My birthday is the most important day of the year. It also happens to fall on New Year's Eve. While some folks might get mad that NYE celebrations overshadow their cake-blowing-out parties, I love it. I also get the added bonus of people wishing me a Happy New Year and then a happy birthday.

I also hear, "This present counts as your Christmas present and your birthday present." I felt slighted until I wasn't interested in gifts any more.

Every year, I get to choose from plenty of extravaganzas and (usually) nobody works the next day. I can't imagine how annoying it is to try to get people to come out on any of the other 365 birthday dates. Just about everybody expects to be hungover on New Year's Day, so I don't feel bad about trying to force-feed shots to pals.

Casey Freeman celebrates his birthday and the end of 2017.
Casey Freeman celebrates his birthday and the end of 2017. (Courtesy photo)

Friends gather, and we sing, drink and eat. There's nothing more I could ask for. As we age, getting friends together and even just keeping in contact is something more valuable than gifts, birthday cakes or brain cells. Sure, all that drinking probably affects my memory, but that's what photos are for.

This year, we zipped to some bars. One place was too crowded, one wasn't crowded enough but one was just right. We drank too much, took some photo booth photos and then drank even more too much.

My friends played a silly bingo game to see if they could get me to do stuff like: take shots of Jager/whiskey/tequila/vodka (not at the same time), talk about my books, brag about my travels, cry, call an ex-girlfriend, and cry while calling an ex-girlfriend. I managed not to do the last three, but they got most of the rest.


I didn't get a romantic midnight New Year's kiss, but that's more or less to be expected because I'm single. You'd think I'd know the words to "Auld Lang Syne," but I just try to hum along — and I can't really do that either. After midnight, my buds wanted to get friskier, so they let me choose between a gay bar and a strip club. Instead of making such a monumental decision after chugging champagne, slamming whiskey shots and gurgling beer, I let my Magic 8 Ball app pick for me.

Which led us to the gay bar. Which may have been the coolest spot in town, but my energy was sapped. I made myself a wallflower. I didn't want my birthday to end, but I wanted to go home and sleep. So I did.

My brutal hangover woke me up, so I ate a breakfast fit for two lumberjacks. Then I wrote a table of New Year's Resolutions with big stuff like write/read more, get a new job and stay healthy to little stuff like cancel my Target credit card, make a dentist appointment and write thank you cards.

Now that my brain's finally back to full capacity, I wish you the happiest of new years and hope your birthdays are at least half as fun as mine.

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