I have this theory that, by this time of year, spring friskiness and summer naïveté wear off. Then people get depressed about it and find someone new after all the Halloween parties, maybe even waiting as late as Thanksgiving when families try to set up the singles, or those singles realize how lonely it can get during the cold winter holidays. Nobody desperately wants to be the single person at a New Year’s Eve party — especially when you climb into the mid-20s or early 30s, and all of a sudden a bunch of poor bastards are marrying longtime girlfriends just because they think it’s right. And those poor bastards are kissing those longtime girlfriends as the ball drops, but you’re just eager to chug that champagne, get through the well-wishing and Auld Lang Synes, and get the hell out of there. Somehow you regret the decision you made to go out instead of drinking alone to the televised calamity of Times Square. On one level or another, you’d rather not be reminded of your perceived failures as a member of society. Such cultural rituals as the New Year’s Eve party can be full of incredible disillusion, but that doesn’t mean it won’t sting.