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Didn't See It Coming!

BG readers make plans for
the most famous night in 1000 years

by Colin Lingle

Well, it had to happen. After all the Y2K hype, all the stockpiling of vacuum-packed snacks, all the celebrities telling us how hard it is to decide which fabulous bash to attend, after all that... it really does have to end.

After Friday, checks will have a little "20__" on them and The Artist will never play his most famous song again. But is this really the Make-or-Break Date Night for ten centuries in either direction? Is this really going to be as big a show (for good or ill) as we've been promised?

One unforeseen phenomenon of this deca-centennial rollercoaster has been the refreshing emergence of Anti-Hype. There is a "Sheesh!" factor now in play that is almost as palpable as the buzz propagated by the Times Square/Dick Clark/Champagne Cartel conspiracy. For every glamorous debacle somebody has planned, a whole lot of other people are actually taking it DOWN a notch.

And we don't need to tell you there's nothing wrong with that. The key to this whole endeavor -- at least, so thinks the Big To Do -- is the Zen of it. If you're still waffling on whether to go Bungee jumping with your posse at the stroke of midnight or just stay home and brush the cat, consider this: who are you?

If you really live to jump off buildings, then you're good to go. But if you're just trying to live up to someone else's expectations of what would make a good New Year's Eve... think again. You might find there's a more enticing option that you haven't even considered yet.

If you're not enthralled by your current options, round up a friend who's also ducking the party circuit and teach yourselves how to make pasta. (This is a great technique for "just friends" or friends upon whom you may have designs.) Or, call a few more folks and have everyone bring over their favorite movie... and snackfood... from childhood. You're bound to be surprised. Big date? There's still time to get your significant other to cancel the big plans and, um, have a good time, just the two of you.

The most important thing is that -- as much as possible -- you're true to how you want things to be. Big or small, that's what will make this particular To Do memorable.

Best Laid Plans of BG Readers

As expected, BG readers are taking their fates into their own hands and making inventive -- and Zenful -- plans for the Mother of All New Years. These are a few of the innovative answers y'all had to the question of what to do, where, and with whom.

From Nina:
I'll be going up to Dorset, Vermont, to the home of one of my college roommates. I'm spending 3 or 4 days up there enjoying a silly, festive reunion of my eight closest girlfriends from college. Significant others, family and friends will be around but the LOOP (as we call ourselves) will be sure to take center stage! On New Year's Eve we're having a dance floor and DJ in the barn and will be rockin' out with a "characters of the century" costume theme and lots of the bubbly! I can't wait. Happy Holidays!

Now here's a plan that has all the markings of a memorable night. Nina, just make sure everyone's "characters" have nice, warm costumes for the midnight barn-revelry. In VERMONT. Where it's really COLD.

From Julie:
I'll be sailing in the British Virgin Islands for 10 days. About 35 friends from San Francisco, New York, Boston and Chicago chartered five sailboats. We've been planning for about a year and a half. I'm sure it's going to be a blast. I'm taking a digital camera and plan to build a web site after the trip.

Let's see, 35 people divided by five boats for ten days. That's either going to be a great vacation... or the next Aaron Spelling TV show.

From Leigh:
The boyfriend and I are deciding between two options.
1. Some friends of ours are big into Aikido. We could join them for an evening that consists of a bonfire, lots of sake, 108 slashes of a ceremonial sword (one for each sin, for those following along at home), and then a plunge into an icy lake.
2. Dinner and dancing at the swanky Center of the Universe Ball in Seattle. I say, let's combine them: sake, swordplay, and a swim in strappy sandals. (As long as someone holds my beaded bag, it sounds like millennium fun to me.)

Gold star for creativity, Leigh. Any combination of both events will earn you and your squeeze the title of Big To Do Poster Couple of the Millennium. Let us know what happens.

From Moreen:
Ten of us (five men, five women, ages 25 to 30) will be renting a 3-story lakeside house in Vermont to go skiing.
Here is the "guy plan" taken straight from the "horse's email":

"This home has 3 levels, a wood burning fireplace, and a lake in the back yard, which could mean....POND HOCKEY! So bring your ice skates, hockey sticks, etc. When we get there, we are going to go out and buy Y2K necessities: brew, hard alcohol, pretzels, etc. These supplies will help keep us alive and very well inebriated in case of millennial meltdown."

My plan: Survive the guys' plan.

C'mon, Moreen! You can do better than that! If you're not a hockey player (and there's no reason why you shouldn't be), at least have some fun at their expense: lock them out of the house while they're playing and make them strip to get back in. Or something, for heaven's sake. Make it a night to remember.

From cowgirl:
To get over my ex I planned the following New Years bash: a barn burning in the boondocks of Vermont, complete with champagne, my six older brothers, and all their available cute friends. Sneaky huh? Have fun and help thy neighbor.

Yikes! Hope it's not the same barn that Nina's having her costume party in. Sounds like a good cathartic response to a breakup, cowgirl. Just remember to be careful and to be careful.

From Kate from the Frozen North:
I couldn't face another New Year being single. This is Northeast Britain where any woman with a brain greater than a walnut is a bit frightening to the average northern male, who is ruled by beer and football. Am aiming to spend this millennium night watching Bruce Hornsby in Virginia. I couldn't get much further away from Northern England! I have met 2 guys in the town I'm visiting in Virginia via an Internet dating agency. Could be absolute nutters of course, but they sound a) sane, b) solvent and c) reasonably intelligent. Vastly different ages and backgrounds, but worth a try!

Stranger things have happened, Kate. Much stranger. Cheers to you for thinking outside the Northeastern English box! Regardless of what happens with your Internet friends, you're going to take some stories home.

From Ally:
I am spending the last of the 19's at the bottom of the world. Isn't that cool? No, it's downright FREEZING! Yes, I'm taking a cruise to Antarctica, my first foray out of the US of A, to see the penguins and the whales... and the scientists who haven't seen women in months...

Don't let it be said that BG readers don't go to great lengths to "get out and meet people." Ally, you get the same advice that cowgirl does, only the opposite (fire and ice, actually): be careful, and be careful.

From Meredith:
I am going to spend New Year's Eve with the two people that mean the most to me, my parents. We will be on a beach in Hawaii sipping champagne and watching the fireworks together.

Who says family values are disappearing? All the best to you and the folks, Meredith.

And What's Breakup Girl Doing?

The word from her Super Self: Turns our BG's concerns about not being personally Y2K ready were for naught (so to speak). I'll be spending the evening with my dear Italian friends (here, not there). Italians, you know, can make a party out of a toothpick and some gum; imagine what they'll do with a new millennium! Actually, it'll be an elegant but mellow affair -- pot luck, even (here's what I'm bringing). And if I am brave enough to cook anything involving pasta for anyone remotely Italian, then I promise that you are all brave enough to face whatever festive challenges the new year may bring.

Wherever you find yourself on New Year's Eve, 1999, enjoy!

The Big To Do will be back next week to kick off a new millennium of great ideas for getting out and getting "out there."

Happy New Year!

Colin Lingle is waiting until the last possible second to make his New Year's Eve plans. Are you busy?

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