Originally created 01/01/00

Party's over, but you get a second chance

How was the party?

Most likely your night didn't work out exactly like you planned. Few New Year's Eve parties ever do.

But last night was supposed to be different. Most of us felt the pressure. Everything had to be perfect. We had to be in the perfect place, with the most special people and try desperately to have the most fun of our lives. After all, it was a once-in-a-lifetime event, the celebration of the millennium.

So if you screwed everything up last night, don't sweat it. Last night was just practice. You get a do-over.

You know, when the next millennium really begins: Jan. 1, 2001.

Yeah, the second millennium is still with us, but you knew that, right? You were just going along with the gag, just like everybody else.

Or maybe you just got a little carried away. We all got excited at the thought of those zeros. It must mean something. It looks so different, so futuristic -- 2000 -- it has to be a big deal.

An understandable impression. The year 2000 brings forth images of flying cars, space travel, a "brave new world," while 1999 sounds more like a good price on a set of used tires.

If anything, 2000 is a good excuse for a big party. Or at least it seemed so last night.

Well, keep telling yourself that. Meanwhile, we've got another whole year of millennium hype to endure before the real party. Last night was just the dress rehearsal. A global case of premature exaltation.

But that's OK. Really. It's a do-over.

All the ill-fitting tuxedos, stained carpets, broken furniture, spilled drinks, bad breath, hurt feelings and poor judgment -- or most of it -- can be rectified and reversed during the real millennium festivities. And now, with last night's indiscretions and missteps fresh in mind, you have a whole year to plan.

You might as well, while the gods of marketing are busy figuring out how best to take the millennium we just paid for, polish it up and then sell it to us again.

Does it sound like I'm quibbling? Maybe.

What does it matter that we celebrate the millennium a year early? Who cares?

Apparently no one.

Everyone is saying -- no, screaming: "It's coming, the new millennium!" As if by repeating the mantra it will make it so.

It could be the ultimate extension of our need for instant gratification.

"Blast the calendar! I want my millennium, and I want it now!"

But then, who could blame us for getting a little edgy? I mean, we've been waiting for, well, 1,000 years to have this party.

So we're either stupid or impatient. But why make a big fuss over it?

It's only one year after all. That's an acceptable margin of error.

Yeah, try that one on your next wedding anniversary.

Myself, I'll celebrate the millennium when it gets here.

But why am I telling you all this?

You knew all along last night was practice. Nobody was fooling you.

ReachSteve Crawford at (706) 823-3424.

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