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Dawn of a New Decade

Dawn of a New Decade

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New Year's Eve ten years ago Rudy Guiliani watched the ball drop from my office. This New Year's Eve there's no chance of that happening.
New Year's Eve ten years ago Rudy Guiliani watched the ball drop from my office. This New Year's Eve there's no chance of that happening.

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Published by: Ann Meyers Piccirillo on Jan 07, 2010
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01/06/2010

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 DAWN OF A NEW DECADE
By Ann PiccirilloSo here I am typing away at the final hours of yet another year, but not justany year. The ball drops tonight on the first decade of the new millennium. Iremember New Year’s Eve 1999 as if it was yesterday; a night bloated with thehope and promise of a new millennium, Y2K predictions, and madness.On New Year’s Eve 1999, I had an office at 4 Times Square with a hugewindow that was eye-to-eye with the iconic Waterford crystal Time Square Ball.My staff and I spent most of that morning watching the workmen test the ballagain, and again, and again. I figure we rang in the New Year about 30 times thatmorning—and toasted each time. Having one of the best seats in the house, I wish I
 
can say I stayed to watch the ball drop from my office at midnight, but I had toabandon it by 3pm because Mayor Rudy Guiliani and his entourage werecommandeering not only my office, but the entire side of the floor for their own private festivities. I don’t want to talk out of turn, but when I returned to work afull bottle of 
Oban
single-malt scotch that I kept in my bottom drawer for emergencies seemed to have gone out with the New Year, along with myhumongous rubberband ball! I was going to report it to Security, but most of theguys were retired NYC detectives who loved the mayor. However, Mr. Guiliani,
 J’accuse
!”Fast-forward ten years. Let’s just say there’s absolutely no chance RudyGuiliani is commandeering my present space to ring in the next decade, unless hehas an itch only Jersey can scratch. I offer no single-malt scotch this time around-- just a son who swears (God bless him) that we’re African-American and wants hisKwanzaa presents; a dog medicated for stress; a husband who walks around thehouse with a confused expression—as if he’s mistakenly walked through the door of someone else’s house; and a squirrel who thinks he’s the newest family pet andscratches at the door when he’s not hurling shingles from the roof. If I could teachthe furry-fiend to use a hammer and nails, he’d have a home.Sitting here reflecting upon the first ten or fifteen years of my life, thoseyears seem endless; a most sacred time, really, when I wished everyday into
 
tomorrow without regard; when I didn’t suffer from wrong and right because I hadmy parents to guide me through my choices. Most importantly, the people whomeant
everything 
to me were with me every day—only a block or two away. Therewas no memory or regret to block my view of the days that stretched out beforeme. There was nothing but time and opportunity.Ten years ago I picked up the phone everyday to check the amount in myI.R.A. Ten years later I pick up the phone everyday just to make sure that it’s stillon and the phone company hasn’t disconnected us. Ten years ago I had a full bank account and an empty life. Now I have the fullest life and the emptiest bank account. I think I’m on the right side of the equation. This life, so much more thananything money can provide, is as full as it will ever be. I have a man, the love of my life, who adores me and through it all—the jokes, the columns, the falsearrests--brings me flowers from the Korean market every Friday; children who fillmy house with laughter and as many of their hungry friends as they can everyday;and a dog who would follow me through the fires of hell as long as I held ameatball in my hand. Ten years from now my children will be older and have livesof their own, and my life will begin its descent towards a time where the crazinesswill have moved onto some other young couple’s house.May this decade bring you fond memories of years passed, good health, peace, love, and endless laughter. Ten years from now: Party At My House!

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