Before you and your friends are scream-singing the melody (and only some of the lyrics) of “Auld Lang Syne,” before the “3, 2, 1” ends with an overzealous and slightly trite “Happy New Year!” there is that small moment of panic when you realize you have no one to kiss when that ugly Swarovski ball touches down.
Despite the innumerable amount of times I’ve watched movies and TV shows with happily-ever-afters starting with a kiss on the stroke of midnight, I can tell you right now that not one of my midnight lip-locking sessions (save for the two times spent with someone I had been dating for a significant amount of time) turned into a successful relationship. Not only that, but the times I didn’t kiss anyone did not automatically doom me into a year of celibacy and misery like some evil curse bestowed upon me. Go figure.
The statistics don’t lie when it comes to how much this certain kiss means to some people, with 60 percent of single adults saying they’d rather have a kiss on New Year’s Eve than a new computer. Seriously? Then again, 40 percent of us pass out before midnight even hits, so those things seem to be dependent on how much alcohol you ingest and how willing of a partner you can find.
The New Year’s Eve Kiss has become a staple of the holiday itself, like drinking too much champagne and Ryan Seacrest’s terrible tan. This undeserved pressure makes single people feel like they should be scrambling at the end of the year to find someone they can bring to parties, just to have someone to kiss at midnight. This is the exact opposite of how to start a successful year: worried about whether or not you’ll be drunkenly high-fiving someone’s face with yours.
I understand that there is a deep-rooted tradition in the New Year’s kiss, involving English folklore. The first person you encounter during the new year is supposedly in control of the tone of your year, and a kiss is a stronger tie than say, a handshake. But this has become lost between the countless Bridget Jones references and the nagging invites to parties from your friends who all know you don’t have a date.
New Year’s Eve is supposed to be a time to celebrate new beginnings, old friendships, and the glory that is Veuve and party hats. You shouldn’t be worried about who you’ll be kissing, or if you’ll even be kissing anyone at all. It won’t be worth it in the morning. Is that really how you want to spent your New Years Day, nursing a hangover and a red mustache of irritation from sucking face with some dude named Gary and his really bad 5 o’clock shadow?
Worry more about making your year memorable for the right reasons, instead of whether or not your lips will be pressed against something other than a champagne flute or noise maker. Even if it takes longer than the month of January to figure out how.
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