Auld Lang Syne…

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… 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

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8 Comments so far
  1. P.J. December 29, 2010 8:41 am

    Having 6 couples whom you like is a blessing, but I’d invite a friend, (does not have to be a love interest) to be “my date” that night. Then you could have someone to dance with or giggle with at midnight when the others are kissing. You could even invite another single woman friend.You are certainly being more than a good sport to throw a party for everyone else to enjoy-maybe I am missing something, but the thought of hosting a party as a single person sounds just dreadful to me.

  2. Simone Rael December 29, 2010 12:54 pm

    You speak with such candid and at times excruciating honesty-it’s all good. You feel how you feel and I’m sure nothing I can say could make you feel any different. You’re a great person, with a very blessed and fulfilling life and those are great things to bring into any new year. Have a great new year Danielle, can’t wait for your books that are coming out next year xxx

  3. Kimberly December 29, 2010 1:49 pm

    I will be alone this New Year’s Eve, too… yet, I’m completely happy to be cozy in my bed reading a Danielle Steel novel! Too bad you don’t have your novels to turn to! Well, I guess you have writing the novels to turn to… I don’t see anything wrong with turning in before midnight on New Year’s Eve and just having a quiet evening, but it’s very nice that you are a hostess for your friends. Maybe they’ll read your blog and skip the kiss! 🙂

  4. Gabriela December 29, 2010 8:25 pm

    Thanks for sharing, i know if must not be easy all the time to be so honest.
    continue to be optimistic! You will have a good time no matter what!

  5. Sophie December 30, 2010 6:03 am

    Bonjour Madame Steel,

    Vos billets sont très intéressants. J’en viens d’en lire deux dont celui-là. Vous vous exprimez avec beaucoup d’honnêteté. Apparemment c’est partout pareil, il y a une pression monstre pour faire quelque chose le soir du réveillon. Si vous préférez ne rien faire, vous pouvez tout à fait mais c’est vrai qu’après il y a la pression de la société, le regard des autres. Et c’est vrai que c’est dur d’y résister.

    Moi personnellement je serai avec mes parents. Et je suis contente. Je n’ai plus de petit copain, c’est ma décision. A paris le soir du réveillon, tout est extrêmement cher 70-100 euros un dîner. Je préfère garder mes sous pour autre chose.

    Bien à vous,


  6. Edna Sanderson December 31, 2010 9:55 pm

    Hi Danielle! I have been a fan of yours since forever…I wish you a Happy New Year…..I too have a person i love who has bi-polar …. i hoope to buy her your book about your son…take care……and good luck tonight

  7. Abhinav Bansal January 24, 2011 4:25 am

    HEY !!!!!!!! u sound similar. I mean I’ve been in almost the same situation. Guess all of us live it some time or the other, it’s just a matter of how often do we have to pull ourselves together and put up the act. The act of being sport!!! I know I don’t like it and so do you..

    Well that’s how things are and .. life still goes on .. new years would keep coming whether you and I have a date or not 😀

  8. Nicole Bradshaw February 2, 2011 9:35 am

    hello Danielle Steele

    I am so relieved to have someone say it – takes some of the misery of it away. I hope this one was a lot better for you than you expected.