Shiny Happy New Year

Some time last year, I had to go to a party on a boat. Have you ever been to a party on a boat? Have you ever been to one and not jumped off the side? If so, I salute you. I think there is nothing worse than having to attend a party on a boat, because YOU CAN'T LEAVE. And because you can't leave, everyone feels compelled to HAVE A GOOD TIME, GODDAMNIT, WE'VE GOT TO PAY THE BABYSITTER ANYWAY, EAT SOME MORE SHRIMP AND MAKE THE PRICE OF YOUR TICKET WORTH IT. In short, it's forced merriment. With no escape route. And bad canapes.

And that's sort of how I'd always felt about New Year's Eve: that it was always so full of expectations that could never be met, and that you always spilled wine on your new sparkly top or missed your train or had an argument, and in the end you always got too drunk and threw up into a trash can and could never remember the countdown anyway. The pressure to have fun was so great that in the end you never really had much at all. Possibly you should have just stayed in with a Reese Witherspoon movie and not wasted an hour of your life trying to attach false eyelashes to your lids with low-grade glue.

But this year was different! I had such a blast! I went with my family to a Fancy Schmancy Ball (I believe that was its official name, yes) and we all danced and drank champagne and made fun of people at the other tables, and it was nothing like forced merriment at all. There were quite a few people at this ball who all looked like Elvis for some reason, and Susie and I kept an inventory all night: there was Young Elvis, and Pale Imitiation of Elvis, and Elvis With A Weak Chin. There was also Indian Elvis and Mad German Scientist Elvis and Elvis With A Pretty Girlfriend (That Bitch), although I think he was actually the same Elvis as Young Elvis. My brother Tom wore a pink bow tie and got away with it, and my brother Luke revealed himself to be An Extroardinarily Accomplished Swing Dancer, Who Knew? On the ride home, the taxi driver taught us how to say the word for every member of one's family in Mandarin. And now I can't remember any of them.

But look, there are pictures! Here are my parents and here are my brothers and sister, and none of them know yet that they're on the Internet! Raise a glass and make a belated toast to the New Year. It's midnight somewhere, I'm sure.

Jan 05, 2006

Oh my god. It's official. You come from a family of blue-eyed, beautiful-lipped pod people. No one has a family that gorgeous unless alien DNA is involved.

Swedish Girl
Jan 05, 2006

Happy New Year!

Elvis, gold dress, Chinese taxi drivers... what more can a girl ask for?

Much better than desperately running around a parking lot asking tramps if it's twelve o'clock yet (2004) or having near-death experiences with the whole population of Japan on Champs-Elysees (2000)...

...and the other ones I don't even remember.

Ain't nothin but a hound-dog crying all the time, I suppose.

Jan 05, 2006

I COMPLETELY AGREE. New Years is SO OVERRATED. Glad you managed to have a good time this year - I think it to be rare when someone can have this much fun with their RELATIVES on the biggest party night of the year. Good for you! And welcome back to the U.S. of A.! I think. (You are back, aren't you?)

New Years is never good - one year Dave drank many many vodka tonics, a bottle of wine with dinner AND our entire complimentary bottle of champagne and then he littered the grounds of the National Cathedral here in DC with his own personal intestinal distress. To this day I still do not believe he has written a formal apology to the Pope for desecrating sacred Catholic ground.

Jan 05, 2006

I'm with Mir- your family is full of beautiful people that do not belong here with the rest of us. And they also know how to have a great time!

bad andy
Jan 05, 2006

I went to a wedding reception on a boat once. I was too young to realize how bad this could have really turned out. It sucks not being able to leave when you want to.

Jan 05, 2006

and, did you just happen to pack a gold, sparkly dress, or did you rush out and purchase one in singapore?

Jan 06, 2006

Beautiful, cosmopolitian and a good writer, that's you all over. Happy New Year.

Jan 06, 2006

Now if only there were an ‘I’d like to have your number’ Elvis.

And also, I’m sorry to say it, but you DID spill wine on your sparkly new top this year, I guess doing shots doesn’t work when you don’t have a shot glass. Or any other type of alcohol APART from red wine.

Jan 06, 2006

Hello, jiějie (older sister) Holly! It's just little dìdi (younger brother) Luke here, because mèimei (younger sister) Susie told me that you had a new post. I love the pictures, especially, the one of gēge (older brother) Tom in the balloons.

