Thursday, 31 December 2009

New Year's Eve Reflections

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.


Dominic Mary said...

Yet again, 'Thank You, Seraphic.'

In the old days, the Annunciation was New Year; did that, perhaps, make it a bit easier to say 'Fiat mihi secundum Verbum Tuum' about what was just arriving ?

Don't know - though would like to think so - but thank you for emphasising the point : next year's job, like this year's, is to say 'Yes' to whatever God sends us . . . and have faith that He gets it right.

invocante said...

Its a shame you are not going into town for Hogmany. Edinburgh is one of the best places in the world to see in the New Year. The crowds are friendly, kissing of strangers post bells the norm and the fireworks spectacular - syndney bridge is a great background for fireworks but Edinburgh Castle even better. You should drag BA out and join the fun!

aussie girl in australia said...

I saw Sydney Harbour Bridge fireworks from a friend's balcony!
Unfortunately there was quite a lot of cloud cover, but still spectacular.

Happy New Year all!

Seraphic said...

Watched the Edinburgh Castle fireworks explode over Arthur's Seat while leaning out the Historical House's top bull's eye window and singing Auld Lang Syne with the radio!

Happy New Year from Scotland!

theobromophile said...

A happy New Year to you, Seraphic - as it's 2010 from where you are writing! :)

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.

THANK YOU for not forgetting us Singles after your marriage! It's vexing when Marrieds forget what it is like to be Single and Searching (often in vain). It's awful when Marrieds don't bother to think about what their Single friends are going through and instead snit down to us, as if it's our fault.

But it's wonderful when Marrieds - often those who were married late, not surprisingly - remember us and remember what it's like to "be there".

Seraphic said...

The way to handle Marrieds is as valuable RESOURCES!

Apart from me and kind aunties, don't complain to married people about your Single state because most of us are SO beyond that, we don't want to think about it any more. Do we want to remember our lonely nights, the days we wept on your shoulder about our Single
state? No. We're like Holly Go-Lightly who doesn't want to remember that she was ever Lula May,running wild in the briar patch.

Married women, having brought their own romance to a satisfyinig conclusion, are often bitten by the matchmaker bug. They meet their husbands' bachelor friends and think, hmm... Which one of my Single friends would he suit?

So if you are a Searching Single, and a Married Friend says "Anyone yet?", you grin and say, "Got anyone for me?" Bite back the bitter sallies. Save them for your screenplay-in-progress.

I'll never forget that I first heard about B.A. when I was going through a Serious Single friend's Facebook Friend list while talking to him on Skype. I mean, I was literally saying, "Oooh! This one's cute. Is he taken?" and Aelianus was saying, "He got sent down from Oxford", etc.

Married friends have both parties and babies. Keep on the party list and get in some quality time with the babies. Offer to babysit, or just hold the baby while the Mum does something else around the house.

Clever married friends will ponder your compatibility with their bachelor friends, so don't be disappointed if Married Friend doesn't send all her husband's bachelor friends your way. She might know something you don't.

Anonymous said...

Oddly (for me) your unsolicited singledom advice for NY eve held up well through a miserable party at which my (still possibly loved) ex was flirting with another mutual friend. It sucked. But your advice was good and carried me through :-)


Seraphic said...

M.P., how very sweet of you to tell me! You've made my night. Thank you!

As for the ex, well, Delphine Hirsh of "The Girl's Guide to Break-Ups"" would say that if you broke up, it's evidence that he is not the One.

Did you have a treat waiting? What was it?!

Seraphic said...

Er, "or she"! Just realized I don't know if you are a girl!

theobromophile said...

Oh, let me clarify. It's not the "Got anyone yet?" that bothers me; it's the "Why do you attract so many weird men?" or "Why aren't you married yet; what do you think you're doing wrong?" questions that irk me beyond belief.

Your advice, however, is always very constructive (and said with a wonderful amount of love!), which is why your unsolicited advice is so welcomed as to be its own blog and book. :)

Seraphic said...

Thank you very much, Theobromie! That makes me feel very good indeed.

DO you attract lots of weird men? How exciting! Er, what makes them "weird" as opposed to "socially awkward" or "charmingliy eccentric"? I ask because they are also Searching Singles who may be in need of advice!

margoB said...

deer Serafik,

plese do not wuri abowt giving unsalissated adviece or abowt riting for singuhls even tho yoo ar mayreed mi outr adult seys yoo rilee no wut yoo ar tahking abowt and shes glad somwon elss thinks liek she dos cos she noes its hard to keep yr hed on strait as a Cathlic singuhl and also, yoo hav this blog for a reezun so wy wori just keep up the grate bloging.

Mi outer adult has to go rite numbers in a litl buk and minus them--somthing cald 'balinss' she sez wel we hav to go so bye!

theobromophile said...

Socially awkward and charmingly eccentric people are presumably both harmless and decent. The "weird" of which I speak has neither recommendation.

Since I owe you an email on another (or perhaps a very related!) topic, I'll include some of the lowlights in there.