“Welcome to the year 2000!”

I’m talking about what I was doing New Year’s Eve 1999. I thought it was very funny that that was a prompt and it’s going to be very quick, but it’s actually kind of a weirdly—like it’s a memory that really sticks in my mind because of how lonely I felt.

I was newly nine years old at the time, and my mom bartended down the road—which, we lived in rural Wisconsin, so like down the road meant, like, a mile. Which isn’t that far, but this is back when people would leave their kids, especially Boomer parents, would leave their kids, just f****** home alone, you know?

And so it was me and my sister—and me and my sister hated each other. We’re fine now, but we hated each other at the time. She was like seven, seven or eight, whatever. And I can remember that she had brought home this like—if you can remember what the old Walmart smiley face logo looked like, imagine that but fuzzy, and it had a body, and it was white, and it was wearing one of those sashes, that said like “HAPPY 2000.” And it had a top hat, and if you squeezed the hand on it, it would, like, giggle and say “Welcome to the year 2000!” And it would play like, you know, the fireworks noises and the music and whatnot. And that’s all it did. And I remember sitting in my room by myself — ‘cause my parents didn’t like have a babysitter anything—when it turned New Years and pressing that and just feeling so dissatisfied. But yeah, so that was — that was kind of a crappy memory. And I think about it a lot because it’s very telltale of what the rest of my home life was like.

What ended up happening with that doll by the way is um, my now ex-husband has a sister who has pervasive developmental disorder. So she’s in her late thirties, but her brain is basically two. And she loves any sort of stuffed animal that makes noises like that. So we ended up giving it to her and she just adored it. So I was like, “Alright cool.” This, this little thing that I somehow kept for all those years found a home. And she’ll be forever celebrating the New Millennium. But um, yeah, no, that’s kind of an interesting prompt for me because I very vividly remember that, that particular New Year’s Eve.

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