Monday, December 31, 2007

The Key to a Happy New Year's Eve

Traditionally, New Year's Eve is the party night of the year. By law, you are required to have all the fun the universe can provide. You are supposed to laugh until Champagne comes out of your nose, look better than every other woman in the room, and kiss the most devastatingly attractive man you've ever met precisely at midnight.

Unfortunately, as most of us have figured out, New Year's Eve rarely works out this way. Sometimes you find yourself standing in the corner by yourself at a party you had to talk yourself into attending. Sometimes you get drunk and make a fool of yourself trying to get the attention of some guy who ends up leaving with somebody else.

But, even if things don't work out the way they're "supposed to," you can have a happy New Year's Eve. The key is to lower your expectations.

Understand that whatever you do, it will probably not match the hype foisted upon us by manufacturers of sparkling wine and purveyors of party dresses.

So, do yourself a favor and put together a Plan B:

Before you get ready to do whatever it is you plan to do tonight, stock your place with things that make you happy: A good book, a DVD you've wanted to see, your favorite CDs, tasty and nourishing food that makes you glad you've eaten it, and the best Champagne you can afford (Korbel is decent and reasonably priced ).

With your Plan B in place, you're safe to follow Plan A. If you end up at a party that isn't doing it for you, for example, you can try sticking around for another hour. Mingle as well as you can. If things don't start looking up, call a cab and get out of there.

Take advantage of Plan B.

Go home and enjoy yourself. Throw a luxurious party for one. Smear a bit of caviar on a cracker and write your New Year's resolutions (Number One: Treat yourself as a treasure that's yet to be discovered. Number Two: Speak to yourself as you would a beloved child). Watch that DVD. Read that book. Write a list of the qualities you want in your next boyfriend (or husband). Tape it to your bathroom mirror.

New Year's Eve is a time for reflection and a chance to make a new start. That's what I love about it.

If you go out tonight, I hope you'll have a good time. But, if you find yourself bored and disappointed, remember that you can always go home and have a much better time on your own.

Happy new year.