I don’t believe in curses. But on the other hand, how many times does something have to happen before you start to wonder if there’s something to it. Then again there’s the self-fulfilling prophecy angle. But trust me, some of these events I couldn’t have subconsciously made happen.
It doesn’t happen every year, but way too often some disaster falls upon my on New Year’s eve. Some are much more worse than others. You decide. Cursed or not?
The Key Incident
My girl friend and I booked a combo at a local hotel where you could eat dinner, then have an open bar with entertainment to midnight, stay the night in the hotel, get a late breakfast the next day, and a late checkout. Good fun, with no worries.
That is until about 10pm. She needed me to make a run to a convenience store to buy something the hotel didn’t have. I had her keys with me from earlier when I had to get something out of her car. I went to get them later, and realized THEY WERE GONE. I searched all over the hotel and grounds, everywhere we had been, and couldn’t find them anywhere.
Needless to say, the rest of the evening and next morning didn’t quite go as I had hoped it would.
Punched in the Gut and Left to Die Incident
OK, not literally. That would have actually been less painful. I was engaged to get married at the time. My girl friend and I were out of state on New Year’s Eve. There’s a long back story to this that I won’t get into (and of course I’m totally blameless!), but the hammer dropped about 10 minutes to midnight. We had just checked into our room and she let me know that she didn’t want to get married to me and that no one ever understood her like this other guy at her work did. I just turned on the TV, sat at the edge of the bed, and watched the ball drop — and felt absolutely nothing — as if I had died inside.
It wasn’t technically a break up, but it was never the same after that and we slowly drifted apart.
The ER visit
Went to First Night, was a “first date” situation. I met her there, since we really didn’t know each other yet and I wanted her to feel comfortable — oh and I didn’t own a car at the time so that was a bit awkward to come out and admit at the time and I didn’t think she’d want to be picked up on a motorcycle in the Winter. But that wasn’t the problem. In fact, we hit it off really well and was one of those situations where it was like the rest of the world didn’t exist. We found a quiet corner and talked and talked. Then I started to get this weird feeling in my stomach. Oh no, it wasn’t butterflies, or a feeling that I found Ms. Right. Nope, it was not to be because IT WAS NEW YEAR’S EVE.
My stomach felt like it was going to explode. I politely dismissed myself and tried to find a toilet — fast. I ended up running to the side of the building and barfing my guts out. I walked back and was out of it. Unable to pay attention to what she was saying or responding much because of the pain, I must have looked like I was bored. The pain got worse. I finally started to think more about how I was going to survive more than anything. I finally just told her I had to go. It was 11pm. I ran to where the DART buses were to get a bus home. The driver said none would be leaving until midnight. I stepped off the bus, leaned against a building, and started throwing up until I was dry heaving. I stumbled back on the bus, looking drunk of course. I went to the back of the bus and wished for death. A little while later I heard fireworks, while dying inside a bus. I mumbled “Happy New Year.”
A few hours later I was on a stretcher in the ER for several hours, waiting to be seen amongst the other casualties of New Years Eve. I got X-rayed and checked. I was given some pills to take and released to my sister’s husband to give me a ride home. I stepped outside the ER and threw up the pills.
Out of Gas
No first date this New Year’s Eve. I had been dating this gal for about a year. She was throwing a big party for her friends. I was on my motorcycle heading to her house. I was running low on gas. I went from gas station to gas station looking to fill it, but they were all closed. (Gee, I wonder why). I finally ran out of gas at the bottom of a hill on Route 7 near Christiana. I somehow pushed my bike up the hill, and another couple of miles while watching my watch go past midnight. I finally found an open station, got to her party after most of her guests went home. She wasn’t happy at all. I couldn’t call her because this was the days before cell phones.
She had a point, I was an idiot for running out of gas, and I had embarrassed her greatly as her friends all thought she got stood up for the night. That was the beginning of the end and six weeks later, we were history.
Who Needs Power?
This actually happened last year. I had gone a few years with no incidences. Thought it was all behind me. That was simply not to be.
Where I work was scheduled to have a new emergency generator put in. Other electrical work was also supposed to occur, so my servers (and email) would be down. It was estimated to be about a day. I knew I was in trouble when I talked to the contractor and when I mentioned that I’d be back in later in the day to bring up my servers, he laughed. Said it’d take a COUPLE of days to do this job.
Oh struth, you gotta be kidding…
So we were down. For days. And so was email. And the people were mad. Real mad. And I sat there and wondered about my curse. But how could it be? It struck days earlier. And lo and behold I was given hope. Because on December 30th the power was restored and we were back up!
But alas, on December 31st, a strong wind storm blew in to the area. And it knocked out the power at work. And the new emergency generator did not get a county inspection yet and was still off line. And the servers went dark. And we were down again — on New Year’s Eve.
Worst New Years Eve. Evar.
I’ve saved the worst to last. It was December 30th, 2002. My cat, shown here in a picture from that day, wasn’t feeling well. She had gone missing for two days and I finally found her here hiding in the linen closet. She wasn’t very responsive. I figured she just wasn’t feeling well and gave her some water and tried to get her to eat. She responded slowly, and the next day (December 31st) she jumped down and made her way to the bedroom to her favorite window perch. I figured she was feeling better and was happy.
A little later I heard the most horrible scream I’ve ever heard. It sent a shiver down my spine. I never knew a cat could make that kind of noise. I ran towards the noise and saw her on the floor flopping around like a fish out of water, screaming in agony. There was blood and puss mixture all over the window, her perch, walls, and floor. Linda and I quickly gathered her up in a blanket and head to a nearby animal 24hr emergency room.
They took her into the back, where I heard some more screams, then silence. They finally sedated her and gave her something for the pain. The vet came out and said she had a huge abscess on her lower back that had popped. He said he wasn’t sure he’d be able to get enough skin to be able to close it up, but would see what he could do.
I looked at my phone. It was almost midnight. So we sat there, in the waiting room alone, wondering whether my cat would live, as others were ringing in 2003.
The next two weeks were hell. She had a huge wound with a draining tube. We tried to take care of her at home for a few days, but she constantly tried to get out of her “cone head.” Since we couldn’t watch her while at work, I checked her back into the vet for a week of recovery. I went and visited her every day at lunch and after work. She was the cutest thing and tried to sneak into my backpack each time, as if trying to get me to sneak her out of there.
Happily, she recovered and she’s still with us, and healthy.
So tomorrow is New Years Eve again. Will I survive another one? Hope everyone enjoys their evening. As for me, I’ll be in my basement, on the floor, under the stairs, in the fetal position, sucking on my thumb.
Happy New Years!