Just in time for the first holiday of 2013, here are all, or at least a few, of your most pressing New Year's Eve questions, and some answers, for the night ahead. You're welcome.
Do I have to go out on New Year's Eve? Of course not. But if you're going to sit at home and feel sorry for yourself, you should most definitely email everyone you know right now and figure out how to attach yourself to their party. Look for house parties, bar crawls that don't have a pay-in-advance policy, informal dining scenarios, and anything that sounds remotely fun that other people you like are doing. If you're going to someone's party, bring booze! But, seriously, if the idea of pizza on the couch in your PJs sounds more appealing than getting dressed up and heading out in the cold, know that New Year's Eve is to holidays what Saturday is to Tuesday. That is to say, the pros stay in on the biggest party nights of the year, because the best party nights of the year are not the biggest and cannot be mass-marketed or situated in Times Square. If you don't believe that, by all means, go out.
What if all of my friends or relatives want to do something, like hang out in Times Square or pay $200 to get into a terrible club, and I don't? See above. You are not required to go out on New Year's Eve. In fact, staying in can be something of a luxury. You can drink a whole bottle of wine and eat a block of cheese without having to share, watch whatever you want on TV (The Apartment at 10 p.m.!), or read a good book! You can drink only water and wake up bright and early feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day after staying up all night crafting your resolutions meticulously. Perhaps there's a lot of stuff you wanted to get done this year and haven't — it's not too late, get started scrapbooking now! But if you don't want to do something, don't do it, because you hardly need to ruin the fun of others who do want to do that thing, no matter how horrid or ill-advised it may be.
Can a one-night stand on New Year's Eve translate into a relationship? I've heard the tale of at least one New Year's Eve hookup lasting at least three months into the next year, so I'd say, maybe! You will, however, probably have to go out into some sort of public forum (or at least a less private than your own apartment one) to set this in motion, and it may not be the most direct or emotionally fulfilling method, either, so be forewarned. As with all things, rely on your smarts to make good decisions, and maybe don't make said decisions after seven tumblers of Scotch.
How long should I pretend I'm going to keep my resolution(s)? Denial is a thing of the past, friends! In 2013, there's no pretending, unless you're talking to your family, friends, coworkers, enemies, lovers, or yourself. In that case, four weeks is the typical amount of time you should be really gung-ho about your new diet, lifestyle choice, gym membership, etc. After that, let the memory of that erstwhile commitment fade away into nothingness, and by March no one except your most annoying friend will remember how into Zumba you were for a hot second. If you are one of those people adamant about doing something different and being better in 2013, you have our respect and admiration, but don't rub it in, OK? We can't all be perfect.
How aggressively should one clink one's Champagne glass against someone else's? Gently, and once per toast will suffice, thank you. Resist the urge to smash your glass against a wall and scream "Happy New Year!" even if you are in someone's private home and there are no cops around because shattered glass is dangerous and hard to clean up. At the same time, resist the urge to tell the guy who did that he's had too much to drink, in a snooty voice. Hey, we've all been on the wrong side of that one.
I don't really want to write a resolution, but everyone I know is, and I hate to feel left out. What should I do? Just close your eyes, point, pick an app, and be done with it. Maybe you'll want to do some digging into your FOMO later in the year. Or try this fun New Year's Resolution maker. (This year we will sing in the shower, win the lottery, and get a piercing, apparently.)
Every year in January I'm so annoyed with all the people cluttering up my gym who will inevitably disperse by February. What can I do about that? Join a new gym and you'll be part of the problem, too! Or maybe take up yoga?
Who should I kiss on New Year's Eve? Uh, how the heck should we know? If there's someone you kiss regularly, kiss that person, but don't kiss anyone else. If you're single and standing next to someone who is equally single and the two of you are enjoying a festive, flirty conversation, pay attention to the signals and act accordingly. Better safe than sorry is the standard refrain; do not kiss those who do not want it! When in doubt, just hug whomever you're next to or maybe give a nice little pat on the shoulder and make your escape; it's impossible to get a cab home between the hours of 1 and 2 a.m. anyway, so you're better off leaving now, before things get awkward.
I'm throwing the party. How do I get people to leave at the end of the night? Finish the booze or hide it, say goodnight, usher everyone out, lock the door, and turn out the lights. Politely, of course. Or pass out in your room and hope everyone has the presence of mind to leave before you get up, because you are going to be cranky.
Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? We're guessing the answer is no. But more importantly, yes, you can simply mumble random words when this song inevitably plays at the New Year's Eve gathering you've attended and the group begins to sway together and emit haunting vocal melodies in a large, hand-holding circle. Get to the chorus before you make your exit, and think longingly of your old friends, who never made you do stuff like that.
Can I wear white pants on New Year's Eve? Yes.
Better to check in on FourSquare and link to Facebook at midnight, or just Instagram-tag the location? No. New Year's Day is for social media. New Year's Eve ... just enjoy it.
Anything else we should know? Be nice to one another tomorrow, and if you order delivery, tip well. Good karma is important, any day of the year. Also, don't attend a party in your office, no matter how much fun the wacky people in those stock photos appear to be having.