Mary Ellen and I decided today to make a reservation somewhere for New Year’s Eve. I usually wait a bit longer to make this important decision. Last year I waited until December 31. That may seem like last minute, but I did leave a voice message first thing that morning.
I called one restaurant and they were still planning the menu. The manager said: “Please call back after November 1, but don’t wait too long. Some loser called last year on New Year’s Eve morning.”
Just for fun, the other night my wife and I sat down and tried to see if we could remember what we did every New Year’s Eve since we were married in 1980. We went backwards from 2017 and we were doing surprisingly well until we hit 2000.
“Dick, wasn’t that when we went to French Lick to celebrate the Millennium?”
“No, the Millennium was technically 2001. Didn’t I explain that to you?”
“I think you are wrong about that and I refuse to have this argument every thousand years. What did we do in ’99, Dick?”
“Wasn’t that the year we took your sister to dinner?”
“I don’t have a sister. I thought that was your sister. How about ’98? Wasn’t that the year we just got a bottle of Champagne and walked hand-in-hand through the park while the snow fell on our faces?”
“That doesn’t sound remotely familiar, Mary Ellen.”
“Sorry, Dick, that wasn’t you in ’98, that was Rick in ’78.”
“Okay, Mary Ellen. I remember ’97. That was the year we rented a video, popped some popcorn, curled up on the couch and waited for the New Year to ring in.”
“As I recall, you fell asleep at 6:30.”
“Why can’t they do that falling ball thing right after the six o’clock news?”
The more we talked, the more obvious it became that we had not been invited to a New Year’s Eve party at someone’s home 30 years. This was an eye-opening revelation that Mary Ellen felt required some analysis . . .
“I think it is because one of us tends to have just a little too much to drink and then talks endlessly about how television has changed over the years and why it’s hard to write a weekly humor column. And how radio talk show hosts are too conservative. And then there’s this endless harangue about how smart Beagles are.”
“Do I do that?”
“Talk about insecure! I didn’t say it was you. Dick, I think the answer to this problem is to have our own New Year’s party this year. After all, we have a new house.”
“Great idea, but who would we have as guests? No one ever invites us to their party and I’m sure not going to invite a bunch of ungrateful, selfish people who didn’t have the courtesy to include us in their past celebrations.”
“Wow, Dick, let’s keep that Christmas spirit right through the New Year, OK?”
We finally decided we are going to have a combined housewarming and New Year’s party. If you are reading this column and have never invited us to your house, I can give you the name of a great restaurant. Just be sure to call after November 1.
Dick Wolfsie appears weekdays on television sharing his humor, stories and video essays. His column appears weekly in The Paper of Montgomery County. E-mail Dick at