as midnight clocks are singing...

the camaraderie just shortly after midnight - happy 2012!

So I alluded (read: enthusiastically stated for the eternal record) to the fact that this was easily my favorite New Year's Eve ever. I also promised photos and a good story. I will now proceed to deliver on that promise... And make the whole thing seem much more thrilling than it probably was (but could still never do justice to the joy welling inside me that night). 

Well, the photos already cut to the chase but the whole "How The Camaraderie Got To Spend New Year's Eve Together" almost didn't happen...
 You see, the night before, we'd all talked about it and realized there was a split decision so to speak: Shamoo had been invited to a fancy-pants party in Southeast and asked Jared to be his wingman for the evening. I think there was a promise of paying for his drinks all night in there somewhere too.

Either way, those two were out and that left DeanRobin and me with at least one option - to go downtown to CC Slaughters with our buddies Frankie and Matty. It definitely seemed like an awesome time waiting to happen, but I admit that the idea of navigating downtown Portland on New Year's Eve was daunting (though the idea of dressing up and dancing to some serious guilty pleasure music? Intensely intriguing).
Still, come Saturday morning I was pretty bummed. Having missed Christmas Eve with The Camaraderie, I was really looking forward to spending this last holiday of 2011 with the people I love. All of them. 

I may or may not have stayed in bed later than an acceptable hour trying to will myself to just get through the day, deal with midnight and fall asleep again in 2012 - ah, yes, good plan you mope! I digress... 
Skipping ahead, it was decided (much to my inner-hermit's delight) that Dean would make dinner (oh lord, pepperoni pasta, have mercy) and then we'd saunter across the street to The Dugout - our friendly little neighborhood sports bar where the food is good, the drinks are worth what you pay and they have a juke box that takes credit cards. Win-win-win.
We ate dinner, cracked open a bottle of champagne and bounced over. We each had a couple of drinks and spent the next 2-3 hours enjoying what remained of 2011. Sure, we made a few cracks about how lame it was that the boys were missing out on such a sparkling evening, but it took only the first notes of "Wagonwheel" playing randomly (and rather poignantly might I add) to bring the point home: it was New Year's Eve and we really wished we were all together. 
So we did what needed to be done and raised some whiskey drinks to everyone who couldn't be there, but most certainly should have been. 

Not long after that, a couple more friends joined us at the bar and we inched closer to the proverbial hour. But then at just about 11:30 I got two texts...
One from Dean (who was outside smoking):

The other from Jared (who, as we remember, was across town):
Please come get us on SE Yamhill and SE 2nd immediately.... Please hurry this place sucks
As luck would have it, I was not even halfway through a pint and nowhere near a buzz (because let's face it, I'd only had two and a half drinks in going on four hours and more importantly, I barely drink enough to feel it in the first place because I am horrified by the mere memory of gnarly hangovers - pansy or just smart? I can't decide). 
So at 11:34pm on December 31st, with practically the promise of my life should I not make it back - boys in tow - by midnight, I was off! My sheer disbelief that we might pull this off, that we might get to spend New Year's Eve together after all, could only be matched by the catching-in-my-chest-squealing-excitement I was experiencing. 

Not even needing to push the speed limit (because at that point no one was on the roads) I made it from Southwest Portland, down the freeway, over the river and into Southeast where I found the wandering Indianians.
They hopped in the car and we were off! The minutes were ticking away but I was determined - we would make it! We would make it! We were going to make it back by midnight come hell or high water!!!
"We're not gonna make it, Lairen!" said Jared, oh he of little faith!
"Yes we will!" I replied, ever optimistic and pushing on!

The time on the dash read 12:00 exactly.
I made the turn, I parked the car, we flew from our seats and ran across the parking lot!

We could hear the noisemakers and jubilation from the patio on the side of the bar!

Keeping with the tradition of the holiday, Jared and I stopped a split second for a kiss and an elated hug (because eh, why not)!
And it was easy to find Dean and Robin...
They were the ones with an iPhone held high, "100 Resolutions" still playing on into 12:01am on January 1st 2012, bringing in the New Year. 
And we sang. 

The five of us sang loud into the night, arms around our brothers and sisters of The Camaraderie knowing what The Lawrence Arms had said was true:

"This year let's live like we've never lived before. This is our year for sure."

(and this is what it sounded like as reprise later in the evening)


  1. my heart actually began racing and i got a little bit of goosebumps while reading this post. what a fucking awesome story. <3

    ps. "as midnight clocks ARE singing..."*******

  2. 2012 is just going to be, well...different. What a way to ring it in. I love you, lady.