NEW YEAR'S Eve. The annual dilemma of modern man (and woman). What to do? Stay in and feel like a drip. Or go out and, against all odds, try to have a spontaneously wonderful time.
We'll make it easy. Present both arguments. Let you decide.
All of the Reasons to Go Out on New Year's Eve:
Everyone else does.
It's one of the few times you can be loud and obnoxious without standing out in a crowd.
One of life's pleasures is spending the next day watching football games while gently nursing a hangover.
It's the last night before your resolutions take effect.
For women, it's the perfect opportunity to give the slinky black velvet dress you got for Christmas a test run.
It's hard to sleep anyway with all the racket going on.
You might run into the jerk who used to be your boss, and this may be the only chance you'll ever have to tell him or her what you really think.
You stayed home last year.
Watching the party shows on TV just reminds you what a miserable bore you are.
You can drink responsibly, even if no one else can.
There is limited opportunity the other 364 days of the year to kiss total strangers.
You love champagne and this is the only night you can order it at a bar without getting weird looks.
If you stay home, an inebriated old flame will call at midnight to reminisce about what used to be, which your spouse will not appreciate.
For days afterward, you'll tell people what you did that night, instead of having to feign interest when other people tell you what they did.
Staying home is conceding defeat.
Guy Lombardo isn't on TV anymore anyway.
Your teetotaling cousin has agreed to serve as designated driver.
The human menagerie at the Towne Restaurant in Allentown at 3 a.m.
It's worth it to see your serious accountant friend with the horn-rimmed glasses wearing a pointy paper hat and blowing into a plastic horn while standing on a table in his boxer shorts.
You'll feel boring the next morning if you don't.
You won't get another chance for a whole year.
All of the Reasons Not to Go Out on New Year's Eve:
Everyone else goes out.
You can watch on TV as the ball on Times Square falls, all the while wondering how Dick Clark hosts these things every year without getting any older.
You don't relish the thought of being kissed by a total stranger.
It's like bumper cars on the road.
Everyone tries too hard.
If you go out and don't have fun you'll feel doubly miserable, because everyone else is having an incredibly outrageous time.
If you go out you might run into an old flame who wants to reminisce about what used to be, and your date will not appreciate it.
Sometimes the champagne goes down a little too easy.
You look better in flannel pajamas than you do in a slinky black velvet dress.
You refuse to pay 50 bucks for a glass of champagne and a few chicken wings.
You fall asleep at 10 o'clock anyway.
You don't consider a demarcation of time as grounds for celebration.
It's hard to retain one's dignity when squeezing to within arm's length of the lone shrimp bowl.
The celebration just hasn't been the same since Guy Lombardo died.
You party only with people you know.
This year was the best of your life and you're distraught that it's over.
You are the boss, and you might run into that employee you fired a few years back, who is going to tell you exactly what he thinks of you.
Few tortures rival the pain of a cheap champagne hangover.
Try as you might, you have a hard time believing every vehicle is operated by a designated driver.
You won't say anything to anybody that you'll regret the next day.
You went out last year.
You remember the couple you were such friends with, until that New Year's Eve a few years back.
You don't look good in a pointy hat.
You hate champagne.
You can't bear the thought of missing MTV's New Year's party.
The pressure of having to have a good time makes your skin break out.
There's always next year.