I did something quite sad this evening. It's finally gotten cold in these parts -- well, cool. For a long time, it's always been my tradition to mull some wine the first really cold night of the year.
I started doing it in college. I remember the first year I did it, I was in a dorm -- Stacy Hall -- doing it for a load of friends crammed into my room. We had chased The Idiot Steve out by telling him we were having an orgy. It almost backfired because he apparently fancied one of the girls, but then Daniel smiled and put his hand on The Idiot Steve's shoulder and he was off. I was greatly complimented when my English(/Greekish/Frenchish) friend Lucie said it was 'just like Fireworks Night!"
I think that may have been one of the nights we went chasing after the Gimghouls. If it was, then it would have been the midnight on 31 October, so a few days later than now.
After I graduated, I remember doing it a couple of times with my friends Christina and Jamie, at Christina's little duplex. And at least one of those was a party (very possibly her birthday party) with at least a dozen DJs from 'XDU jockeying to spin.
It was always a trip in New York, too. It was one of the first things people I started with did en masse. There was -- is -- a liquor store just across the street from Hunter, so w, dropped in and bought several bottle of cheap red, then went back to somebody's Manhattan place. There were five or six of us crammed on somebody's fire escape, smoking and drinking and actually talking for the first time.
Well, anyway, I did alone by myself tonight for the first time. I couldn't go out and get any, but there was a bottle of something alarmingly labelled "Indiana Grape Wine". I used it without trying any. I added the spices (ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and a dusting of allspice) and the rest (lemon juice, a touch of vanilla, and more sugar than is seemly) and heated it accordingly.
It was just as bad as something labelled "Grape" Wine should be. For tradition's sake, I forced a few gulps down my throat, but it was so bad I wound up pouring most of it out. I poured it down the sink lest it kill the grass in the yard.
I think I'm glad of that, actually. Had it been good enough to drink, I'd have drunk all of it and gotten pointlessly maudlin. As it is, I can (just) manage to sort of cheerfully reminisce without falling prey to nostalgia. Although if I brood, I may just fall prey anyway. So I'll stop.