Hello, my little Singles! Can you believe that this is our third New Year's Eve together? If you've been reading my stuff right from November or December 2006, it so is. (If you haven't, my book-to-be will bring you up to speed.) I don't know if it would cheer you or depress you to know how many of my best Single friends have gotten engaged, married, sworn in as nuns or ordained as priests since then. Hmm. Let's say, not all. For example, none of my male friends got married except, ah, Benedict Ambrose. Oh, and one of my brothers. But otherwise they're still bachelors (or priests), bachelors (or priests) as far as the eye can see.
So it's New Year's Eve, another dodgy holiday for Single people, especially Searching Singles without Special Someones. The blame for New Year's Eve celebrations can be placed squarely on the Scots, whose crazy Celtic love for their Hogmanay knows no bounds. Actually, in Edinburgh it does know a bound, for Princes Street (the principal avenue) will be closed to all but ticket-holders. I will not be able to tell you what orgies take place there because, like my mother before me, I have to stay at home with a not-so-enthusiastic-about-Hogmanay husband.
"Yah, whatever," I hear you cry. "At least you have a husband, you whiner."
Okay, maybe you're not crying that. I'm a bit paranoid on the point. After three years of writing for Singles, I feel a bit embarrassed about now being, er, you know. Do not go through life thinking nobody thinks about you because there are two entities thinking about you every day: 1. God 2. me, the Seraphic Singles lady.
But our topic is New Year's Eve and how to survive it relatively seraphically. First of all, it is not true that if somebody kisses you on New Year's Day, you'll get more kisses that year. I remember one New Year's Eve, the New Year's Eve I boarded in a convent owned by lovely nuns, grumping around because there was nobody to kiss me. I believe some of the nuns kissed me, but that didn't count. The next morning I went to Mass and afterwards I saw a Jesuit schoolmate who gave me a great big New Year's kiss (on the cheek, thanks for asking). I wasn't sure if that counted either, but all the same I felt better. ROFL, as my Inner Child would say. And I think that was it for the year except, perhaps, from other Jesuit schoolmates.
Second of all, there is no law you have to go out to a party and have fun. Thousands of people in the West aren't going to do that. Instead they're going to watch a film like When Harry Met Sally and then flip to a news channel at midnight. Then they're going to totter off to bed. That is what I'm going to do this year (married), and that's what I did last year (Single). And the year before (Single).
Third of all, keep in mind that there are different New Year's traditions all over the world, ones that have nothing to do with romance and/or kissing. If you want insight re: the German psyche, for example, rent Dinner for One. Dinner for One is an ancient British film featuring a dotty old aristocratic lady and her butler. The butler falls down a lot. And every New Year's Eve, the emergency wards of German hospitals fill up with drunken Germans who have imitated the pratfalls of Dinner for One at home. Dinner for One is a German national obsession. They all watch it. That's 80 million people all not caring about kissing at midnight because they'd rather watch Dotty Old Englishwoman and her Butler.
If you do go to a party, make sure you are actually having fun. Whatever you do, don't sit by the punch bowl feeling miserable about being Single. Go home to an emergency treat. And do some reflection. New Year's Eve is great for reflection. Reflect that you are Single because God has called you to be Single, even if that's just to be Single right now.
I can never say this enough: the number one reason why you are Single is because God said so. You can be fabulously beautiful, friendly, fun, rich, educated--in short, marvellous--but unless God says differently, you're going to be Single. Meanwhile, you can be plain, misanthropic, staid, poor, uneducated and yet married because God plunked you in front of the person He wanted you to marry and said, "Marry."
So tonight is not a time for self-blame. No, indeed. It is a time for saying, "Okay, whatever You want, Lord!" Mentally shove all the responsibility for your Single state onto Him before climbing into your warm and cozy bed.