I have to admit, I felt a little ‘gangsta’ earlier today when I used an expired coupon at Walmart. $1.00 off of Huggies Baby Wipes – you just can’t throw that kind of coupon away people! Yes, it expired December 31, 2011 – but I know the suits at Kimberly-Clark would have wanted me to save that $1.00 because it’s the season of giving damn’t! Not only is this mama sexy & sassy, she is living on the edge in the secret underground society of Clandestine Coupon-ing.
And that’s probably as exciting as my New Year’s Eve is going to get. I’m really quite ‘ok’ with that. For the past three years, my New Year’s Eve Celebrations involved dancing until 3:00 a.m. in stilettos that people are still talking about. I realize I’m letting my fan base down and there’s a little black dress that I would love to take out tonight, but this year, I have a date with a very handsome Sicilian who captured my heart over eight years ago, my little boy, Joey. We’re going to ring in the new year watching old Christmas movies in our favorite pajamas and he will most definitely be my first kiss at midnight. Get in line ladies, this one is all mine!
So what are your New Year’s Eve traditions? There is one, and only one, that I have adhered to for almost two decades now. Being Italian/Sicilian, our culture is rich in traditions, many of them bordering on ludicrous. However, some I follow like they came straight out of the Bible (although, I’m sure this one didn’t). Every New Year’s Eve I make sure I’m wearing my red “unmentionables”. Yes, you read that right. On New Year’s Eve, you don’t want to forget to wear your red underwear to ring in the new year! Italian tradition says that will bring you luck in the coming year. Whatever you do, do not eat lobsters (because they move backwards) and stay away from chicken (because they scratch in reverse). Eating those on New Year’s Day may cause a reversal of fortune. Of course, the fiscal cliff along with our current administration has left most of us without any fortune to speak of so just put on those red boxers and go grab a chicken leg!
If you read my last post, then you know that I have become quite passionate about helping the homeless. The city of Birmingham has opened up the Boutwell Auditorium as a warming center and they will re-open on January 2, 2013. After spending three days there last week, I cannot wait to return, although, I wish there wasn’t a reason for me to. This past Saturday night I stayed there until almost midnight just talking with these men from all different walks of life. At their very core, they are no different from most of us. They want someone to talk to, someone to listen. That is all. There was a group of five of us sitting in a circle and we just talked about anything and everything – children, jobs, how much times have changed…sometimes there were tears but mostly there was laughter. I can honestly say that I can’t wait to return in a couple of days to talk with them again. They always thank me when I leave and ask if I’m going to return, but really, it’s me that should thank them. If you live in the Birmingham area, please consider dropping by to volunteer or donate items. I’ve set up a Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/events/402550073160348/?group_id=0 that explains more.
So this is it. The final day of 2012. The Mayans were wrong, and it wasn’t the end of the world. We’re all looking back on a year that is about to become a page for the history books. I hope you can recall at least a few happy moments and I’m sure there were some that were not so happy as well. For my family, the past year was a living hell but my sense of humor seems to keep me going along with a few close friends and my mom & dad. No, I’m not going to elaborate more than that right now. One day soon, you will be able to read about every last detail in my book. But right now, one of my favorite songs just came on the radio, “Same Old Lang Syne”, by Dan Fogelberg. That song takes me back to so many places, all of them happy, simpler and calm. I have always wondered if that song was based on actual experience and I recently learned that it was.
I had a feeling it was personal, you just can’t write lyrics like that without having experienced them.
“We drank a toast to innocence, We drank a toast to now
And tried to reach beyond the emptiness,
But neither one knew how.
She said she’d married her an architect
Who kept her warm and safe and dry
She would have liked to say she loved the man
But she didn’t like to lie.”
This is really going to sound cheesy, but almost all of his songs, at one time or another, were like a soundtrack to my life. Dan passed away five years ago this month and I have yet to come across anyone with a voice as gentle as his.
My daughter and her friends are eagerly awaiting midnight to ring in the new year. I’m staying up as well, but for a different reason. I want to make damn sure the old year leaves! I hope the coming year brings you all that you wish for and may all your troubles last as long as your New Year Resolutions.