I have a Y2K problem. You
might call it Yearling 2 Konsider.
I’ve known since I was, oh,
a teenager that I would be alive—more or less—when the year became 2000. At that time I envisioned myself at the ripe
old age of thirty-eight, with some kind of puffy, teased hairdo like my mother
had, wearing a neutral skirt and sweater set, living in the neutral suburbs and
tending to the needs of my neutral husband and children.
I never wondered what the
new year’s party would be like (this was before I experimented with my father’s sherry), and I certainly never thought I would be interested in
dancing my ass off, having a few drinks, kissing sexy strangers, or that I
would have fabulous community of friends, lovers, ex-lovers and others with
whom to celebrate.
And I never imagined my
daughter. That is, I never thought I would be so devoted a mother or that the
major life celebrations of my precious darling would be chopped up between
myself and her absolutely separate and annoyingly normal father.
So here it is, Y2K (I
sort of missed when people starting spelling “thousand” with a “K”). My computer’s okay. I know because I tested it by changing the calendar page in my
kitchen to January 2000 and nothing happened. I don’t know about the electricity,
gas or water or whether I’ll be able to access my
bank account. But if things really do collapse, I’d rather have the fifty
bucks I’ve got saved still in the bank, where I can get it once they’ve got their computers back up, than hidden somewhere in my house where,
without any lights, I won’t be able to find it
I figure some stores will
still be open—at least the old fashioned kind that can operate their doors without a
numeric code—so it should be easy enough to buy food. I don’t think my clothes are
going to disintegrate at midnight and neither do I think the walls of my house
will fall down. I don’t really practice any
religion so my spirit’s unperturbed about
meeting the messiah on my front porch when I put the cat out the next morning
(also because I don’t have a cat).
Supposing there is a
major apocalypse, what am I going to do about it? If my life hasn’t been up to snuff so far I can’t exactly make amends in
a month and a half. I might as well arm myself with a bobbypin.
So these Y2K problems don’t really disturb me. I’m as prepared as I’m going to be for the four digit click-over, and it’s pretty much the same as new years‘ past. I don’t even usually buy a new
calendar until well into April or May
because that’s when they really get marked down. And if the world does come to an end
this year, I won’t even have to wait that long for them to be
Assuming that’s not going to happen (the world ending, not the calendar markdown), or
even if it does, this is definitely going to be the biggest excuse for a new
year’s party I’m ever going to see. My problem is, I don’t know who to celebrate with.
As my daughter is not
quite ten, and laws in this country forbid such a young person in a place of
dancing, alcohol and desperate seduction, and as the celebratory practices of
most of my friends will prohibit them from choosing to sit on my couch for the
evening watching Shania Twain impersonations by a nine year old, I am rather
I could try to do both
because people don’t immediately stop partying once the clock has
chimed midnight. I could stay at home with my daughter and mark the event by,
oh I don’t know, maybe counting down from ten, and then have a babysitter lined
up so I can rush out the door, grab a cab and catch the remains of the party.
The problem with that idea is that I’d probably have to pay
the babysitter the whole of my fifty dollar savings which won’t leave anything left over for drinks or the cab, which I probably
should have booked by now anyways.
I could let my daughter
be at her father’s, which would allow me worry-free partying
and the freedom to not even get out of bed the next day. I’d be able to have a great time, see my friends and launch myself into
the new millennium surrounded by those who are important to me—hungry heedless lesbians who might just be inebriated enough to go home
with me, or at least to Fran’s.
But then my daughter’s father would get to determine her Y2K experience and, touching as it
might be, it’s not likely to last much beyond 12:02 if that late. It’s also something I’d be reminded of for the
rest of her life because, of course, kids of her generation will ask each other
“Where were you when Microsoft made billions of dollars by dreaming up
the Y2K scare?” How will I feel when she gives me a dirty look (like she will) and says
she was safely home in bed waiting for her mother to call and wish her happy
new millennium, which she never did and who knows why because her mother
strangely can’t remember anything about that night.
Or I could decide that
Y2K is a significant enough, once in a lifetime event that I should mark it
with my daughter in some meaningful way. We could invite over other dyke
parents who couldn’t get a babysitter and create some communal
festivity that will bind us all irrevocably together for the next 100 years, or
until one of us moves.
My daughter and I would
always have that moment to remember and I’d have the satisfaction
that only divorced parents can have of knowing that my child began the new
millennium (or the year before the new millennium as some nitpickers like to
point out) with me.
But then I’d miss the party of the century and I’m not likely to be in as
good shape for the next one, when my daughter will be well past the age when
she can legally party with me and I’ll be well past the age
of staying up past midnight.
So I can’t decide. But I do want everybody to know that, wherever I spent the one
second between 11:59:59 and 12:00 on December 31, with my precious daughter or
my precious friends, I cherish you all.
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