Happy New Year! Now, which of you had a dirty midnight snog, and which of you stood in the middle of a room of people groping each other, entirely excluded from the exchange of saliva at midnight? It seems that you have either one of two options when ringing in the New Year—kiss someone, or don’t. The sneaky New Year’s mack is a must, because without it, you wind up feeling kind of… hopeless. And you never want to start a New Year feeling hopeless.
Last year I wasn’t seeing anyone on New Year’s Eve, so I missed out on the midnight kiss. Although at some ungodly hour of the morning, finding myself at a Williamsburg loft party, I ended up tonguing with a good friend. We’d been dancing for what felt like hours, both of us drunk and high (him maybe a little bit more than me), and the scenario went where all good drug fuelled scenarios go.
The details are sketchy but in his stupor he said something obscenely nonsensical about wanting to kiss my eyeballs and we just went for it (on the mouth, not the eyeballs). Afterwards I walked up to my girlfriend who looked at me, horrified.
“Have you been kissing?” she asked.
“Because you’ve got lipstick all over your face,” she said, cracking a smile.
I looked in the mirror and lo! There was a halo of red lipstick in an almost perfect circle about one inch out from my lips.
No, New Year’s kisses do not need to be romantic. They can simply be as foul and inglorious as that. But you must have them, you simply must. I’ve thought long and hard about the mysterious New Year’s Eve kiss and all it’s connotations, including the pressure to have one, and I’ve come up with the following points as to why we feel we need to kiss when the ball drops:
- because they made a really big deal out of it on Friends
- because otherwise you’ll deem yourself a fat, undesirable loser
- because everyone else is doing it
- because you want to rub it in the faces of all the people not doing it, you smug son of a bitch
- because it’s tradition
- because you’re so high you HAVE to kiss SOMETHING right NOW or your face will explode and oh my God, we should totally take a road trip tomorrow because you’re my best friend, hold my hand, doesn’t that feel nice, oh my God, do you have a cigarette?
- because superstition tells us you live the new year the way you start it
- because deep down we’re all just a pack of horny frat boys
So basically none of it makes any sense at all, really. That mad scramble to find anyone, anything, to mash your face into on New Year’s Eve is entirely ridiculous. But we still buy into it, just the same way be buy into face cream, kale and Brangelina—because even though it’s stupid and doesn’t fulfill any kind of practical reality, it’s still fun. And isn’t it just magical to think that maybe, one special New Year’s Eve, just as the old year ticks into the new, someone you really like will kiss you right on the mouth while everyone around you is shaking hands?
You can follow Kat on Twitter @kat_george
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