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Ask yourself: has complaining about how New Year’s Eve sucks ever made your holiday better?

For the first time in a decade, I don’t have any plans on New Year’s Eve. I could pointedly go to sleep at 11:49 p.m. after feeding my cat and watching some Netflix. I can treat New Year’s Eve just like any other day—but it’s not. You can pretend that any ole Saturday night party is as good, but it’s not! Out in the big world, people are bidding adieu to broken dreams, heartache, and bad breaks. They’re cheering together in a mass delusion of hope for the future, celebrating possibility, and reaching towards that distant horizon where the sweet light of a new dawn is peeking out.

Hating on New Year’s Eve is a way to deny that you want to snatch a little piece of that delicious, joyful hysteria for yourself. I’m freaking sick of hearing people whine that New Year’s Eve is bad as I’m brushing off my sequin jacket like they’re tipping me off to something. Guess what? That’s just fear speaking. And your fear of a disappointing night is only a reflection of how much you want this. Take a chance; dress up in glitter, pop champagne, get swept along with the crowd.

Practically, New Year’s Eve can be expensive, if you’re a moron who pays $80 for a ticket to a bar you’ve never been to because the price of a glass of Prosecco is “included.” Go somewhere local, go to a friend’s house and bring wine, hide alcohol in your pocket if you need it.

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Will New Year’s Eve still be a let-down, even if you manage to spend less than $100? Well, why don’t you try managing your expectations, for chrissake. Instead of getting cranked up like a hummingbird on meth, thinking everything has to be perfect on this one night or 2018 will be ruined, set a small goal. Here are some small goals you can borrow and satisfy:

  • Dance to a song you like and forget about [insert name here] for five minutes.
  • Have a good cocktail.
  • Look at yourself in the mirror and think, “I look like a sexy disco ball.”
  • Count down to midnight and yell at the ceiling after saying “one.”
  • Wear a very bold eye shadow palette of gold and silver.

These are all things better done with friends, somewhere outside of your apartment! And we both know that you will not go to bed at 11:49 p.m. as planned if do you stay home. You have not cracked the code. You’ll drink too much wine and end up scrolling through Instagram, or staring out the window at distant fireworks. The FOMO is gonna get ya, and that’s no way to start the new year.

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If you’ve got some cash, mobility, a friend in town, and an outfit you like, throw them all in the mix and celebrate. It won’t be the best night of your life, and that’s fine. You’ve got the rest of your life to be alone. I still remember just about every New Year’s Eve party I’ve ever been to. The evenings spent sedating myself on the couch all kind of blend together.