New Year's Eve Guide 2010

When the clock struck twelve, did you strike out? No matter how disappointing your worst New Year's Eve may have been, the winners of our My Worst New Year's Eve essay contest have you beat. Read their stories below — then see our comprehensive, up-to-date event listings for dozens of suggestions that will guarantee a good time for New Year's Eve 2010.

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I had to work until 8 p.m. on New Year's Eve, and when I went to catch the bus, a car making a right-hand turn at the light hit me. It wasn't a hard hit, but enough to knock me to the ground. Still, I saw the bus coming and remembered that it only came once an hour, so I told the driver of the car to forget it and ran for the bus, limping all the way. The bus ignored me and passed by. As I sat there for an hour, my on-again/off-again boyfriend called and told me we should chill later that night. I already had plans with a girlfriend, but I was so happy he had invited me out that I immediately canceled them.

I finally got home at about 10:30. I got ready quickly and called my boy. He didn't answer. I called again and again and got his answering machine. My friend had already left for her night out and didn't answer the phone, either. I went up to my neighbors' house, and they told me they had plans and gave me a bottle of cheap whiskey. I drank almost the whole bottle, waiting and crying. As the clock struck twelve, I was alone and in pain.

At 1 a.m., my boy called me, making some excuse and being very rude. As if the night wasn't bad enough, I could hear a woman's voice in the background making flirty comments and calling his name. The next morning I woke up mega-hung over with my eyes swollen shut.

It was the worst. — Anika

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New Year's Eve 2006 began insignificantly. I went to the gym, I showered, and I put on brand-new jeans that I got for Christmas.

It was 2 p.m. when I started to get a migraine headache. This was the kind of headache that pounds inside of your skull and can't be contained with medicine.

I attempted to nap. I rolled around in agony for hours, cursing the universe.

At around 5 p.m., the roommates barged in and announced that they were going out for Mexican food and that they had invited our hot neighbor. Hot Neighbor looked like a character from Dawson's Creek; I could picture myself climbing into his window every night and being sweetly serenaded by a '90s soundtrack.

Determined not to let sickness dash my romantic vision, I changed into a dress and heels. I staggered outside, half-blind with headache. My roommates began to question my health.

"Are you sure you're okay?" asked Zak, the sensitive roommate. "Your head feels warm. I think you have a fever. And you're, like, really pale right now."

"Yeah, yeah, I'm fine. Don't ruin my chances with Hot Neighbor...and his James VanDerBeek hair," I whispered, since attempting to make sound was searing agony in my brain.

At the restaurant, I cursed my determination as I ate a cheese quesadilla and queasily waited while the gang drank margaritas. I convinced myself that this headache must be the result of a brain tumor. Hot Neighbor made jokes, and I saw him checking out my legs. I got lost in his dreamy smile until I realized I was just sitting there staring at him with glassy eyes and a small string of spittle hanging from my lip.

By the time we left, I was deep in the recesses of the migraine abyss. My roommates got me home.

When they grabbed my legs to attempt to stuff me into pajama bottoms, they saw an enormous purple spot covering my entire thigh. So that's what Hot Neighbor had been looking at. It looked like a bruise with thin veins running through it but didn't hurt. I peered down and pathetically whimpered in fear.

Like many people, I am a borderline hypochondriac. I had already assumed that a brain tumor was causing my headache, but now a mystery bruise meant death was certain.

"Blood clot! Brain tumor! I have a blood clot!" I yelled, feverishly weeping because I knew the Grim Reaper would soon be upon me. My roommates had already finished two bottles of champagne with Hot Neighbor, so my panic didn't faze them.

"Let's put her to bed. She'll be fine," said Zak, as he grabbed me and placed me on the bed.

"Nooo, don't leave me! Blood clot!" I wailed as they turned off the light. My head throbbed in the dark, and my stomach began to turn with thoughts of my impending doom.

Suddenly, my stomach was in knots. I crawled to the bathroom and sat on the toilet. But instead of my body doing what I expected it to do, my stomach convulsed and I found myself leaning over and vomiting into the shower.

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