In high school I went on a few dates here and there but I never had a real boyfriend. As a result I never had that special midnight New Years’ kiss. In college I dated a lot but my first real relationship was with my now ex-husband. You would have thought that would have led to years of midnight kisses on New Years, except he was a restaurateur and he ALWAYS had to work on New Years. I did visit him at his restaurant on the New Years of the millennium, I even reserved a hotel room right by his work so we could be together for as much as possible that night. But I also had an infant at that time and around ten o'clock I started feeling weird about sitting at bar with a 6 month old waiting for my husband to have a few minutes to spare between his many professional responsibilities. So I went back to the hotel room, let my baby sleep and watched the ball drop on TV alone. Happy New Millennium to me. After my divorce I had lots of dates, flings and even a couple of relationships and yet New Years never really worked out for me. Occasionally I spent New Years with friends, once I went out with my brother to celebrate in Downtown Santa Cruz. That night a man with the words "Fuck You Bitch," tattooed on his arm told me I was pretty and politely offered to give me a foot massage. I wouldn't normally expect a man with a "fuck you bitch," tattoo to want to rub my feet so his offer made it an educational and somewhat amusing New Years (one that my brother and I were able to laugh about for quite a while) but it certainly was not the New Years I wanted.
Of course I did have a boyfriend last New Years but ours was a long distance relationship and we ended up being apart for the holiday. I got seriously irritated with him when he didn't call that night. "I thought you said you didn't like New Years," he said apologetically.
"No," I corrected him, "I said I didn't like that I've never had a GOOD New Years. Big difference!" But he had every right to be confused. As a whole I'm an incredibly low maintenance girlfriend. A guy could forget Valentines Day, our anniversary, my birthday, whatever and I wouldn't hold it against him. We all get busy sometimes and I personally am horrible with dates and I'm not hypocritical enough to expect others to be better at them than I am. Of course my ex-boyfriend NEVER forgot about any of that stuff. That New Years was the only time he ever slipped and unluckily for him it happened to be the only holiday that I'm kind of a "girl" about.
See the New Years I really want is one where I get to spend it with a man I truly care about. I want him by my side at a party or a bar or even at home and when the clock strikes midnight I want him to take me into his arms and say, "Happy New Years beautiful," and pull me in for a passionate kiss. I KNOW how corny that sounds. It's such a stupid little thing but it's what I've always wanted and have NEVER GOTTEN. Yes, there have been plenty of opportunities for me to kiss strangers at midnight but for it to count it has to actually be romantic, there has to be some kind of relationship there.
And yet despite my many New Years disappointments I seem to have inadvertently started a tradition. Most New Years my son and I rent a bunch of movies, I get plastic champagne glasses (that I fill with sparkling apple cider) and noise makers and confetti he works VERY hard to stay up until midnight. When the clock strikes midnight we throw our confetti in the air and dance around the room. It's just my little way of making the holiday somewhat special for my son. I honestly never thought much about it until the last few years when my son started eagerly asking if we’d be doing it again. For him, New Years has become a special thing, filled with Jurassic Park movie marathons, cool glasses and bubbly drinks. He loves New Years and the fact that he loves it warms me to the holiday…to a degree. I still hope to some day have my special New Years kiss and by next year my son might have outgrown our particular New Years “tradition” anyway. But not this year, not yet. So I look forward to the countdown to 2010 and I look forward to future years as well because eventually I’m going to get that kiss, damn it…it may take me until I’m 50 but I’m getting it.
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