New Year’s Eve is the second most aggravating holiday for single women, following closely on the heels of Valentine’s Day. My first memories of New Year’s Eves are ones of romance and intrigue. I would sit on my parents’ bed as my mother buzzed around the room in a feminine haze of perfume and silk. My parents didn’t “date” often — they were always more likely to have a dinner party or see a movie or concert with a group of friends — so New Year’s Eve seemed, through my young perspective, to be the most important and romantic of nights. They would both look so elegant — my dad would shine his shoes in the den as my mother wandered in and out of their closet in a perpetual editing process that always ended with her looking like the most beautiful person I could imagine. My brother and I would be granted the treat of staying up as late as we wanted to watch videos and eat normally restricted snacks under the semi-watchful eye of that evening’s sullen teenage babysitter.
And so the aggrandizing began. Follow this with continuous consumption of films (When Harry Met Sally is quintessentially of the occassion), songs (“What Are You Doing New Years Eve” sung by Ella Fitzgerald breaks my heart every time I hear it), and T.V. shows (I contend that every show with a romantic hero/heroine has featured a grand New Year’s Eve scene involving the star desperately trying to reach the one they love in time for the countdown and fateful kiss). Now how, after this onslaught, how can a girl manage to keep her head on straight and make it through The Most Important Night of the Year unscathed, especially when she is attempting to do it solo? Well, my sweet young things, let me tell you how it is done. And, as for the young gentlemen out there seeking a similar variety of midnight salvation this New Year’s Eve, for you, I have recruited one wise young man to guide you on your journey to new acquaintances.
Good luck and happy auld lang syne dear grasshoppers.
SHE SAYS: In the days approaching the main event, several tasks must be accomplished. First and foremost, pick your posse well. Stick with the very best of friends for this challenging night. No frenemies, no backstabbers, and never, ever, that girl who always cries. Your goal is to have fun and as much drama-free party time as possible. There is nothing worse than spending your countdown in the ladies’ listening to a weepy girl explain why this night should have been spent with her ex-boyfriend (“Why doesn’t he looooove me?”) as you hold her clutch.
Once the gang has been secured, the destination must be chosen. Avoid at all costs the “specialty” party (big ticket price, cheap champagne, random venue you would never visit regularly) and select either your favourite local bar or a house party. Each has its advantages: The bar is your turf and also affords the opportunity for the bartender/barfly/busboy you always stare at with longing to become your countdown make-out buddy, while the house party is likely to have cheaper drinks and a higher percentage of people you know. The disadvantages are as follows: the favourite bar, while awesome on a Tuesday night, may attract an entirely different crowd for NYE leading to an obnoxious douche to hot guy ratio, while the house party relies entirely on the crowd being and staying fun throughout the night (one group of obnoxious screeching girls shows and your evening is shot). Choose well and always have an emergency Plan B destination in case of disaster.
Finally, the outfit must be selected. I tell you this at the risk of sounding like a prude: NYE is not a time for a slutty outfit. Yes, the ultimate goal may be snagging a dude for the evening, but if incorrectly chosen, your outfit can and will ruin your night. They often say NYE dictates how the rest of your year is going to go, so it is a fairly major risk to take on a few inches of fabric. Keep in mind the following buzzwords instead: sexy, interesting, chic. If you are going low on top, keep the skirt a little longer, and vice versa. If you dress like a slut you will be treated like one, and as men are hoping to start their New Year off with a bang (literally) you will find that slouching home in that skimpy outfit in the early morning light may counteract the fun you had wearing it to start with.
With these details done you are set for the night. Pop a bottle with your girls as you get ready and make your game plan. You all know what kind of guys the others like, so if you have any last minute matchmaking ideas, now is the time for texting the prospects with your gang’s coordinates for the evening — hook up karma is real, my friends.
HE SAYS: Grooming. Make sure to set aside at least an hour for this. Showering, beard trimming, and nails are all mandatory, and if you’re feeling optimistic, make sure to tidy below the belt as well. It also can’t hurt to spend a little extra time putting together an outfit that doesn’t include a pair of old vans and a hoodie. Dress to impress, it helps.
Some pre party drinks are good as well, but be careful not to overdo it. There’s nothing worse than showing up to a party early in the evening wasted, slurring your words, with nothing but two drunken wobbly legs to keep you mobile. It gives off the vibe that you’re reckless and probably ready to jump on anything with a heartbeat. Drink enough to give your confidence a little boost, but save the real boozing for the main event.
SHE SAYS: Once you are there, take your time scoping a location. Don’t settle at the first table you can find and cozy in. Half the fun of the evening is meeting people, and a group of girls that are obviously having all the fun they need on their own is more intimidating than a hulking bodyguard. Sort out drinks, then divide and conquer until the perfect perch has been found. Whether it is by the DJ so your group can have first shot at flirting your favourite tracks onto his list, or a seat at the bar allowing you to wallow in your ever-increasing crush on the chiselled bartender, your choice will play a major factor in the night’s fun.
