In the last few years, we've been spending our New Year's Eve at a friend's house. She and her husband have an annual countdown to midnight party and it always works out perfect for us because a) though it's not really a party aimed at kids, they love our kids and we can bring them with us, b) they don't ever complain when our kids trash their house, c) it's nearly impossible to find some sort of babysitter who doesn't have his or her own plans on New Year's Eve, and d) we get to go out of the house, because deep down, we know if we tried to celebrate at home, we'd just give up and go to bed at 10:30 and that would just make us pathetic. (Of course, that's assuming we're not already firmly in the pathetic category. There is no need to respond to that last statement, by the way.)

This is someone I used to work with but she's been at a new job for several years and she lives a good hour from me. Although, I see her more often than that, I pretty much only go to her house once a year and every time I drive out there, I go through the can I remember where she lives without Mapquest or should I print out directions to keep me from driving around aimlessly, nowhere near her neighborhood, wondering if the neighbors would respond if I just started yelling her name at the top of my lungs out the car window debate.

This year, I did go ahead and look up directions, just to be safe, but I didn't really go back and check to make sure I had her correct address. I was pretty sure that was it, but I only looked as far as my contacts list in my mobile phone and I've been known to put stuff in there incorrectly and forget about it. So when we got to her house, walked up to the door and rang the doorbell, and no one answered, I had momentary self-doubt. Was this really the right house? Was I even on the right street?

The lights in the front room windows were off, which wasn't in itself that unusual, but I happened to look up to the bedroom window on the second story and saw a face peer out and then close the drapes -- a face that did not belong to anyone I knew. We stood there for a second or two as no one came to the door. My inner you're an idiot and obviously must be the one who's wrong voice started in and The KingofHearts and I had the following conversation:

"Are you sure this is the right house?"

"I think so."

"But it doesn't look like any lights are on."

"Should we ring the doorbell again?"

"Well, if it's not her house, I don't want to wake up whomever it belongs to."

"Wait, is it even the thirty-first?"

"Well, I think so..."

*KoH checks mobile phone* "Yeah, it's the thirty-first."

"Was the party cancelled and you forgot?"

"I think I'd remember that. Maybe it doesn't start until later?"

"It's already 9:30."

Clearly, neither of us suffers from an excess of self-confidence.

It was cold and windy, so we went back to wait in the car while we tried to figure out our next move. I realize the logical thing was to simply call her phone and ask if the party was still on/I was at the right house. But I do not do things the logical way and I didn't want to call her if I was truly in the wrong because it was late. So instead we drove around the block to keep the heater going while I tried to pull up the email invite I'd received on my mobile phone - just to make sure I had the right place, date, time, etc., before making a phone call.

The Dormouse, who is about as excitable as a Labrador puppy hearing the phrase go for a walk uttered from his owners every time there's even a possibility of going to a party, was disappointed, to say the least. It didn't matter that this was pretty much a party where adults pretty much just sat around and talked and there might not even be any other kids there, she is a party animal. She works the room, talks to people, shows off her party dress, engages in witty banter... the girl would make an excellent lobbyist one day. But I digress. She was disappointed. Extremely disappointed.

"Look, we're just going to drive around the block and look at lights while Momma tries to look up the party address on her phone, OK?" explained The KoH.

"But what if there isn't a party tonight?" whined The Dormouse.

"Then we'll probably just go home."

This was not an acceptable alternative and she began to pout audibly.

I hate Hate HATE when she does this and The KoH and I ignored her, which is really the only way to deal with her histrionics. We were engaged in conversation about how we might have gotten the date wrong, "Are you sure it's even her party? Maybe it was someone else's party." (Again with the self-confidence.) when I started to hear a mournful, funeral dirge type tune come from the back seat:
♪♫" We wish you a Merry Christmas..."
*dramatic pause*

"...and a saaaaad New Year." ♪♫

Yeah. Remember how she's not a drama queen?

This is what I have to look forward to in 2009. I hope you all have much better prospects.

Epilogue: By the way, we had the right house, they just didn't hear the doorbell and the person looking out from the second story window was one of the party goers' kids - which is why I didn't recognize anyone. So 2009 for The Dormouse was not ruined after all. Aren't you all breathing a sigh of relief? I thought you might be.