Updated: March 18, 2014 4:15PM
By now, your New Year’s Eve plans are pretty much set. You’re going to ring in 2014 with your soulmate. Or you’re going to eat leftover pizza while standing over the sink. Or, more likely, something in between. Most New Year’s Eves turn out to be a bust, but every now and then, they turn out great.
DEIDRA: The summer of 2007, my husband and I were supposed to start trying to get pregnant. He decided that he wasn’t ready yet. I was devastated.
On New Year’s Eve, as the clock struck midnight, we kissed and I asked him, “Is this the year? Because if it isn’t, then we need to talk.” He assured me that he really wanted a family, too, and that 2008 was the year that we would start trying. I made him promise 900 times that night that he wouldn’t back out again. He promised every time.
We celebrated the next New Year’s Eve in the hospital with our new baby girl. Our daughter was born 365 days after I made my husband promise we would have a family.
ROSE: Why was I, a young, lovely 22-year-old, showering (alone) when the clock struck midnight that New Year’s Eve? My tale begins a week earlier, during the Christmas holidays.
I was celebrating in a city five hours away from home, where my grandparents and my long-distance boyfriend lived. During that time, my boyfriend decided to break up with me, and my grandfather had a heart attack at Christmas dinner. I spent my days keeping vigil with the rest of the family at his bedside and my late evenings in gut-wrenching conversations trying to convince my boyfriend (a.k.a.: “the one”) that we were destined to be together.
Both endeavors ended on Dec. 31. We buried my beloved Grandpa that day, and at the funeral I said goodbye to my boyfriend.
I was staying with my cousin, and when I arrived there later that night, I found out that the stress of Grandpa’s death had put her in the hospital. So, there I was, sitting in her house alone, five hours away from home, having just witnessed Grandpa’s burial and the death of a relationship that I thought would have ended in marriage. I turned on the TV and realized it was New Year’s Eve!
I distinctly remember thinking that, one day, I would look back and laugh, but at that moment I knew that I would go over the edge if I had to sit there by myself watching “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” alone. I panicked. Where could I go? How could I avoid hearing the festivities all around me at midnight?
Aha! The shower! It was the longest and most peaceful shower of my life and gave me the chance to duck the straw that would have broken this camel’s back and spirit.
Cut to 15 years later. I celebrated a wonderful New Year’s Eve with my darling husband of 14 years and our beautiful 2-year-old baby. My husband is the very same boy who broke my heart that year and sent me to the shower, but he came to his senses shortly thereafter. I haven’t had to spend a New Year’s Eve in the shower since.
How was your New Year’s Eve? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to firstname.lastname@example.org. And check out my new website askcheryl.net.