This morning, my best friend — since the years of diapers and freed nipples — and I took a barre exercise class. It was my first, and certainly not hers. The pattern that’s arisen over the last two decades is she does something athletic and I catch on five years later in an awkward and spastic attempt, never to become as successful as she. As our mutual personal trainer explained to me over Thanksgiving weekend, she is a “ruler” and me, a “spoon.”
Have you ever taken a barre class? It’s a lot more like ballet than I ever thought it would be. We stood side by side at the barre, plié-ing and arabesque-ing to a techno remix of Britney and will.i.am’s “Scream & Shout.” The muscle memory came so easily. My pointed toes and even my finger positioning–the way I cocked my hand and separated my fingers in petite pose for the fourteen years I was a ballet dancer–felt natural and fluid and serene. With our left hands on the barre, my friend was in front of me. With our right hands, me in front of her.
The last morning of 2014 was indistinguishable from the last morning of 1998, and neither of us even thought of it. There we were, together again in our hometown, transitioning from first position to second position at the ballet barre just as we had in preschool, when everyone was a ballerina.
The funniest thing about 2014 is that everyone really has decided to become a ballerina again, but we are older and simply looking to tone our asses. We can no longer cover a saggy tush with a Pull-Up.
Tonight, the two of us, along with other friends, will put on our big girl undies (probably retiring the granny panties for something lacy and festive), will cook dinner with friends, and will drink wine BECAUSE WE LIKE THE TASTE OF IT. We will also party like rowdy children but as long as we’re wearing our big girl undies, it doesn’t count.
The weird thing about nostalgia, like the whiff of it I had this morning, is that we start to create it before we need to. How do you want to remember this moment? Should you take the picture posed or candid or do a little grind-line-hump-n-laugh? How do you caption a memory if it’s practically still happening? Are you planning on remembering the photo when you look at it, or are you planning on remembering the memory itself?
Last night, I was talking to a friend about New Year’s Eve logistics — where we’ll start, where we’ll end, whose kitchen we’ll be eating a bowl of cereal in at 3am — and couldn’t think about where I wanted to be without considering how I would feel about it in hindsight. In other words, I wanted to plan my New Year’s based upon how I would remember it. I knew wouldn’t want to spend my first waking moments of 2015 in someone else’s house, because that wouldn’t be a “fresh” enough start. I wouldn’t want to be up too too late, because I need to be able to wake up and have a nice brunch. Obviously, I need to plan around brunch. I felt nostalgia for the night 24 hours before it began.
I, and we, as a generation, should be more concerned about the present. If I’m having fun and it’s past midnight and I’ve left the party, who cares? Does it really matter that that’s where I’m starting my 2015? Is it going to ruin my year? Probably not.
Take the pictures, make sure you have skinny arm in all of them, do the looking-over-the-shoulder thing to accentuate your butt, but also remember the moment. Then again, that’s a very difficult thing to ask of people on New Year’s Eve.
New Year’s Eve is just an excuse to have fun. 1998 isn’t so far from 2014 anyways.
New Year’s Eve, like being shit on by a bird, is just so arbitrary.
It isn’t that I hate it for being arbitrary because we can’t hate things for being arbitrary, though we can hate being shit on by a bird. I don’t hate New Year’s at all. I used to really love it, and then last year I kind of didn’t. And I didn’t really realize until right now that the reason why I stopped loving it is because it became arbitrary for the first time. So maybe we don’t hate things for being arbitrary, but we love them a little less than we did before. That’s fair.
Why do we associate sequins with New Year’s Eve? Is it an ode to the ball in Times Square? But that’s not a disco ball, at least from what I can recall, so why am I looking through the Free People sale rack for a dress that will make me look like one?
Why do we celebrate the year? Or a year? Any year? Are we happy that it’s over, or that we’re alive? How did champagne become a factor over here? Partying so hard simply asks to foil our health conscious resolutions when our hangover is bagel AND omelette AND Eggs Benedict-level the next morning.
If the resolutions were a priority, which makes New Year’s, New Me slightly less arbitrary, then the partying would come second to the green juice. I’m not sure if this is a prioritization I feel comfortable with, however…
I’m not as cynical as I’m “supposed” to be about New Year’s. I’m just moderately cynical. Like, I wouldn’t say I have really high expectations, but I don’t have the expectation of crushing high expectations with sheer disappointment. I think I’m just going to go into this one level-headed on all fronts. Sequins seem a little bold, but I feel an overwhelming pressure to sport them anyway because the fashion lords have arbitrarily chosen this as the one night where I’m allowed to wear them. And even if I do wear them, I’ll still get some shit for being so cliché. I’m not sure which is worse — being a fashion cliché or missing my one opportunity to wear sequins. These are the issues New Year’s Eve presents.
I did follow through with one resolution, and very wholeheartedly at that: to start this blog. On December 31st of 2012, I knew that it would be the last sunset where I was a free woman, unbound by my MacBook and a list of “Notes” on my iPhone with post ideas practically extending to China and back. Starting the first weekend in January, I would have a blog, kind of like a baby, that I wasn’t going to give up on. (Not that people give up on their babies.) I was going to say things that people were thinking, and things that I was thinking, and other things that need to be said and articulated and carefully penned.
New Year’s Eve might be like birthdays; as you get older, they get less exciting. This probably isn’t true, though, because I couldn’t even stay awake for midnight until I was in seventh grade. It just seems to be true for me, an arbitrary anomaly. Someone who enjoys New Year’s Eve less and less as she gets closer to the legal drinking age, like someone who gets shit on by a bird.
New Year’s Eve might also be like Valentine’s Day. The people who hate Valentine’s are definitely the same people who hate New Year’s, and they should just form a club. I don’t want to hate New Year’s because I never want to hate Valentine’s Day. Call me a sucker. If you don’t, I’m already calling myself a sucker, anyway.
However, I will say this: New Year’s Eve is not guaranteed to let you down. Because I’ve had one or two in my day that were magical. Like Princess Mia getting her foot-popping kiss with Michael Moscovitz magical. Don’t hold me to that, though. I mean, the night might totally let you down, but it’s just not a set in stone thing. Haha. Sorry.
Oh, and last thing — wear the sequins. Always.
I love Christmas, I love good music, and I love good Christmas music. No matter what you’re doing this Christmas Eve, whether it involve Chinese food, a big ol’ ham (very mutually exclusive from the Chinese food crowd), Grammy and her unironic ugly sweater vest, The Interview on YouTube, or an open bar, The FY-DJ’s Christmas Eve playlist will suit your music needs. Literally, I made it so that you could play it in the background during your family dinner or in the background while you’re festively hooking up with someone in the bathroom. It’s made to go well with candles.
“Filthy Animals,” the sassy, scandalous, and mysterious name I chose for the playlist, has Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Ella Fitzgerald (my faves) as well as The Head and the Heart, The Shins, and three separate versions of “Happy Christmas (War is Over), amongst other great songs. Have yourselves a merry little Christmas, and remember to wear your outfits boldly and un-ironically. The “ugly Christmas sweater” is ruining high fashion as we know it. My entire wardrobe is on the same wavelength as an ugly Christmas sweater. At Thanksgiving, my cousin told me that my white turtleneck and high waisted red pleated skirt made me look like Santa Claus. Wrong holiday.
Love, your favorite Jewish Christmas FY-DJ.