Round Two: New Year’s Eve
There are two days of the year that I find particularly challenging, and have had some serious battles with: Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve. We all know and are told how we’re supposed to feel on those two days: madly in love on Valentine’s Day, surrounded by bouquets of flowers, with enough chocolates to keep you with a mouthful of chocolate for a year, or if you’re a single woman, maybe an engagement ring. And married or single, the man you love is supposed to come through on Valentine’s Day and prove that he adores you. Yeah, well, good luck to you!!! Most of the men I know, married or not, either forget the day, or avoid it like the plague. And as one of my men friends says, guys just don’t care about chocolates and flowers. (I won’t tell you what he said they really do care about, you can figure that one out for yourself, but it was neither chocolates, nor flowers, no surprise there). So let’s face it, the chances of Valentine’s Day being fabulous are not fantastic. I got one marriage proposal on Valentine’s Day which resulted in 18 years of marriage and 8 kids, so I figure I used up all my tickets on that one, and Valentine’s Day hasn’t been too impressive ever since. I can live with it.
And then there’s New Year’s Eve, which is another one of those loaded days. You’re supposed to look fabulous, spend it with someone you love, and wind up kissing them at midnight, with a glass of champagne in your hand, while someone plays “Old Lang Syne”. Reality? All the years I was married, I spent it in a flannel nightie with warm socks, didn’t care what we did, and we were sound asleep long before midnight, and I was perfectly happy and with the person I wanted to be with. I didn’t need parties, a kiss at midnight (I could have kisses anytime), or a band. Although I think most people think they are supposed to be having FUN that night, no matter what. And single, it’s a whole other story. You HAVE to be out dancing and kissing at midnight and drinking champagne. Hmmmm……for some, that may not be quite as easy as it sounds. And just like Christmas and Valentine’s Day, I have had a wide variety of experiences on that one: since being single, some very elegant New Year’s Eve dinners in black tie, dancing with good friends. The year my caterer didn’t show up for that event at the last minute, and we went to fast food restaurants to get dinner, and my friends were all dressed up in evening gowns, eating a Big Mac, pizza, and KFC and curly fries. We decided we liked it so much, we did that for several years. And it was fun. Then, I got tired of having a New Year’s Eve date I didn’t care about, or none, and decided to play poker on New Year’s Eve instead (which I love), still in black tie. But no matter what you do, and how you slice it, that midnight hour happens, people start counting….ten…nine…eight….two….and the next thing you know everyone is kissing, and you’re staring at your feet, feeling like a loser and wishing they’d get on with it. Erghk, I hate New Year’s Eve. (And last year I lost $20.00 at poker too, adding insult to injury. AND got a stomach ache from the fast food). I don’t know what the answer is. In recent years I’ve never had the guts to just say to hell with it, and go to bed, and not do anything at all. I was afraid that would be too depressing. But New Year’s Eve rarely lives up to anyone’s expectations, unless you drink yourself blind or are enjoying a brand new romance. So I’ll be playing poker this year, WITH fast food, NOT in black tie this time, and let’s just hope I win $20.00 this year to make it a success. One fan wrote in and said that the answer is to spend it with good friends, and I think that’s true, but it’s not an easy evening to pull off, particularly if you’re not part of a couple, and all you’re going to get at midnight is a refill from the waiter, another Big Mac, and hopefully a decent poker hand. I just don’t like New Year’s Eve, and every year I promise myself that I’ll do something different next year—I thought of going to Paris this year, or even Vegas with a friend—-or maybe I’ll just go to bed and not try at all. I think making New Year’s Eve fun is challenging for a lot of people. It is not my best night of the year, and too easy to get mournful, thinking it should be different than it is. Maybe we just need to have a sense of humor about it, and not take it so seriously. (And most of those people kissing at midnight probably won’t be speaking to each other by next year. Ha!!! It’s not even a holiday about chocolate, so what good is that?). I don’t think it’s an age thing either, since even young people I know complain that it’s often a disappointing night. Maybe we just need to lower our expectations, and enjoy whatever happens, and do something we enjoy, like poker in my case, and be with friends we like. (I haven’t had the guts to spend it totally alone, although some years I wished I had; I had such a lousy time). I think the answer is to keep it light, and not put so many expectations on it for that one night.
