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Prairie City News

Party like it’s 1999

I’m sure most people are familiar with Prince’s song “1999” — also known as “Party like it’s 1999” — released in 1982.

This column has nothing to do with the song, but the song made me think of how I have spent New Year’s Eve over the years.

When I was young, I remember spending the night with my grandparents most every Dec. 31 as my parents would get all dressed up and head out on the town. Grandpa and grandma would always have Arthur and Beulah over (friends that were as regular to our family gatherings as any cousin) and they would sit around the kitchen table, playing either Yahtzee or Dominoes. There was so much laughter and happiness around that table, not to mention the popcorn, Pepsi and coffee.

As I got a little older, my parents’ New Year’s Eve plans changed from going out and celebrating to staying home, inviting friends over and playing cards until the wee hours of the morning. That was always fun for us kids, plus it meant cheese fondue!

Once I was old enough for sleep-overs, that was the end of celebrating the evening with family.

Instead, my friends and I would grab our sleeping bags and fuzzy slippers and watch Dick Clark on television while drooling over Andy Gibb, Shaun Cassidy or some other teen heartthrob.

Of course, time moves on and so did my idea of excitement.

In my 20s, I wouldn’t have dared dream of staying home on New Year’s Eve. There were always plenty of plans and parties ... the trick was choosing the right one. It was nothing to get home after sunrise Jan. 1.

The next decade was all about hanging out at home with the kids. We’d cut up construction paper for confetti, make snacks, play board games and try to explain why they were celebrating the drop of the ball in Times Square at 11 p.m. instead of midnight, according to our clocks at home.

Eventually, the kids aged out of partying with the parents, which meant we could once again leave home for the evening. By this time it usually meant something like eating out and then going bowling or possibly treating ourselves to a movie. We’d often be home in time to watch the clock strike midnight.

Yep, my idea of a rockin’ New Year’s Eve has really changed over the years and apparently so have the priorities of the kids.

So anyway ...

On Christmas, they were all talking about hanging out together New Year’s Eve playing the “Bob’s Burger” Monopoly game and Clue (“The Golden Girls” version). That’s right, I raised some serious partiers!

Mick and me? Well, we’ll be home ... probably eating a frozen pizza (after all, who wants to cook on New Year’s Eve?) ... watching “Duck Dynasty” or “Impractical Jokers” and most certainly we will both be sound asleep in our recliners by 8 p.m.

I’m quite certain 2018 will roll around regardless of whether or not I’m partying like it’s 1999 or sleeping like it 2017.

Contact Dana King at

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