our mindset changing? Is our level of effort towards making these dreams come true changing? When I look at my goals, I feel like there was no real purpose behind those goals. Why do I need to find me a boyfriend? I hate the idea of having to constantly wonder if things are okay between us, if I’m being the ideal relationship person, so why should I go through the boyfriend hell? Why do I have to resolve to find a boyfriend in the new year just because social convention dictates that you find one? And why do I need a bikini body? Why can’t I just wear a bikini and that will be my bikini body whilst I endeavour to stay healthy and fit? The tattoo one, I got closer to. I spoke to my parents and they agreed not to disown me if I got a small one on my wrist, so watch out 2021 (anyone playing the drinking game above, now would be a good time for you to take a shot). And the travel one, we’ll try again when things get better. The point is, we make resolutions without really putting in the effort. ‘I will lose 20 kgs this year’ is just an empty statement unless someone is actually putting the effort into their diet and workout regime.
No one needs a new year to work towards their goals. Just do it when the adrenaline hits you.
Anyway, the most overrated holiday is here, so enjoy it and I hope everyone is with people they care about when the clock strikes midnight on the 31st because I truly do believe in ‘start as you mean to go on’. For those in new relationships or starting to fancy someone, don’t spend midnight thinking about whether they will wish you a Happy New Year. If they do, great, but if they don’t, don’t spend the rest of the night thinking about them and constantly checking your phone. Ruins the night. May or may not be speaking from personal experience. Okay byeeeeee.