New Year’s Eve Memory from My Misspent Youth

It’s been years since I’ve labored under the fardel of a reticule — or partied on New Years so, Rag Tag Daily Prompt, perhaps I should write about New Years past. The most peculiar New Year’s Eve in my memory was 1978 going to 1979 (I think). In 1978 the divorce from my first husband was final. The year was hard, finances were tight, grad school seemed a million miles away, my boyfriend-like-person was complicated by which I mean mostly gay. That day I performed my clerical job at the College of Law and drove home in the cold, feeling like I might be coming down with something. Only part of that (awful) apartment in Denver was heated. Friends — a couple, Bob and Diane — had let me know they were bringing me a party.

I had no idea what that meant but at 10 I was dressed up and ready. They arrived with champagne and cheese and we proceeded to get lightly, happily, drunk. My neighbor called from down stairs to ask if we wanted to come down and join HIS party. He and his friends were doing lines. Uh, no thanks (shudder) but that was the late 1970s in my world.

At midnight I realized the point of New Years Eve. It’s the acknowledgement that a bad year is OVER and CAN’T come back. (That’s all well and good but 2020/2021 taught me that isn’t necessarily true. The possibility of a new and sinister status quo exists.)

My boyfriend-like-person called from Aspen to tell me he wished he were with me. Well, if wishes were horses, etc. At 1 am I knew I was sick and sent Bob and Diane home. I went to bed with a fever, and, apparently Bob and Diane didn’t fully close my front door.

At 8 am I was awakened by — God, what WAS his name? Mark… That was it. A law student who had come to fix me New Year’s breakfast complete with champagne and strawberries.

I did not like this guy, and I’d told him. We’d gone out a couple of times, and they were both absolutely not my cup of tea. Among other things, the guy was boring which is, truly, one of the bigger problems in a wouldbe boyfriend. The boyfriend-like-person was NEVER boring. I’m also a pretty superficial person and the guy wasn’t what I considered good looking. Yeah, I know beauty is skin deep, but we have to look at that skin. I’d already told him I wasn’t interested and I certainly did not want him in my house. But, being a law student (it’s all about argument, right?) he took it as my playing hard to get (who WOULDN’T want him?) and began serious wooing. Waking up to a pretty table with a breakfast on it after a night of drinking? A table set and breakfast prepared by someone who’d more-or-less broken into my apartment? Seriously. That was not to be born.

“What are you doing here?”

“Happy New Year!”

“I’m sick. Thanks but, no.”

“There’s champagne with strawberries and waffles!”

“Yeah, but why are you in my house?”

You see how it went. The good news is that he married one of my friends the following year. I introduced them to each other. Little match-maker me. ❤

The BEST part of that New Years was what I saw outside my bedroom window later that morning. Here’s the backstory. At some point(s) during the two horrible years preceding, my VW had been rear-ended AND I’d been in a minor head-on collision going the wrong way on a one way street, side street, near one of the dormitories of my university. Nothing that rendered the car undriveable, but I didn’t have the $$$ to fix any of this. That morning I looked out of my bedroom window to see that someone, driving home from a New Year’s Eve party, had skidded on the ice and hit my downstairs neighbor’s car so that it was up over the back of my VW. My neighbor and I went out that afternoon to look at this situation. It looked like his big Buick was humping my VW. Clearly I wasn’t going anywhere and neither was my cokehead neighbor.

Whoever had done it had left notes telling us he would lose his insurance if we called the cops etc. and he was willing to repair our cars outside the system. We were skeptical, but we called him. What else were we going to do (well, call the cops but…) The upshot was that my car was repaired — back and front — just like new. Thinking back to life in my 20s? Even at the time it seemed like total chaos.

The featured photo is me in my VW sometime in the late 1970s. It was taken randomly by a traffic camera and I found it online. How’s that for weird.

Later this morning I will head to Del Norte to take down my show and see if I made any money. I was thinking; how many of you never heard of Del Norte, Colorado until you read my blog? Well, here is a map so you can more completely imagine the wonders. The arrow points in the direction of Monte Vista.

32 thoughts on “New Year’s Eve Memory from My Misspent Youth

  1. I love the idea of leaving it all behind, for good and bad. great pic of your classic ride and del Norte was absolutely new to me, until I read your blogs

  2. Ah, Del Norte…I was actually aware because of motorcycle trips. I say “trips,” but it was really wandering about trying to get lost. Obviously, we were successful. 🙂

  3. Thank you Wm. Shakespeare for letting me know what a fardel is. The first time I heard the word I thought it had something to do with he passing of gas.

    My little red Suzuki just got hit by someone making a left turn without looking. It already had a bit of damage to the plastic on the front end, mainly from age and cheapness of material and construction. Plastic gets brittle with age and connectors break. I’m hoping it gets fixed. Worst case is they total the car out and I have to go shopping.

    I have been hit a couple of times in the past by people who had no insurance or had it but couldn’t afford another accident. One time they came through and fixed it, another time they blew it off. I made sure the DMV knew all about the second guy. And there were a couple of times when the other guy just drove off before I could get their info.

  4. A great tale for New Year Martha. Hope you have a great 2022. Happy New Year 🎇🍾🎆😁
    Thanks for joining in 🙂 🙂

  5. Seems like the new year WAS better – at least your car was made like new!! My next door neighbor (when I was in 2nd grade) bought a red VW Beetle. I thought it was the best car ever (of course that was before I’d ever ridden in one). In HS a good friend had one (again red) and that thing had zero padding in the back seat. She drove like a maniac and every time she sailed over railroad tracks I’d have a knot on my head from hitting the roof and a bruised tail bone from coming down on that backseat! I never wanted one after that….

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