Two years of Mandarin and thats all I remember. Way to make māma and bàba proud.

Nothing But Bonfires
Jan 06, 2006

Jes, it's a gold top. From Marshall's. I am nothing if not a BARGAIN SHOPPER.

Jan 06, 2006

I am de-lurking long enough to say MY GOD, YOUR FAMILY IS BEAUTIFUL.


Jan 06, 2006

Looks like you rang it in with style; awesome sparkly top (how much nicer that it was a bargain!)

Dakin and I flew back from London last night and whiled the way over on the plane trying to remember how we'd celebrated New Year's together in the prior ten years -- it ranged from the decedant (in Florence, in Venice) to horrifically drunk and stupid (me. lots of whisky. bad idea.) to chill (home with oodles of chinese food, cheap champagne and a fire going). By far, the laid-back route was the best. Whooping it up on the dance floor with our families wouldn't be too shabby though! Hazzah!

Happy 2006 :)

Jan 07, 2006

I am designating you my Glamour Surrogate. My life is devoid of the glittery and the gorgeous, but yours is clearly rich in both (not to mention a clearly loving and tight-knit family) so you're going to have to hold up the Glamour end for you, me, and pretty much everyone in Iowa.

At the same time, looking at the pictures of your beautiful family gave me some hope, because some day, God willin' and the creek don't rise, my boys will be as big and beautiful, and I will look, if not as immaculately put together and cosmopolitan as your mother, then at least as happy and proud.

ms lemon
Jan 07, 2006

the noses! and the chins! what a gorgeous family! what family is blessed with such beautiful bone structure? certainly not mine. looks like fun.

Jan 07, 2006

Now that I am old and married and tethered with children (dammit) I long for the New Year's Eve's where I drank too much and sloshed on my new top and puked in a trash can. Instead, I really DID stay home with a Reese Witherspoon movie! (No, not really, I had a book. But same difference, and I was in bed at 9:00).

And MY GOD you're a good looking bunch.

Jan 07, 2006

Ooh! I knew meimei! Okay, I only knew it because of Firefly but that is so not the point.

Your family is seriously gorgeous. Wow. Those eyes. That bowtie. Nice to see what everyone looks like. I'm glad you all had a great time. I went to Perkins and played cards with my friends. I am a party animal.

Nothing But Bonfires
Jan 07, 2006

Man, you are all making me blush. We don't normally look so clean and sparkly. Next time you see us, we will be wearing sweatpants. And have forgotten to brush our hair.

Gallaudet, you are making it GET VERY DUSTY IN HERE. I'm willing to bet my mother is looking for a tissue to dab her eyes this very second.

Also, I just noticed: in that second picture, doesn't it totally look like the woman in the background on the right is dancing in only her bra? Could this have actually happened, and the champagne has erased my memory of it?

Jan 07, 2006

Good Christ, you have a gorgeous family. Did y'all sell your souls to the Devil? Oh, come on, you did. You weren't using them anyway, were you? and you probably decided oh, what the heck, why not.

I am glad you had a great New Year's Eve. I had the best one of my life, and I was stone cold sober. That's the bitch of middle age; you turn into your parents and start to truly find pleasure in simple things. Goddammit.

Jan 07, 2006

I need someone with photo editing skills to drop me into the pictures. Just so's I can pretend.

Happy New Year seven days later!

Jan 07, 2006

there was Young Elvis, and Pale Imitation of Elvis …

I am of the opinion that every imitation of Elvis pales in comparison with the real thing.

Jan 08, 2006

Something looks odd... like you guys seem to all really like each other.

Jan 11, 2006

So - are you a natural brunette? Your eyes match your siblings' - but not your hair. Mom and Pop look pretty blonde, too.

Jan 11, 2006

Oh - unless that dark haired kid is another brother... I'm confoozled....

Nothing But Bonfires
Jan 11, 2006

Me -- probably pretty mousy but I wouldn't know; haven't seen my natural hair color since 1996. Used to be blonde when little.
Mother -- see above, but replace 1996 with 1976.
Dark-haired brother Tom -- yup, this is another brother, naturally dark although also used to be blonde when little.
Blonde Sister Susie -- naturally pretty blonde, I think, but definitely helped out by the Clairol.
Blonde Brother Luke -- totally, naturally white-blonde like that and always has been. It's the German from....
Father -- who would love you for saying "pretty blonde" rather than "gray."