New Year’s Is Coming, But I’m Already Over My Share Of Parties


Just a few more days until the worldwide party that is New Year’s Eve.

I’m not sure I’m up for it. I mean, I already attended two parties last week, not counting Christmas.

The first party was held at the Loews Hotel in Kansas City. It’s a soaring building in the heart of downtown, and the restaurant’s wall of windows oversees it all — the holiday lights, the bustling traffic, the nighttime sky. It was quite impressive.

There were 12 of us, and we were seated at a banquette facing a copper-topped table. We were feeling quite special because our host is friends with the chef, a really nice guy, whom I believe is Michelin-rated with a bunch of stars or something — not that he was wearing them on his puffy white hat or anything, like I would have if I had been awarded a bunch of stars.

At any rate, our host’s daughter was celebrating turning nine-going-on-21, so this was a semi-formal affair, as per her wishes. All the little girls were dressed in glittery dresses and tights, which they would occasionally hike up by grabbing their crotches in the lobby (age 9), then talk about boys (age 21).

So the chef had come out of the kitchen on this very busy night to explain each of his special dishes to us — from where the meats and vegetables had been locally sourced, from which countries he’d procured the various spices, etc. — and one of the little girls raises her hand to ask a question. “How adorable!” I thought. “How mature! How engaged!”

“Yes?” the chef asked, pausing in his dissertation and nodding her way.

“Can I get a straw?”

Age 9 again. Yet it was the high point of the evening for me. It was hilarious. (And, yes, the fancy chef dashed off to fetch a straw, despite the presence of several waiters and busboys nearby, earning him at least one more star in my book.)

The other party was equally high-brow, held at the mansion home of my daughter’s employer. I’m still not entirely sure why I was invited, except people seem to like me.

The invitation came on short notice, however, when her boss heard I was in town. I, of course, was rooting around a dusty antiques store when the call came in.

“My boss wants you here,” my daughter whispered. “I’ll text you the address.”

“But… but…”


Luckily for me, I was dressed all in black, which, as every woman knows, can be dressed up with the mere addition of a jacket or scarf. Amazingly, I found a vintage jacket in my size right there in the shop, purchased it, piled my hair on top my head, renewed my lipstick and I was off.

Here’s where I don’t fit in — any place where the conversation turns to the tragedy of losing one’s Rolex in the airport at Dubai. I’m not even sure how to spell Dubai. Amazingly, the watch was found, squashed by traffic, just outside baggage claim and was turned in to the lost and found. That is a Christmas miracle.

Fortunately, the conversation soon turned to Hershey, Pennsylvania, and if anyone knows how to spell Hershey, it’s me. I had even been there and was able to knowingly add that the street lights are shaped like Hershey’s kisses on top. People humored me by looking in my direction but they were quizzically nodding, wondering why the subject of street lights had been tossed into a discussion of corporate culture. Then I shut up.

And now New Year’s is coming, but I’m not sure I can stand the stress of another party. I don’t have anything to wear, and I don’t have anything important enough to talk about. So I’m going to stay home. Unless, of course, I get invited somewhere.