Funny life is. All these constraints we put upon it. January 1 is the day before January 2 and so on. But it’s another good excuse to have a party. And, apparently, parties are good for us. Why, one might even meet the next love of their life there because parties sync people together, they say.
Being synced would be nice but it isn’t essential. All anyone really needs is what is essential but still, being synced must be nice. Certainly there are enough opportunities for celebration worked into our culture to indicate that most of us would like a syncing event to increase our chances.
There was a year when my mother and her best friend were sitting in and telling me to not tell anyone that they didn’t have dates for New Year’s Eve. It’s hard to imagine who, being told, would have mattered. Maybe the neighbors. She was probably somewhere in her mid fifties and I was probably off to the the Airman’s Club to dance my feet off with some cute young men — maybe hoping to find a love of my life. Dancing was what we all did to meet each other then. There was a party every Friday night at the Airman’s Club with a live band and often more boys than girls — at least just as many.
For some reason the two older women were embarrassed that they were alone for New Year’s Eve. That registered something profoundly in a young impressionable mind. It wasn’t quite clear what they meant then, but the implication was that there was something wonderful about being young and something not so great about not being so young anymore. They must have said something like, “It’s hard to find dates when you get older.” The implication was also that, if you didn’t have a beau, your weren’t as valuable and should hide in shame.
It is much easier to see, once one isn’t so very young and dates for New Year’s Eve are hard to come by, that the passing of time is not a thing that can be put on hold and that as it passes, things do change.
New Year’s Eve is always a poignant reminder about time’s passing. Documenting the minute that the clock registers going from the end of one year into another is it’s express purpose. It is our worldwide culture’s inclination to make a big deal about it. It’s a little hard sometimes to understand why unless there is just a need for another party.
Most of the aspects of it are for commercial reasons — taxes, funding, appropriations, sales, bonuses, profits and losses.
But then there is the somber aspect of documenting the passing of a year in the life of an individual and the culture collectively and of accounting for accomplishments and defeats as if that should be done on a regular bases — say once a year on Dec. 31 and that the somber event should not be done while sober.
I was watching one of the two main strays that visit my yards lately. He’s a big, woolly black cat that has a full face and a fur coat — not hair. He and the other main cat got into a giant row lately and I noticed blood on him when I tried to break them up. They went off in the same direction after I shooed them and it took several days before I saw either one of them again. Both of them have eased their way back to visiting. Mr. Shire is very skittish and the black woolly one less so when he shows up — so, I’m not quite sure which one thinks he won. The black one now has a flaming pink patch near his ear and I worry that it may get infected. There is not much that I can do, because he scats the minute he hears me and goes over the fence.
What I find so soothing about watching them both is how calm they are about their daily lives. They come, eat food, lie in the sun, groom, lollygag around scouting, sniffing, scratching wood and neither one ever seems to be wondering what day of the week or what month it is. They might be thinking about getting synced and that may very well have been behind the row. Woolly shakes his head like his ear is hurting, but he takes his pain like a trooper, while soaking in the sun, curled up on the mound of sticks or a soft chair.
So cats and humans have syncing in common, but cats don’t seem to like to dance or have a party as a means to do it. They don’t care about paying taxes either. Lucky cats.
This year, as I sit in like my mother and her friend, without a date for New Year’s Eve, but as content as a happy cat — it seems more fitting to put off accounting accomplishments or defeats for another day because sitting her thinking about syncing is a lot more fun than that. And also like a cat, I don’t need to worry about paying taxes either.
Happy New Year!