In our Elmhurst house, New Year’s Day was just okay. I generally woke up assured I had missed something fun, since Mom and Dad were not what you would call hoot and holler-ers. I think Dad used as an excuse the high cost and low fun return on New Year’s Eve parties to get what he wanted, which was to do nothing.
Mom’s approach also was subdued, which I now think was a sign of repressed rage. With no hangovers, no broken paper crowns, no remnants of a night gone wild, she comforted us with the passive-aggressive statement, “Be careful what you do on New Year’s Day. Whatever you do on New Year’s Day, you will do the remainder of the year.”
Had I been more imaginative as a teenager, I might have sought a day of danger, emotional outburst, a date with a cute boy. Instead I was stunned into inaction. The chance of messing up the entire year was too risky.