The new year is almost upon us and with that comes the holiest of all holy holidays – the New Year’s Eve party. Yes, long a time of debauchery disguised as a celebration of Earth running laps around the sun, the New Year’s Eve party is the one party that everyone, regardless of where they are in their life, makes time for. But really, most New Year’s Eve parties follow the same template and it’s inevitable that at some point, the following people will show up. It may even be possible that you’re one of them. But whether reading this causes a bit of painful self-examination, or whether it just gives you something to reference when you’re pointing and laughing at the walking, talking clichés on December 31st, just remember that thanks to Guyism you will be prepared to deal with these 11 people you see at a New Year’s Eve party. Because knowing is half the battle.
11 The Sloppy Drunk
This poor guy doesn’t understand that pacing is key and by 11:15 he’ll either be passed out, naked in some dark guest bedroom or he’ll be vomiting off the back porch. He’ll be the life of the party early on but by the time midnight arrives he’ll just be last year’s news. Feel free to make fun of him the next morning and make up the wildest, most ridiculous nonsense you can think of and tell him he missed out. The hangover is bad but the regret will be even worse.
10 Rip Van Winkle
This sad case used to be the life of the party. Midnight would strike and he’d just keep going, partying long into the night. But now he’s older, he’s got a family and he works 80 hours a week just trying to get ahead and when midnight strikes he’ll be snoring on the couch. He’ll be gung-ho for the first part of the night – it’s the only chance he gets to cut loose all year now – but everybody knows that his best days are behind him and that by the time Letterman normally comes on he’ll look like he’s ready to sleep until next year’s New Year’s Eve party.
9 Jerk With a Noisemaker
This asshole thinks he’s just hilarious. He spends all night blowing on noisemakers like a goddamn hyperactive four year old. He’ll walk up to you and blow one right in your face and then laugh like he’s the first genius to ever think of pulling such a clever lark. I know it’s hard but resist the urge to punch him because you really, really don’t want to be that guy watching the ball drop at the police station, hands cuffed behind your back. Assault charges are not a fun way to get the new year started. Still, feel free to grab that thing right out of his mouth and tear it up. Sure, it’s kind of mean but it’s the only way he’ll learn.
8 The Dancing Machine
This dude thinks he’s at a rave. He spends all night feverishly dancing, ignoring everybody and everything, and gets irritated when everybody stops at midnight to count down to the new year. For him, a New Year’s party is just a chance to get lost in the rhythm or some such nonsense. No one will want to go near him because he’s covered in sweat and he’s flailing about so badly that there’s a very real chance that you’ll end up in the emergency room at midnight while a doctor sets your broken nose. Avoid this idiot.
7 The Couple That Checks on Their Kids 112 Times
This young couple just started their family and even though they promised you and each other that they would try to forget all that for one night and leave the kids in the capable hands of a sitter, they spend the entire night fretting and worrying, debating whether or not they should call to check in on their precious darlings just one more time. Of course, the fact that they just called 10 minutes before doesn’t seem to enter into the decision making equation. Look, they used to be your friends and they were a lot of fun back in the day, but those days are long past and now they are parents. Their world is ruled by little bowling balls with flesh that shit and puke everywhere, kind of like miniature versions of you when you were in college. Just leave them be and try not to let them bring down your good time.
6 The Once a Year Drinker
This poor fool – or lady fool, let’s not be sexist here fellas – spends all year buttoned up, afraid to cut loose for fear of compromising the holy tenets of adulthood. But on this one night, the once a year drinker throws aside all pretensions of maturity and gets completely out of hand. Usually it starts with a simple glass of champagne, something classy just to fit in. But after a couple of hours, the once a year drinker has reverted back to a college freshman, slamming shots and generally making a complete ass of him or herself. The problem with only drinking once a year is that when that one time comes, you really, really can’t handle your liquor and the result is both hilarious and kind of sad to witness. Just humor them and make sure they don’t vomit on you at midnight and you’ll be fine.
5 The Sentimental Fool
This sap uses the occasion to let his inner-greeting card out and spends the whole night alternating between playing the “Remember when?” game and telling you how much he loves you guys. Incidentally, the sentimental fool is often closely associated with the once a year drinker and the sloppy drunk. It’s okay to be this dude or lady dude in moderation – after all, if there’s ever a time to let love rule it’s probably New Year’s – but as soon as people start rolling their eyes at you and patting you on the head like a good dog then it’s time to dial it back a bit, okay?
4 The Kissing Bandit
The kissing bandit loves New Year’s because it gives him a chance to be pervy without anyone slapping him upside the head. When midnight strikes he’ll be the dude stalking the party like the goddamn Predator, ready to throw his lips at anything that shows up on his infrared radar. And people will put up with it because it’s New Year’s. The best you can do is try to turn your head at the last minute and catch a quick peck on the cheek because he will find you and he will go for the lips. Just pray that he’ll quickly move on to his next victim and that you can escape relatively unscathed. It’s a war out there.
3 The Guy Who Doesn’t Know Anyone
No one knows who this guy is – is he a friend of a friend? Just someone who snuck in? A homeless dude looking for a place to crash? – but he’ll spend all night wandering around the party, never talking to anyone, a drink in his hand and when midnight comes he’ll count down with everyone else and ring in the new year like he’s part of the old gang. Usually, this is just the dude or lady dude at work who’s really quiet and earns a pity invite because everyone feels bad for them and even though it’s kind of awkward, it beats sitting on the couch and watching Ryan Seacrest all night with his or her nineteen cats. Just leave them be, unless of course they try to steal your toothbrush or something. Then they might just actually be a bum.
2 The Couple Who Spends All Night Fighting
This couple spends all night bickering and huddling in dark corners, having serious conversations about all the stupid little things that couples fight over. Usually, someone was passive aggressive about leaving on time or someone forgot to do one of the million little things that people forget to do and rather than let it go and have a good time, this couple spends the entire night using it as a referendum on their entire relationship, anxiously watching the clock and lobbing emotional and verbal grenades at one another about how they can’t believe the other is going to ruin New Year’s like this. Basically, these people are awful and even though they will kiss at midnight and smugly make up like they are the healthiest most well-adjusted people in the world, completely oblivious to the fact that they made everyone else’s night worse, don’t believe the hype. They are not happy and they never will be. Cross them off next year’s invite list ASAP.
1 The Couple Having Sex at Midnight
These gentle souls believe in making love, not war and when midnight strikes everyone will look around for them but they won’t find them because they’ll be locked away in some guest bedroom, banging like animals on a pile of your coats. Sure, they’ll miss the countdown and the ball dropping and all that nonsense, but they’ve got enough balls flying around of their own to worry about and trust me, their new year is already happier than yours.
(Previously published on December 28, 2012.)