Youngsters, maybe you've been wondering what New Year's Eve will be like when you reach the ancient age of 67.
Well, wonder no more. I'm exactly that age!
So I'm perfectly qualified to reveal fascinating details about the Not-so-Secret Lives of Senior Citizens on the evening of December 31. Based on a sample of two -- me and my wife.
This year, like most years, we didn't sit on our butts at home. No, indeedy. Far from it.
First we sat on our butts in our Chevy Volt as we drove to the 6 pm showing of "Youth" at Salem Cinema. After that, we sat on our butts in the movie theatre, followed by a repeat of the car butt-sitting when we went home, after which we sat on our butts in front of our television set.
Exciting evening! See what you have to look forward to!
Standing in line to buy our tickets, I heard a string of "two senior citizens for Youth" from the people ahead of us. That made us feel good. We were with our tribe -- old folks who spend New Year's Eve in a movie theatre.
Chivalrous guy that I am, Laurel stayed in the auditorium while I braved the snack bar line.
My gray-haired compatriots were civil enough, but I sensed an undercurrent of concern as the artisanal'ish popcorn machine kept running out under the rush of orders from the Hot to Party moviegoers.
I had plenty of time in line to ponder how wild I wanted to get this New Year's Eve.
I was torn between the small and medium boxes on display next to the popcorn popper. My desire to lose some weight spoke "small," but the go-crazy side of me screamed "medium." Which is what I heard myself saying when I reached the front of the line.
Laurel wanted some coffee. She usually drinks de-caf after 5 pm. I decided she also needed to let go and party! on this New Year's Eve. I told the Salem Cinema snack bar person, "A large coffee, half regular, half de-caf."
We'd seen snippets of the Youth movie on a 60 Minutes segment featuring Michael Caine, who stars in the film. The clips were mostly on the light and cheerful side.
I especially liked a scene where Caine, who plays a retired composer/conductor, and his movie-making friend, played by Harvey Keitel, enjoy the company of a nude Miss Universe in their hotel's pool. (The front of her was equally appealing in the movie itself.)
However, Youth turned out to be one of those "art" films with a blend of dark and light aspects.
We enjoyed the movie. It just wasn't exactly a paean to the joys of growing old -- aside from the joy of old men who get to see Miss Universe up close and personal without her clothes on, which would be a real delight, yet not one I'm likely to experience.
So we spent most of the drive home talking about the Fellini-like aspects of the film. Why did X say and do this? What was the point of Y? And... is life really as pointless as key Youth characters make it out to be?
Fun time! Who needs bubbly champagne and frothy chit-chat on New Year's Eve when you can discuss the meaninglessness of human existence?
Feeling a need to lighten up, I headed for a hot bath and glass of wine when we got home, while Laurel fired up the TV and started watching a recorded Nature program.
By the time I got out of the tub, our wild-and-crazy New Year's Eve had shifted to viewing a motherless baby sloth being taught how to climb trees by a woman who hoped to reintroduce the animal to the wild. I found this mildly interesting. Listening to the Nature show while dozing on our couch... perfect.
When it was over, I managed to wake up and commandeer the remote control from Laurel, restoring the natural Tao-given order of things where the Man of the House changes channels and adjusts the volume.
Voyeuristic party animals that we are, I'd set up each of the main New Year's Eve programs to record. So we started off watching New Year's Rockin' Eve, switched to Pitbull's New Year's Revolution, and ended up with New Year's Eve With Carson Daly.
Basically these shows allowed us to experience what young people do on New Year's Eve, but without having to actually associate with them.
We saw young people wearing funny hats; we saw young people dancing to music we don't like; we saw young people talking about what a great year 2016 will be (apparently failing to realize that life is pointless and it's all downhill after birth).
When the clock on TV reached five seconds to midnight, I summoned up my senior citizen energy. Swinging my feet off of the couch, I managed to stand up and lean over the recliner where Laurel watches television.
We kissed. Briefly. I tried to get our dog interested in a three-way (kiss), but ZuZu's mind was set on going downstairs to her futon and eating the biscuits she gets as a bedtime snack. So we all got ready for bed.
Before 1 am, I was asleep, having celebrated another New Year's Eve in our usual old folks way: movie, television watching at home, struggling to stay awake until midnight, a kiss to welcome 2016.
Works for us. Your results may differ. Especially if you're under 40. But... just wait. Your tastes may change.