As for New Year’s resolutions, I never make them. I hate breaking promises, and disappointing myself or anyone else. So I don’t promise to give up smoking, gain or lose ten pounds, start a new exercise program, or swear I’ll walk the dog a mile 3 times a day, or stop all of my annoying habits (surely too many to give up!!)—or learn to use the computer properly. Whatever I do all year, I do. Whatever I decide to give up, I will (or won’t). But I refuse to make New Year’s resolutions that I will probably break in 3 weeks, or less.
So have a very happy New Year’s Eve, whatever you decide to do——and just like Christmas, remember that it’s only one night and you can get through it whatever you do, whether you spend it with good friends, or cozily in bed watching TV on your own. Happy New Year, and I hope that the coming year will be the best year ever for you, with lots of good times, good friends, and good health!!!
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May I suggest playing poker in Las Vegas with your friend? There’s nothing like playing poker at the Bellagio-have fun and happy new year!
I love hearing that I’m not the only one who admits these holidays have to many expectations attached to them! Thanks for reminding me that what is, is, and what isn’t is okay too!
I love reading your books and feel much the same way when I go through your blogs.
You inspire me in a special way which reminds me of LIFE and all that it offers, whether good or bad we have to be prepared to accept what ever Life has to offer us.
You are a strong lady,I really admire the inner strengths you possess.
Have a happy NEW YEA’s EVE.
Boy, you hit the nail on the head! I am thinking the very same. Hosting a poker night…but wishing I was spending the night alone with my husband in my warm jammies and socks, kissing at midnight, rolling over and cuddling too sleep.
Here’s to yours and our poker game…hope we both win that $20 bucks back! LOL
Thank you for so many great books! I have read every single one and look forward to many more.
Happy New Year to you.
AND GOOD LUCK!
My New Year is great as I just got your book Family Ties by mail and of course I love the book from the first page. I buy your books on internet from a company adlibris.se. Of course I read them in English as I then get them earlier than if to wait for the Swedish translation. Enjoy the New Year in the way you prefer! Love, Ingrid
GREAT DANIELLE…MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY…YOU ARE SO FUNNY….YOUR THINKING ON NYE….WOW…WELL, THIS YEAR WAS THE FIRST TIME I STAYED HOME, AND SPENT IT BY MYSELF….IT WAS…OK….WE ARE THE SAME AGE….AND THIS WAS A FIRST….HAD AN OFFER TO GO AND PLAY POKER…AND EVEN THOUGH IT WAS WITH DEAR FRIENDS…I DONT PLAY…I SAID NO…ANYWAY….ITS OVER…….
READING A GOOD WOMAN…REALLY ENJOYING IT..
CAROL O. IN SO. CALIF…..
Hi Danielle—I met you awhile back a few years ago !! I just love your stories and want to wish you and your family a very Happy New Year. I have the feeling its going to be a Great Year.
Sincerely – Mike
I enjoy reading your books, very relaxing and often a learning tool how to deal with issues in life. One book, about narcissism, made it easier to understand why some people acted certain ways; how psychopaths had no emotions; or the book with the red door showed how some women have no clue about serial dating. I just finished reading Hotel Vendome (as I have read just about every book that you’ve written). I am in NYC; so it was relaxing and also a learning curve about families that have difficulty “cutting the cord”; and it’s damaging/selfish if it’s not done. I have run into friends who cannot have healthy relationships because of their parents/children. Thank you for touching my life; and sharing yours.
Danielle Stell…me da risa cuando hablo de Danielle….y aca en Argentina se creen que hablo de un hombre..ja.ja..ja..Nada me hace tan bien como leer un libro de mi autora preferida…y olvidarme de todos y todo..!!
Especially Celebrating New-year is a very joyful. While reading your blog i feel excited that i were in New year eve holidays.
Celebrating New year Eve with our best friends is ever forgetting one.We will feel happy when we recall our new year memeories.
I feel that we can still be alone on New Year’s Eve…without feeling we’re ‘missing out’ on something special….