- 1970-something: Mom and dad went to some party at the Holiday Inn—the motel where mom waited tables—and left me at home with my two older brothers. My Mrs. Beasley doll was decapitated that night, a harbinger of the tragic NYEs that were to come.
- 1987: Me, Lois, and Chris in Chris’s basement drinking Jager and playing euchre while wearing U-M boxer shorts. This would have been fine except for my inability to hold my hooch. I think I hurled around the time Weird Al was explaining his secret hangover recipe to Joe Piscopo on MTV. Poor timing, indeed.
- 1989: I was freshly heartbroken and covering the Rose Bowl for the yearbook, so I was in L.A. with the staff photographer. We wound up at a giant alumni party in the Valley on New Year's Eve, where I ran into my ex-boyfriend with his new girlfriend. I spent the night walking around the party with a 12-pack, dispensing beers to people who had a reason to live. I then sped back to the hotel on one of the freeways in a fugue state, stayed up all night, and then downed gallons of black coffee in the Rose Bowl press box…where I was seated next to my ex-boyfriend, a sports editor for the Michigan Daily. Oh, and Michigan lost that year.
- 1994: Me, my boyfriend, and a giant party at the Washington Hilton—the hotel where Reagan was plugged—with a few thousand of our closest strangers. We left in short order. The highlight of the night was getting a lift from one of the idling limos, which were acting as gypsy cabs while waiting for clients.
- 2004: Got stoned with my best friend while teaching her to knit and watching Gigli. This officially marked my march into spinsterdom.
- 2008: Me, a sorta boyfriend (who drank too much and eventually passed out), and two gay bears sat on the couch and watched Mythbusters. Holla. Oh yeah, he broke things off the next week via IM. This really set the tone for the massive suck that has been 2009.
- Tie for first/worst: 1990 & 2003: 1990 found me in Detroit, partying it up with my college friends at a party at the top of the RenCen. I wish I could say I was drunk, but I was just dumb-ass stupid. I went up a down elevator…or tried to. After a scary ambulance ride to Detroit Receiving with a driver who resembled Large Marge, I spent five hours getting my Frankenknee stitched up while hiking up my Ann Taylor skirt to avoid bloodshed and eyeballing the motley crew around me. One poor woman sat in a chair, holding her face because her boyfriend hit her with a bat. A dude in red briefs was shot in the thigh at a nightclub and bloody rags surrounded his gurney. And a guy was chained to his bed because he was caught stealing a Rolex; his head was swathed in bandages like he was a Dickens’ character with a really bad toothache. He didn’t have a toothache; the po po beat him. I couldn’t bend my knee for two weeks, which made driving a bit of a challenge. Fast forward a decade and change, and you’d find me at Bob & Barbara’s, a dope dive bar in Philly, watching my boyfriend kiss a guy in front of me. I walked out and left him behind. I wish I had the sense to ditch New Year’s Eve as well.
What was your worst NYE experience?