Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Almost 2011

A few weeks ago we were at a pot luck with the people we call the "Haverim." The Haverim are our Seder buddies each year, and we try to get together once a month or so. They're more like family than just friends ... in fact they're more like family than my family ever was. Anyway, it was time to broach the subject of New Year's Eve.

For many years, we invited all of the Haverim over to ring in the New Year. The menu was always the same: bring some nosh/appetizer and whatever is to be drunk. We'd play marathon sessions of dice, talk, dance to swing music at midnight, and then trash the house with confetti and pop the hundred balloons. When the kids were little, we'd run out in the middle of the street with them and toss confetti and whoop.

Last year I begged out; I was still tired from the illnesses that had beat me up earlier in the year. I'm feeling pretty good these days, so I was willing to do something. Most of us fall asleep by about nine o'clock, what with our kids being grown and grandkids not requiring late night vigils, so I thought instead of New Year's Eve, why not invite the Haverim over for New Year's Day, to dine on pork and sauerkraut for the New Year's luck? (I have no idea why pork and sauerkraut are supposed to bring luck in the new year, but we all like it, so it's a good excuse to have it.)

So there we were at the potluck, and I was sitting at the table. I put on my "official" voice, rapped on the table, and told the happy group that we had business to discuss. "Since most of us fall asleep early," I said, "do you think it would be better to have New Year's Day dinner together, or do you really want to do the New Year's Eve thing?"

I have been accustomed to moderating if not controlling meetings much of my adult life, so I was really, really surprised when the rest of the group, like a thundering herd of maniacs, suddenly came to consensus: "LET'S DO BOTH!!!"

As we headed to our car that night, Bernie said out of the corner of his mouth, "How was that negotiation supposed to go again?"

Ah well. It will be fun, I'm sure. However, you can be certain that I am going to show no mercy when it comes to kicking ass at dice.

***Photo credit Bernie Pilarski

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