Y2K Problem 
ⓒ christina starr
Xtra! November 12, 1999
                                                                                                christinastarr.ca
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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 alivemore or lesswhen 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 fathers 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 computers okay. I know because I tested it by changing the calendar page in my kitchen to January 2000 and nothing happened. I dont know about the electricity, gas or water or whether Ill be able to access my bank account. But if things really do collapse, Id rather have the fifty bucks Ive got saved still in the bank, where I can get it once theyve got their computers back up, than hidden somewhere in my house where, without any lights, I wont be able to find it anyways.
          I figure some stores will still be open
at least the old fashioned kind that can operate their doors without a numeric codeso it should be easy enough to buy food. I dont think my clothes are going to disintegrate at midnight and neither do I think the walls of my house will fall down. I dont really practice any religion so my spirits unperturbed about meeting the messiah on my front porch when I put the cat out the next morning (also because I dont 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 cant 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. Im as prepared as Im going to be for the four digit click-over, and its pretty much the same as new years‘ past. I dont even usually buy a new calendar until well into April or May because thats when they really get marked down. And if the world does come to an end this year, I wont even have to wait that long for them to be discounted.
          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 years party Im ever going to see. My problem is, I dont 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 torn.
          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 dont 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 Id probably have to pay the babysitter the whole of my fifty dollar savings which wont 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. Id be able to have a great time, see my friends and launch myself into the new millennium surrounded by those who are important to mehungry heedless lesbians who might just be inebriated enough to go home with me, or at least to Frans.
          But then my daughter
s father would get to determine her Y2K experience and, touching as it might be, its not likely to last much beyond 12:02 if that late. Its also something Id 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 cant 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 Im 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 Ill 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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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.