For the past several years, we've been spending New Year's Eve by ourselves. We used to go to a very quiet little party run by friends,but they stopped a few years ago.
It was nice - at midnight, we'd wait for the ball to drop (unless it was Shabbat, in which case, we just waited for midnight) and have a glass of wine so we could begin the calendar year with a blessing.
But Sunday morning, a friend from our shul invited us to a party at her house that night at 10PM. So, we had a late dinner (Sunday happened to be a minor fast day, but we both have medical reasons to not fast - I still have blood sugar issues and we're both taking diuretics. I only fast on major fast days; Jonathan takes an alternative med if he remembers. He forgot.) and got there about 10:45. Our dinner was fleishig, which could have been a problem because our friend is both generous and talented, and she had tables full of home-made *dairy* goodies. However, given that most of those goodies were cakes and cookies, it was probably a good thing we couldn't eat them. As it happens, we only wait an hour between meat and dairy, so I had a bit of cookie and Jonathan had a bit of her cheesecake. So very good.
The party itself was crowded with other members of our shul, so we had plenty of people to chat with. I found a corner of the couch and took out my knitting (I wasn't eating, after all). This was fun in it's own way - there's the Orthodox couch thing. We're a Modern O shul, but leaning somewhat to the right in a number of things, and one is negiah - touching. So unrelated men and women do not sit on the same couch comfortably. If a woman is there, then only other women (or her husband/sons/brothers/father) can join her. At one point, a woman was perched on the arm of an empty chair, and a man asked her permission to take the seat, which she gave.
And then there was Joy - Joy is a very, very bright ten-year old who is definitely fannish. And she squeezed in between me and the arm of the sofa. She's done this before. It probably looks very cute. I know her mother thinks so. She wanted to be taught to knit - I really have to keep decent-sized single points and yarn with me because sock yarn and needles are too small for such things. Instead, I showedd her the pattern I was doing and demonstrated the math of it all - I'm doing a feather-and-fan leg for the sock, and it is a math problem - I start with 18 stitches per repeat and I need to end with 18 stitches per repeat,but the pattern requires both decreasing and increasing in a certain way. So I phrased it that way. She seemed to like that. :)
Otherwise, there was some beer around, but most people had soda or coffee and they kept the set tuned to NY1 - excellent local 24 hour cable news channel - and we talked shul politics and such, while one guy held forth on politics. About ten minutes before midnight, they passed out Asti (kosher champagne is vile. Kosher asti spumanti is decent.) and sparkling grape juice; chanted the countdown when it happened; and shouted "Happy New Year" before drinking our wine. A couple of married couples kissed. *blush*
That was it. We were home by 12:30. I sure hang with a wild and crazy bunch, don't I? :) We watched Star Trek on TVLand - "A Piece of the Action", which is one of our favorite episodes and one we can practically quote, and, indeed, we said dialogue along with the actors.
Except that *things* were missing. Scenes. Favorite lines. We only watched the last half hour or so, but we could tell. I mean, what's "APOTA" without Scotty's "Concrete galoshes?" But fans will watch even when it's butchered.
This happened last Wednesday as I was riding the bus home. I was knitting a sock, which people don't recognize at first. I knit toe-up, and the long closed cylinder of the foot before turning the heel doesn't look like anything. I'm used to people asking me what it is - so when I heard a teen-age girl asking me that question, I was happy to tell her and her friend. At first, I took them for yeshiva girls, because they were dressed in the same fashion, but then I saw the namebadges. "Me Nombre es Hermana Cowgill..."
They were amazed at the size of my stitches and needles and how nicely it was striping and was it hard to learn and how did I have the patience and was it best to start with big needles and yarn and...it was rather nice. They were wearing hand-crocheted scarves, which was cute and they seemed very interested. No, their mothers didn't knit, but one crocheted and the other quilted. (I didn't ask, but I'd be willing to bet they made scrapbooks, too.) As it happened, I was not only wearing my Harry Potter scarf, I was also wearing a pair of handknit socks, so I could show them off (attention whore, that's me). And then I said my stop was next and *that's* when they started talking about church. I want to think they were genuinely interested but they still had their "jobs" to do, right? Later on, though, I realized how sad it was that they were here instead of with their families at Christmas.
It was a lot easier than my last conversation with a Mormon girl - I was reading a print-out (a squint-print printout) of Harry Potter slash at the time. I was perfectly okay defining fanfiction, but I really didn't want to get into slash... :)