Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Review Of My Lackluster Year

We are hours away from the start of the New Year. I could not be less excited. I have no desire to party, to watch a ball drop, to blow on a party horn, or to watch a marathon of The Twilight Zone. I haven't celebrated New Year's Eve in years.

I will be upfront with you and admit that one of the reasons is that I haven't had a girlfriend on New Year's Eve in years. I learned a long time ago that it's kind of awkward to stay awake until midnight just to stand around and observe your friends kiss their partners. It's frustrating, because I want what they have. But since I've failed in that regard, I instead want them to experience the same misery I feel when the countdown ends.

New Year's Eve reminds me of Valentine's Day, which follows six weeks later. I'm almost always single on both holidays, which are manufactured, in my opinion. Valentine's Day is a vehicle for greeting card companies, chocolate makers and florists to boost sales. And New Year's Eve exists for the sole purpose of selling Dilbert calendars.

New Year's Eve 2013 is especially bothersome to me because I've realized I've accomplished very little in the past 12 months. It feels like a wasted year. I had this epiphany when Facebook added a "Year In Review" box to my profile. It was the first time I had ever seen this feature, so it piqued my curiosity. It allowed me to, in the words of Facebook, "look back at [my] 20 biggest moments from the past year."

I clicked on the box. What resulted was a slideshow of the photos I've uploaded in 2013, plus a rundown of my status updates, in chronological order. Sadly, nearly half of the updates were links to my blog entries: my problem with Back to the Future; my problem with The Wonder Years; my struggles with Sudoku; and so on.

(I feel badly that I linked back to my own site three times in the previous paragraph. It wasn't my intention to turn this post into the blogger's version of a clip show, I swear.)

It was hard not to notice that I didn't update my relationship status on Facebook in 2013. I entered the year single, and I ended the year single. This obviously becomes more of a concern as I grow older. As I've detailed before, I subscribe to an online dating website, so it's not as if I'm not making an effort. Yet would you believe I did not meet one woman this year through the Internet? Not one. Were it not for Google's image gallery of Jennifer Lawrence, I would have felt totally let down by the World Wide Web this year.

I went on a grand total of one date this year. It was a blind date, set up by a friend. She was really nice, very cool and friendly. I enjoyed our conversation. But please don't ask if she was attractive. I have no idea. I'm sure she was, but she wore sunglasses throughout the date, and so I never saw her entire face. I thought this was unusual.

It literally was a blind date; I spent hours with a woman whose physical appearance was completely unknown to me. I was waiting for that moment when she would remove her sunglasses and reveal her true beauty, Rachael Leigh Cook style, and it never came. I was disappointed and perplexed at the same time. How could we establish whether we had a connection if I had no idea what she looked like? The only acceptable explanation for her not removing her sunglasses would be if her eyes were to shrink to Milhouse-size proportions if she did so.

Needless to say, we parted ways after that date. I'm not bitter, and I don't harbor any resentment toward her. I wish her all the best. She deserves to spend this New Year's Eve with a wonderful man. I can picture her with her arms wrapped tightly around him right now, wearing oversized 2014 glasses. I can only hope she likes him enough to take them off at midnight.