Now that New Years Eve is a few days behind us, lets take a moment to reflect on the annual celebration of the year that often feels like, 'On this night, you need to have the most unbelievably epic time ever or you're a loser.'
I believe it's easily the most overrated party of the year. In my opinion though, any party that's rated at all usually turns out being a turkey.
So did you have a good one? Well I did, and I reckon I've finally figured out how to do it right.
The main problem is that there's an immense amount of pressure to have a great time. It builds every time someone asks that one horrible question, which seems to be asked almost incessantly from about mid October onwards.
'What are you doing for New Years?'
There are plenty of other holiday related questions that for me cause a similar amount of dread, sadness, panic and self-pity. These include:
'What are you doing for Valentines Day?'
'Did you know the Queens Birthday Holiday isn't actually the Queens Birthday? What do you think about that?'
'What's your tip for Melbourne Cup Day?'
'Don't you love Australia Day? Or do you hate Australia?'
There are a few reasons I detest being asked what I'm doing for New Year's Eve. Here's a quick list:
1) The last five big NYE parties I've been to have run out of booze.
2) Four girls have dumped me on New Year's Eve. Then proceeded to act like a single girl on New Year's Eve. Right in front of me.
3) Only three times have I ever successfully tongue kissed anyone on NYE. That number would be seven, if I were allowed to count animals.
4) Twice I've passed out next to a bin and my vomit hours before the countdown.
5) Once I got lost in a country town and it took me six hours to find my campsite.
See what I did there? It was my own little NYE countdown. That's one part I don't mind, and I still find fireworks medium-exciting. Especially when caravan park people start firing them at each other.
It's all the pressure that really gets me. There's so much planning, forethought and excitement in the build up, that whatever sort of time you do have, it can never live up to the expectations. It's an impossible equation.
Unless you make a marriage proposal that's accepted, win the lottery or are kidnapped by super sexy aliens who only drink beer and communicate with their genitals.
Here's an obvious truth that I've only recently realised. New Years Eve is just another night. Just like every other night there's still gravity, the same stars in the sky, and alcohol isn't free. My birthday suffers from the same problem - despite all the questioning about my plans in the lead up, on the day it's always just another day.
In order to have a winning NYE, this year I ignored the pressure, lowered my expectations and just did what I usually do on a winning night out. I spent it with close friends at one of their homes, and while it was very much your basic fun night in, it was easily one of the best NYE's I've ever had.
I even found someone to share a tongue kiss, and let me tell you, every rumour about Golden Retrievers is true. (I've never actually heard a rumour about Golden Retrievers, but they do have mammoth and delightfully rough tongues.)
Oh and please don't bother with NYE resolutions. If you do bother, keep it to yourself, and just tell everyone after you've achieved it.
The people I know who've successfully made any meaningful changes in their lives just quietly got on with it, and very rarely felt the need to tell anyone before they'd actually done anything about it.
The people who do blab about what they're about to do usually wake up on New Year's Day and have either forgotten, or are too lazy or hung over to bother.
Also, if big parties are your thing, well you're weird but there's no reason you shouldn't go for it. However, please stop making me feel like there's something wrong with me for having no interest in paying $200 to listen to a cover band, and spend the night waiting at the bar, fighting other drunk men for the meagre finger food, and then swaying with those same men to the last song for the night on a mostly empty 2am dance floor.
Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian. His debut comedy book about life on a FIFO mining site 'Mining My Own Business' is available now.