Opinion: Holding the party line

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Mary Ellen and I decided today to make a reservation somewhere for the upcoming New Year’s Eve. Last year, I waited until Dec. 31. A little last-minute, but I did leave a voice message first thing that morning.

I called one place and the manager said, “We start booking after Nov. 1, but don’t wait too long. Some loser called last year on New Year’s Eve morning.”

For fun, my wife and I tried to see if we could remember what we did every New Year’s Eve, going backward. We were doing surprisingly well until we hit 2000.

“Dick, we went to French Lick to celebrate the Millennium.”

“No, Mary Ellen, the Millennium was technically 2001.”

“You are wrong about that and I refuse to have this argument every thousand years. OK, what about ’99, Dick?”

“Wasn’t that the year we took your sister to dinner?”

“I don’t have a sister. I thought that was your sister. How about ’98? We got a bottle of Champagne and walked hand-in-hand through the park. Wait, maybe that was Rick in ’88.”

The more we talked, the more obvious it became that we had not been invited to a New Year’s Eve party at someone’s home in many years.

“I think,” Mary Ellen said, “it’s because one of us talks endlessly about how television has changed over the years and how hard it is to write a weekly humor column. And then there’s this endless harangue about how smart Beagles are.”

“Do I do that, Mary Ellen?”

“Talk about insecure! I didn’t say it was you. Hey, why not have a New Year’s party this year? After all, we have a new house.”

“I’m sure not going to invite a bunch of ungrateful, selfish people who didn’t have the courtesy to include us in their past celebrations.”

“Wow, Dick, let’s keep that Christmas spirit right through the New Year, OK?”

If you are reading this column and have never invited us to your house, I can give you the name of a great restaurant. Just be sure to call after November 1. 

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