Happy new year, or whatever.

Look, I’m generally a fan of celebration, but New Year’s Eve is the worst holiday ever. Am I right, folks? Can I get an amen? Why are you all looking at me like that? What are you pocketing—are those sparkly 2010 glasses? What party did you all go to and why wasn’t I invited?

I just can’t get into New Year’s. If we stay in, I’m certain I missed something, and if we go out, I have to kiss people I don’t know and there’s noise and my feet hurt from the high heels and I’m wondering why I didn’t just stay home. Bah.

I may be crankly this morning (crankly? I’m leaving it) because my building neighbors all decided the advent of a new year was a perfect excuse to unleash their heretofore-contained need to DEAFEN THE WORLD. Open your doors, folks! Play that thumpy-thump music louder! Do you have an air horn? Well then BLOW IT! Blow it so all the world can hear that you are, you know, alive, and you are capable of blowing things! That sounded wrong! OH WELL!

We decided we’d stay in and “enjoy” a “quiet” New Year’s, just Henry and Scott and myself, and all was well until the stroke of midnight, when there was some inexplicable squabbling as the ball dropped and we began the New Year with tears and recrimination. How festive! Just as we all made up, the building went insane. It seems a massive celebration was raging in our building all that time, and yet we didn’t hear a single peep, not a footstep outside our door, until the stroke of midnight. Suddenly there was shouting and bombs were going off and we all made a run for our beds and hid under the covers, praying for a quick ending to whatever was going down in the rooms around us.

Fortunately Henry was exhausted enough to drop right off, noise be damned, but it took the two of us a little longer. We somehow managed to get to sleep by, oh, two a.m., and were then awakened at FIVE by some drunken neighbors in the hall, leaning against our DOOR and yes I realize I am CAPITALIZING random WORDS. I listened to some guy I’ve never seen before leaning against our door (why yes I WAS peeping through the peephole—that’s what it’s for!) loudly questioning another guy about where he was going to do…something. Drugs? Urination? Unclear. “You going to do that outside? Not in here? Are you going to do it in the hall right here? Or you going home?” Murder? Knitting? What was going on?

At this point Scott arrived and took the bull by the horns by opening the door and informing this total stranger that the hallway wasn’t the best place to carry on an INCREDIBLY LOUD conversation and could he maybe go back to, you know, his own place of residence. We got a look at this guy, and oh my, was he drunk. So, so drunk. Eyes rolling in the head, weaving around drunk. He just kept saying “It’s New Year’s Eve!” (“It’s New Year’s day,,” I observed) and telling us he’s lived in the building for 20 years. 20 years! That gives you tenure, or whatever, so of course you can do drugs or murder in the hallway or at least TALK about it, geez.

So listen, I haven’t had much sleep, and I’m in a little bit of a bad mood and I may be contemplating running up and down the stairs with a large pan and a mallet and making some traditional New Year’s Day Racket for my hungover neighbors to enjoy, SEE HOW THEY LIKE IT. But in all truth, 2009 was kind of amazing for the Finslippy household—sucky for the rest of the world, sure, but total aces for us!—and I’m sure 2010 will be even better. Once I get some sleep. And stop wondering what that guy was going to do in the hallway. His taxes? Really, I can’t figure it out.