The Austin Chronicle

Party of One

Your Guide to New Year's Home Alone

By Kate X Messer, December 31, 1999, Features

Don't pity the loser, the lonely, the poor bastard seemingly stuck at home alone for the holidays. No -- pity is so uncalled for. The loser has the holidays figured out. While the rest of us writhe around the dance macabre of familial obligations, choking down wads of last year's fruitcake (you know it was regifted, because you were the one who regifted it in the first place), the loser is sitting back surfing the Web, catching up on lost reading and CD listening, and wallowing in a bachelor flat three inches deep in candy wrappers, 20 oz. no-returns, and greasy pizza boxes -- all the while, laughing Ha, ha! at the rest of us.

Ahhhh, sweet life! To be unfettered, free from the shackles of forcing the holiday face, free to explore the space between the ticking seconds, free to ponder or even excavate deeply entrenched bellybutton lint and all of its attendant metaphors.

Give us this life.

The Chronicle staff knows this life, perhaps a bit more than we'd care to admit. Secretly, we consider ourselves experts on the subjects of time-wasting and self-absorbed dillydallying. So here, for the holidays, we've decided to follow our slovenly muse and reflect on this. Enclosed herein, good readers, please find our millennium gift to you: a slew of essays exploring such pursuits titled "Party of One: The Austin Chronicle's Guide to New Year's Home Alone."

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