New Year’s Eve is always a dilemma for me. Maybe a little like Valentine’s Day, only worse. If you don’t have a romance in your life, and aren’t a couple, you’re pretty much left out on Valentine’s Day, except that I get wonderful cards and thoughtful gifts from my children on Valentine’s Day. But it’s pretty much a day for lovers, and if you don’t have one……better luck next year!!! And I’ll admit, it can be a sad day if you’re not on a lucky romantic streak on Valentine’s Day.
And somehow, New Year’s Eve always seems even worse to me. The WHOLE world is celebrating New Year’s Eve, or appears to be (which isn’t necessarily the case on Valentine’s Day). People in Times Square are waiting for the ‘ball’ to drop to announce the new year. People are dancing, celebrating, and kissing at midnight….uh oh, there’s the rub….what do you do on New Year’s Eve if you have no one to kiss at midnight???? You’re in deep doo-doo there, and the whole evening is liable to be a bust, as you watch happy couples celebrating. Talk about feeling left out!!!
I used to give a fancy dinner dance on New Year’s Eve, elegant and somewhat formal, and then the game of musical chairs left me without a seat, and suddenly I was the odd man out at my own dinner dance, and had a really lousy time with no date, no one to dance with, and no midnight kiss to bring the new year in. Before that, when I was married, sometimes it was fun (usually in fact), to do nothing at all, go to bed early, and watch old movies on TV. More often than not, we were asleep long before midnight, cuddled up, and starting the new year cozily. That’s my ideal way to spend New Year’s Eve. But if you’re not with someone you care about—-then what?? I don’t like to go out, because I don’t want to worry about other drivers having too much to drink, and getting in an accident. So I like to stay home on New Year’s Eve. And then what? That’s where the dilemma comes in. What do you do?? I like having friends in, but year after year, I’m the only one alone, without a date. Ouch. It makes for an awkward scene at midnight when everyone is kissing and you’re not. I’ve tried to wrestle with the problem in numerous ways. I stopped doing the formal dinner dances, and switched to a more informal dinner. I figured that less fancy food would make it seem like less of an ‘event’….but the moment of truth always came….just like Cinderella, the clock strikes twelve inexorably, and Cinderella lost her glass slipper, and watched the coach turned into a pumpkin, and I watched my coupled friends kissing at midnight, and wound up seriously depressed every time. (Well, not seriously, but sad for a moment or two.) I switched to serving fast food (hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, corn dogs) instead of elegant meals on New Year’s Eve—how romantic can you get over curly fries and corn dogs with a side of chili (not to mention the indigestion afterward not being conducive to romance). That still didn’t do the trick. For several years now, I’ve given poker parties on New Year’s Eve. I love to play, and if I’m winning twenty dollars, how upset can I be over no one to kiss at midnight? Well, I love winning the twenty dollars, but that midnight moment still got to me. And this year, I was about ready to give up. My great debate for several months was which would depress me more: going to bed and doing absolutely nothing (would I feel like a total loser to be alone, or relieved??? hard to say), or should I keep plugging along and have friends over on New Year’s Eve, knowing I’d be the only one without a partner or mate? For some reason, this year I had a really tough time deciding. I used to hire a band, and this year, let them go, and let someone else hire them instead. I didn’t feel like playing poker. I didn’t want to have no one to dance with, and no one to kiss. I was tired of being a good sport about it—-but not quite brave enough to do nothing at all. So I have sat on the fence, unable to guess which evening would be the easiest for me. And finally, I decided to give it up, and go to bed this year, and forget celebrating New Year’s entirely. I mentioned it to one of my daughters who was appalled, and absolutely forbid me to do nothing. She actually made me feel guilty for being such a bad sport about the evening entirely, and shamed me into pulling my socks up, sucking it up, and making New Year’s Eve plans after all.
Okay, so I’m back in business. I’m having friends over for dinner on New Year’s Eve, half a dozen couples I really like and enjoy. I will serve decent food, not fast food this year, we’ll play some poker after dinner, I’ve hired a DJ, and those who want to will dance….and the midnight moment will come….people will kiss. I won’t. And I’ll survive. And maybe next year will be better, and New Year’s Eve will be more fun. Or maybe it will be just fine to be with friends, celebrate the evening, and share a new year with friends, EVEN without getting kissed at midnight. It is what it is. And I have a feeling I’ll be fine….they’ll play Auld Lang Syne, and I’ll be nostalgic for a minute, the clock will strike midnight, I wont turn into a pumpkin, I won’t lose the glass slipper (I’ll be sure not to wear my glass slippers that night!!), and the new year will arrive, just as it does every year. And we’ll start the new year together. Sometimes you just have to make the best of it, and enjoy being with good friends. I usually have the best time on the nights I don’t expect to…..so maybe it will be a great New Year’s Eve after all…..I’m counting on it….and if it isn’t, I can always go to bed and pull the covers over my head next year….but this year I’m going to be a good sport about it…..again. I hope your New Year’s Eve, and the whole year to follow afterward will be fabulous!!! Happy New Year!!!
Much Love, Danielle