What I Learned From New Year’s EvePosted: January 1, 2015
For a long time, I didn’t do New Year’s Eve. I was either working or had to be at the office by 5 a.m. on New Year’s Day.
I was on call too. Remember Y2K? So do I. I was expected in the office early on January 1, but was on call overnight for four additional assignments that I had in case the dreaded Y2K bug hit and the world came to a stop. My employer called four times, once for each extra job, to wake me and tell me I was no longer on call but was still expected at 5 a.m..
Times Have Changed
I don’t have a long, positive history with New Year’s Eve. But now things are different. I don’t have an office to show up at on January 1; I can stay up late and I’m not on call for anything at all.
This year, my wife and I waited to see the ball drop in Times Square with good friends in their living room. It was a great time and a learning experience.
I learned that watching the ball drop is now about much more than looking at millions of people standing shoulder to shoulder in Times Square. As the show started, a number of musical acts were announced. I recognized very few of them. In fact, it sounded very much like “blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and Elton John” to me.
That’s not fair. It was more like “blah, blah, blah, Taylor Swift, blah, blah, blah and Elton John”.
I am aware of Taylor Swift, she is on every magazine cover at the grocery store, but I don’t listen to her music. Anyhow, the show went on and on with performances by a series of people destined to be one-hit-wonders who were singing songs that I’ll never hear again, if there is a merciful God in heaven.
Give Her A Pudding Cup While You’re At It
Performers kept coming on stage, performing their one song and, mercifully, leaving. Taylor Swift did two songs. Watching her sing, I couldn’t help thinking that someone as popular as she is should surely be able to afford a sandwich.
The wait went on and on. Surely they wouldn’t just be teasing my generation with the hope that Elton John would perform. But yet, the night went on with no sign of Sir Elton. Midnight came and went, the hosts prattled on. No Elton.
Finally, around 12:15 a.m., Elton John appeared, from a stage in Brooklyn. He performed one song and was gone. I still like his music and he’s had more than a sandwich or two over the years.
The Lessons Learned
So I said that I had a learning experience. The obvious question is “what did you learn, Oma?” Well, I’ll tell you.
I learned that New Year’s Eve hanging around in the living room with good friends is just right. It wouldn’t have been cool to me in my twenties; it was perfect for me in my fifties.
I learned that there is a reason that I when I’m in the car, I only listen to my iPod or satellite radio. I can’t take what passes for music on commercial radio (or the show formerly known as Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve).
I learned that as savvy as television producers are said to be, they aren’t that smart. Sure, maybe they kept me and a few others hooked until long past our bedtimes. But most of Elton John’s core audience was long asleep before he finally showed up on television last night.
Basically, I learned that I’m getting old.