Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Paul Richardson: Dream a little dream about sleep

While it seems like it was only yesterday, reality says it was fifty years ago that the thought of staying up to see in the New Year was an exhilarating idea. 

When you’re a high schooler, the idea of being invited to a New Year’s Eve party was the ultimate social experience. Although these parties were adult supervised and closely monitored, ones that I would have been permitted to attend, it was still “the thing." 

I do recall a particular party that got a little risqué during a party game. I will not mention any names, but it wasn’t me that was the subject at the center of attention. The game consisted of a group with knowledge of the game on the floor sitting in a circle. 

One by one, subjects were brought from another room with no knowledge of what was about to happen, placed in the center of the circle, and covered with a blanket. The leader of the game would state, “You are in the middle of the desert, remove the item that is making you hot!” 

The goal was to throw off the blanket, once the blanket was removed, that person would join the circle. This usually occurred after discarding a couple of mundane items such as shoes or glasses. This particular night, the subject under the blanket had to be stopped and numerous items were passed back under the blanket with instructions to redress prior to exiting. The game was called due to penalties.

When I left home and went to the university, the parties were no longer adult supervised, but the excitement remained. Then comes parenthood and you are assembling with other couples with the same obligations and their kids, still staying up to all hours of the night and ushering in the New Year with some exuberance.

Just like New Year’s Eve celebrations, I like leftover pizza. In those early days I would awake and begin the day, dining on room temperature left-over pizza from an open box on the coffee table or study desk. Things change. I still like leftover pizza, but now I want it refrigerated when the decision is made to keep it for later. 

To begin the day, I would like that pizza to be heated and topped with a couple of over-easy eggs, add a little cracked pepper, some Tabasco, and breakfast is served. Much more sophisticated than the reality of many years ago.

New Year’s Eve desires have changed also. I have taken that train of staying up and arriving at New Year station. It is a short trip and somewhat anti-climactic, with standing room only. In fact, I believe that they took out all the seats in order to pack more people in. Having been there, done that, and wearing the t-shirt, I now like to approach New Year’s Eve as I would a movie. Let’s watch the afternoon matinee so that we can make our regular bedtime and dream a little dream, about dreaming a little dream, about sleep!

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