I’m not sentimental about time; my birthday doesn’t really bother me and I feel no particular urge to celebrate New Year. Even Easter has become something that I celebrate for the sake of my younger siblings and chocolate, not because I particularly care about Easter. Christmas is an exception to this, I am sentimental about Christmas (which I may write about at a later date).
Not being sentimental about my birthday or about getting drunk on New Year’s Eve means other people assume I’m not sentimental at all. But that isn’t true. I’m sentimental about people and I care about feelings… it’s just that the passage of time doesn’t bother me. I care about other people’s birthdays, but only because they care about their birthdays and I care about the people.
The fact that I don’t really care about New Year’s Eve means that I also don’t particularly care how I spend it. New Year’s, as an example, has the issues compounded by the fact that I don’t really like drinking (but find myself doing it more) and I despise dancing. But other people see New Year’s Eve as a big event that I should make a big effort for.
Other people put pressure on me to do something spectacular for New Year’s Eve (which often means going somewhere the music is louder and the drinks are cheaper). That causes a lot of tension; they are asking me to do something for them. It’s not for me, I don’t recognise New Year’s Eve as something to make a fuss about and the convention of alcohol and booty-shaking actively puts me off. Other people are asking me to do something I won’t enjoy so that I can be there. So when they don’t appreciate that I am entertaining this idea, I see them as wildly ungrateful. So every festive season I fall out with at least one friend.
There’s no negotiating either. If I recommend making an evening that is worthy of sentiment, like a quiet night with close friends, good food and champagne, those same close friends shoot me down in favour of hanging out with sweaty strangers, nearly all of whom are on ecstasy. Of those two options, only one of them would mean spending New Year’s Eve the way I wish to spend the rest of the year (which I thought was part of the sentiment), and only one of the actually seems worth my time. (Hint: they are the same option.)
And then there are the really selfish people. I don’t mind people inviting me out believing that I will enjoy it, but accepting a “no.” I appreciate that they tried, but ultimately respect my preference. But there is always one person (at least) that wants to make a big, drunken, conventional mess of New Year’s Eve (to which they have every right, but given the option I’d have no part in) and they want to spend it with me. I see this as a paradox, only solved by brute force and flagrant disregard of me. (Which in itself is a paradox: they care about me enough to want me there, but not enough to care what I want.)
In this scenario, the person getting their way would mean them taking me to a place I don’t want to be, to do things I don’t enjoy. It wouldn’t be enough for these people to go to these places and do these things without me, they want me there. And if I refuse to intentionally not enjoy myself for the sake of a thing I’m not sentimental about, the person doesn’t go to the place they want to be and do the things they want to do; they make themselves miserable on purpose, and make it my fault.
Those people are monumentally selfish.