What else is New Year’s for?
I, Colette McIntyre, a young, sexually active female who has been around the block and in and out of the Seven Minutes in Heaven closet her fair share of times, have never been kissed on New Year’s Eve. I know — it’s totally unbelievable, but it’s true. Granted, this isn’t as heavy duty as anything Josie Geller had to face, but being left to moon over your red Solo cup as the sounds of others’ makeout sessions drown out the countdown is pretty demoralizing.
But this year is going to be different. To help me achieve this goal, I’ve decided to take a look back at past NYE smooches gone awry and draw some helpful hints from my experiences. I’m not saying it will be pretty and I’m not saying it will be easy and I’m not saying I’ll even like it, but when that countdown reaches one, my mouth is going to be on a man’s mouth, goddamn it. Because if random hookups aren’t the meaning of New Year’s Eve, then I don’t know what is.
1.”No one is going to kiss someone that smells like French Onion dip.”
2005: I was young, I was filled with the kind of wistful horniness you only have in high school, and I was hungry. Upon arriving at my friend’s house party, I made a beeline for the party snacks and found a glorious spread. Tostitos, Fritos, and Doritos — the whole -itos family was there. After Occupying the Cheetos bowl, I floated around the party, eventually finding a rather adorable beanie-wearing boy. My flirtation skills were immaculate — I was tossing my hair, giggling effervescently and touching his shoulder like a pro. That is, until I realized I was leaving streaks of orangey crumbs all over his shirt — it was like I was a bee trying to pollinate him with Cheeto dust. Beanie boy followed my gaze to his shirt and made his exit, leaving me to trudge my way back to the snack table, covered with a fine dust of orange and self-loathing.
2. “You’re drunk. You gotta stop drinking.”
I don’t remember many of my New Year’s Eves. You may be thinking, “You black out before midnight, Colette? That’s embarrassing.” And yes, it is embarrassing: I am a sloppy, squinty-eyed drunk, the type of person who flops ass on anyone and everything, knocking over tables and talking about blowjobs too loudly. When I’m that drunk, I’m not attractive to anyone but my own drunk self. It’s fair to say that my penchant for pickelbacks and “pushing it to the limit” may have a lot to do with my loneliness at midnight. Well, that and the tears — I’m also a sad drunk. Once I pass the friendly, welcoming village of Drunksville and start heading into cold, distant Blackout City, tears are inevitably on the horizon. Many New Year’s Eves have ended blubbering on the phone with my sister about “all the love I have to give,” stopping only to take a shot of tequila or fall asleep.
3. “Stake your claim.”
Quick mid-list recap: pick dust-free snacks, fight the urge to join Julia in a round of flip cup, and eye up the boys. But eying them just isn’t enough — you have to move in and move in fast. Let the whole party know that if they mess with your (temporary) man, you’ll be the one to break it to them. If you don’t mark your territory clearly enough, you run the risk of losing what’s yours: some bitch (cough Jessica Cohen cough) may just swoop in when the timing’s right, tilting her face towards his just as you’re looking away, gleefully shouting “Happy New Year!” Next thing you know, you’re holding a limp hand attached to a boy that’s making out with her instead of you.
4. “Keep it classy, stupid.”
Look, it’s hard to attract a man’s attention in a room full of BCBG strapless dresses and girls with weirdly pronounced collarbones, but that is no reason to make a spectacle of your own dejection. Last NYE, after some dismal small talk and less-than-subtle rejections, I abandoned my last shred of dignity and hoisted myself onto a chair. Standing there, with my make-up sliding down my cheek and a can of Milwaukee’s Best in my hand, I declared that the whole party had to kiss me before leaving. What might have been an ironic claim that could have turned the tide quickly slid the other way— my frantic desperation scared off every desirable suitor, and I ended up ringing in the New Year with a swig of communal champagne. However, it must be said that all of my gay friends were oddly committed to the plan, and I was bombarded with kisses for the rest of the night. Hairy, chafing kisses.
5. “Know your audience.”
My first semester in college was a time of exploration, freedom, boundary pushing, and, inevitably, regrets. (That means you, Australian man with the parrot-feather coat.) I saw NYE as an opportunity to set myself back on track — I would banish confusion and weird Craigslist interactions from my life with the perfect midnight kiss. I decided to throw the party myself and invited all of my new college friends. “Bring whomever you want,” I insisted, “the more, the merrier!” What I really was thinking was “the more, the more chances I have to get smooched.” And, when I found myself with a beautiful, rugged boy on my bed, I was convinced I was right. It didn’t matter that I didn’t know his name or how he ended up at my party — it was fate, it was serendipity, it was meant to be! But about an hour before midnight, I found out that it was Jennifer, my roommate, who brought him along, not fate. Also, he was her fifteen-year-old brother. Frankly, at that point in the night, fifteen wasn’t a problem, but, as I found out running my hand up his thigh, he was Jennifer’s gay little brother. Oh well, the more you know.