|Happy 2013! –-credit|
So I’ve been flying solo for quite some time now, but this was my first holiday season alone in New York City. Even though I’m not the stereotypical twenty-something girl, I have an announcement that may come as a shock to some people: I’m a single female, and I hate “hooking up” – but I love New Years Eve.
I understand that makes no sense.
New Years Eve should be right up there with Valentine’s Day as a holiday that all single people hate, especially if you’re not looking for a ‘Wham Bam Thank you, Ma’am’ kind of guy.
Think about it. Has there ever been a time when people are expected to couple up more than when the calendar changes to 2013? The answer is, yes — when it changed to 2012 and before that, to 2011.
So all this begs the question, then, of why a single, not-keen-on-hookups kind of girl would enjoy New Year’s Eve? I explored a look back at past NYE’s to figure this out, and think I may have landed an answer.
NYE 2004-2006: House parties—9/10
When it comes to making smart decisions, I consider myself old enough to know better, but too young to care. When I attended these New Year’s Eve parties, I was decidedly not old enough to know better. These were the types of parties where watching someone do a keg stand was considered solid entertainment. And at that age, it was. No expectations, and the only downside was that everyone was too poor to take a taxi home.
NYE 2007 – 2009: French nightclubs—8/10
In my early 20s, I always went with a large group of friends to Quebec for a long ski weekend. We’d ski at 8 am, go dancing until 3 or 4 am, and then somehow muster the energy to repeat this for several more days. It all culminated in New Year’s at Chez Dagobert, a large, loud, french discotheque, which no amount of money could get me to set foot in now. However, it was always something to look forward to, aside from the crushing lack of sleep. I’ll take away deux to compensate for how annoying the French hipsters up there could be.
NYE 2010-2013: Bars & small parties—10/10
It’s a rule on New Year’s Eve (right up there with the fact that every girl must go as a slutty something-or-other on Halloween) that all women make an extra effort for the evening. However, this is a rule I enjoy following, unlike the Halloween rule above, because I’ve found that on NYE, people are going out with the expectation of meeting people. Everyone is friendly, smiling more than usual, and going out of their way to include strangers in their conversations – a distinctly foreign concept for anyone who lives in NYC.
And this, I think, is why I like New Years Eve so much – because people act on this night how I wish they would every day. Men and women dress up like civilized adults who have class, (the obvious exception is most females under age 22 at a nightclub,) and are genuinely kinder and more inclusive than on other evenings. In fact, NYE may be the only night where I know even if I go out alone, I’ll have friends at the end of the evening.
This is why I had such fun a few days ago at my first NYE celebration in New York. I opted to pass on the bar scene, and instead, I attended a party in the luxe apartment of a friend of a friend who is an employed actor, not the bartender-who-also-happens-to-act type. It was a great night— everyone was randomly saying hello, being generous with champagne, and mingling with new people.
And in the interest of full disclosure, I didn’t have anyone to kiss at midnight – but that was okay with me. Rather than making out with a guy I’ll likely never see again, and possibly whose name I wouldn’t remember, I decided not to sweat it.
A few minutes before midnight, I wandered into the kitchen and a girl who I had been talking to earlier promptly handed me a bottle of champagne. After a brief chat, we decided that although the party was fun, it was only one night of the 365 we had left of 2013, and that we weren’t going to worry about finding guys. And that’s exactly what we did. We popped champagne at midnight, cheered with everyone else, and exchanged numbers so we could meet to attend a yoga class later in the week.
And even though I didn’t have a juicy hookup, or anyone to kiss when the clock struck midhnight, I did walk home barefoot in my party dress. That may sound sad, but to me, it was a show of independence that made me feel like a real New Yorker able to take care of herself.
At the end of the evening, I climbed into my bed, peered out my window at the Williamsburg bridge, and felt happy that I would start 2013 waking up in my own apartment, still single, and living in glamorous New York City.
|The Williamsburg Bridge–photo via angela n. via Flickr|