As you settle in, certain men are to be avoided at all costs. First, the ex, whose presence shouldn’t matter at all. Do not allow yourself to get angry/sad about seeing a former fling or boyfriend, even if he does his best to rile you up. Whether he is flagrantly kissing the skanky girl he left you for or following you around like a puppy, an ex is never, ever the right choice on New Year’s Eve. You broke up for a reason and no amount of alcohol or romance or desperation will change it, so avoid him at all costs. The second person to avoid is the shark. He is travelling solo and targeting each pretty girl relentlessly. He may have a sexy jawline and wear his jeans better than Ryan Gosling, but the second he sidles up and whispers in your ear asking about your resolutions there is only one answer: “Avoiding you!” Finally, do not get trapped in conversation with Sir Boring of Dullsville Park. This is not the evening to be polite, so once he starts intoning about the possibility of heavy snowfall this winter, grab one of your girls and hit the dance floor. When in distress on NYE the solution is almost always to dance it off with your girls.
You will know when you lock eyes with Mr. Right (for the night at least). Once you have found him, flirt, drink, and be merry. Bring him into your circle and scope his friends for potential hook-up cross-over with your gang. Do a shot (just one or two and not before 11:30; puking at midnight is not how to ring in the New Year), dance, or find a corner and neck (discretely please; the rest of us are not dying to score your kissing techniques). And when the ball drops, plant one on him; it is the one night of the year when you are guaranteed to not second guess kissing someone you just met. It is a better excuse than Vegas, so take advantage.
HE SAYS: Upon arriving at your party destination, it’s good to take a quick survey of the field. Grab a drink at the bar and break off from the pack of dudes you rolled in with; a group of guys makes girls think you’re on the hunt, while being solo makes you more approachable and leaves the opportunity for one-on-one conversations to occur.
While making your rounds, keep a mental log of a few key points: Shared extended eye-glances, suggestive smiles, and random attempts at catching one’s attention. Example: Talking a little louder every time you’re around her. If she wants you to know that she’s a blogger and makes her own jewellery before you’ve even met, you’re in! Also, keep an eye out for past hook-ups. Many times we have a great night with some great sex, only to not keep in touch and not cross paths again. Running into a girl from this sort of situation is usually reassuring — you’ve both been naked together at least once, so there’s a greater level of comfort between you. We’ll call this girl your “Safety Net”.
As the party progresses, and so too your buzz, be careful not to over-invest your time with any one girl. You may think you’re really hitting it off with the model-blonde right up until 11:45 when her boyfriend, whom she never even mentioned, pops up just in time for them to get their New Year’s kiss in, while you’re left standing on your own wishing you had chatted more to the brunette with the great ass.
As the clock ticks down towards midnight and you find yourself all alone, situate yourself near the rowdiest group of girls you can find and hope one of them grabs you for that New Year’s kiss. Nothing breaks the ice like an alcohol-fuelled make-out carrying you both into the New Year. Keep this girl close; if she gave you a kiss without even knowing you, just think what a conversation may bring your way.
The night is winding down and you find yourself close-talking with the girl from the countdown kiss. You’re on the homestretch now, just keep feeding her compliments but make sure they’re genuine. Girls can sense when you’re saying something to get in their pants. And keep the make-outs going too; this will keep the sexual energy building leaving you both craving a happy ending.
SHE SAYS: Whether you choose to take a chance on your Knight in Shining Denim, hit an after party and get crunked (I am using that word correctly, right?), or go to the all-night diner with your girls for a full biopsy of the evening accompanied by grilled cheese sandwiches, just be sure you are doing whatever makes you happiest. Despite what we all have been fed by Hollywood, New Year’s Eve does not have to be full of obstacles, romantic entanglements, and vows of love. Sometimes the simplest pleasures — great friends, an excellent kisser, and Auld Lang Syne — are twice as good.
HE SAYS: Things can get spotty at this point, caused by the mass amount of liquor and God knows what else you’ve gluttonously ingested over the course of the night. (Blackout may be a side effect.) So it’s best to put the big question out there: Will you go home with me? If the answer comes back negative, don’t give up hope, it’s New Year’s! Find your wolf pack and move on to an after-hours or all-night house party and start all over again. But if the stars are aligned and she gives you a sexy smiling yes, grab her by the arm, jump into the first taxi you can, and get as much face sucking in as you can on the ride back to your place. Once home, remember a couple basic things: Always be a gentleman, and of course, please before pleased. The truth is, waking up with a head full of regret on New Year’s morning is a whole lot easier with a beautiful (and naked) woman by your side.