A British New Year

How was your New Year’s celebration? Mine was bloody great! It was a bit different from year’s past. I originally didn’t have much planned so I decided to go to coworker’s party. She’s a fellow realtor and has been super helpful to me in my training so I thought it would be a nice gesture. Plus she’s from England and quite a hoot so I assumed it would be entertaining. I wasn’t wrong.

As I approached the door and pressed my finger to the button I had a moment of doubt. It dawned on me that I would not know anyone there and I barely knew her! I sucked it up and entered in. The music was pumping and unfamiliar faces spread across the room, I spotted the host and she introduced me to a few folks. I got comfortable and aquainted with a few people and after a strong Long Island tea I was feeling pretty friendly.

I hadn’t been there too long when Michelle (the host) made everyone get in a big circle so we could play ‘pass the parcel’, except it was said with her accent it sounded like ‘poss the pacel’. The game is like musical chairs except you pass this big package around the circle, when the music stops you have to unwrap the first layer of the package, find the piece of paper contained within and do whatever the paper says. Most of the time the paper had us doing some pretty ridiculous stuff. During the game I noticed that one of the other women present had a British accent as well, she looked to be about the same age as Michelle so I figured it was a sister visiting. When the parcel finally stopped on me I opened it and it read, “Pretend you’re Simon Cowell and pick on three people and tell them why they’re crap.” Remember, I knew only the host, so it actually made me nervous. Luckily the long island was swinging in full effect allowing my tongue to be loose enough to adopt a proper british/Simon Cowell accent. I quickly made fun of Michelle’s shirt, some lady’s watch and this older gentleman’s beaded necklace that seemed out of place on him. Everyone got a good laugh out of it so I thought I must’ve done a good job.

After the game a lady came up to me and jokingly said, “Now that you’ve alienated everyone here are you going to leave?” She went on to inform me that the man with the necklace was her boyfriend and he wears it to cover up the scar from his throat surgery! I couldn’t believe it, of all the things to poke fun at, I chose that. She reassured me that he can take it and I said, “Well, y’never know, you might make fun of someone with a limp and find out they have a prosthetic leg!” She called throat man over and as he spoke I realized he was probably the 4th person I had talked to who had a British accent! I immediately thought ‘bloody hell!’ and asked him what what the deal was. He explained that they were all a part of a British Club for Portlanders and that I had not stepped into a portal that transferred me to the Mother Country…..which I had originally thought. I asked him what brought him to America and specifically Oregon, his answer? Prosthetics! He sells prosthetics.
It freaked me out, I thought maybe I had some sort of psychic connection with this guy, so I got the heck away from him after we were done talking.

The night turned out to be great and it was interesting to see the little things that were different with all the Brits around. There was a large sense of camaraderie among everyone and it was neat to see them play some traditional British song and watch them dance in a circle arm in arm. Everyone knew the correct moves associated with the song and I realized Americans really have nothing like that. We’re just a large melting pot of cultures. Also, everyone there had no problem making asses out of themselves no matter how proper they seemed. I enjoyed that. One tradition they do in England is for them to go outside, interlock arms and belt out Auld Lang Syne. Which we did after midnight, it was neat, I’ve never actually sang that at a new year’s party so it was fun. As we were walking back one lady asked, “Wot do ya think of aull these Brits?” I answered, “You’re a lot of fun. You make many Americans look boring!” her response was, “Oh no, it’s not that! We just drink too much!” Which is true, at least for her. At the end of the night I went up to her to tell her it was nice meeting her. I planned on shaking her hand or giving her a wave, but she wrapped her arms around me in a big hug and said, “it was nice meeting you! What was your name?” Classic.

Earlier in the day I happened to visit the Horsebrass Pub which is a great authentic British Pub with a wide selection of single malt liquors, traditional British Grub and good cheer. Much like my New Year.


  1. Phil said,

    January 2, 2007 @ 11:00 am

    I don’t like passing parcels.

  2. Michelle - The Brit said,

    January 30, 2007 @ 10:39 pm

    thanks for coming to our party

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