New Year’s Eve, at least for me, has always been about nostalgia. When that irrepressible clock starts counting down towards midnight, not one part of me is thinking about the new year ahead, about the resolutions I might make (and subsequently break), about the opportunities that lie ahead, the strangers I’ve yet to meet and convert into acquaintances (and maybe with a little bit of luck and grace into friends), not even the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on January 1st even though I’m a huge college football fan. No. For me, as the seconds cascade away like rain drops down a window pane, I always find myself sinking back into memory.
But I’m no masochist. I only sink back into those warm moments of the past year. Whatever those moments are for me, they’re probably the same for you, or at least the feeling of them. And that’s the thing about nostalgia. It’s just this certain feeling, no details, no specifics, just a feeling, a yearning for the past though not necessarily the want to re-live the past.
If you could build me a time machine that would take me back to any day of the past year? Sorry, I won’t get into that DeLorean with you Doc Brown. I won’t because I can already get there through my own pangs of nostalgia, and the beauty of nostalgia is its inherent filter that keeps out all the bad stuff and retains only the good. Nostalgia is the sepia tone that gives everyone a sympathetic glow, friends and enemies alike. Nostalgia is the soft light that buffs all the sharp edges in your life so that you can hold on as tight as you need to. Nostalgia is returning home after a long journey elsewhere.
And when the clock strikes zero and we’re already into the New Year, and everyone breaks into “auld lang syne”, I sink even deeper into that bygone year. It’s only the morning when I wake with a massive hangover that the New Year is finally sitting like a twenty pound baby square on my chest, laughing and squealing, full of hope and opportunity and the threat of barfing all over me all the same.
Of course New Year’s is always greeted with the ceremonial kiss and what we are probably most nostalgic about is the love (or loves) in our life. This brings me to one of my favorite quote unquote New Year’s Eve moments in film. Most of you can already guess what it is because it’s so good: the end of “When Harry Met Sally”.
The little speech that Billy Crystal so charmingly gives to Meg Ryan like a homemade gift years in the making is pretty much the perfect romantic comedy monologue.
- Champagne and a song for New Year (thehimalayantimes.com)
- “Auld Lang Syne” (firstthings.com)
- Video Gallery: Best Holiday Hookup Scenes (crushable.com)