"You know what they say, the way you spend New Year's Eve
is the way you'll spend the rest of the year."
-- Hailey Nichol, The O.C.
I chose not to spend New Years with Valdosta. Or rather, I chose to spend it with my friends. Valdosta could tag along or he could not: those were the only options in my book. He accepted a party invite to his best friend's girlfriend's apartment.
New Years was intimate this year. It was just Harvey, her husband, me, Schmoozer and Swayze. For the first time the guys outnumbered the girls.
Before the boys arrived, I talked with Harvey and her husband about Valdosta. I shared that we still haven't had the DTR yet. Harvey's husband was very adamant that if he was sleeping with someone, he wouldn't want her to be sleeping with other people. I smirked and said that's why he's married and all the other boys are not. Either way, neither Valdosta nor I are sleeping with other people; we're still in the awkward limbo of dating and relationships. I don't want to say anything, mainly because I already did too early and I don't want to look desperate.
A couple of weeks ago, Government Mule was quick to advise to not pressure him to commit. At his Christmas party, Schmoozer had given me some great advice. He had said that girls tend to take the reigns and plan all of these activities for the couple to do together. He shrugged. "What do they need me for then? It makes me feel useless."
Valdosta does a great job of taking the lead. I don't call him ever. When I leave him in the mornings, he always makes a list of the upcoming week and our pending activities and days that we're both free. So I'll see you Thursday, he'll say. For a movie at my place? Instead of trying to control things, I'm letting Valdosta have the lead. It's not really something I've done before, but I'm confident that when he's ready, he'll say something.
"Relationships tend to work out when they're easy," Harvey said in a rare moment of seriousness. "Dating my husband was the easiest thing I've ever done."
I sighed with relief. For now, it is easy. But it's also easy for married people to give advice. Neither of these people have dated anyone outside of college.
Then Harvey's husband scolded me for my New Year's plans. "It's okay to not spend every moment with us," he said. "Eventually you guys are going to have to compromise on how to spend your time."
"No I won't," I said. "All of Valdosta's friends are coupled up, so I automatically win because I have the fun friends."
"Maybe he's looking for someone to do the coupled-up stuff with."
I scrunched up my nose. Just then Schmoozer and Swayze walked in the door. The conversation was over. We drank wine, played beer pong and watched Ron White.
Harvey poured the champagne and we counted down. "2010 was the best year of my life!" I cheered.
Harvey's husband was taken aback. "Very cool. I've never heard anyone say that ever." I guess the possibility of the new year overshadows the accomplishments of the previous year.
The new year rang in, kisses were exchanged and the champagne was drunk. I typed out a mass text message to my friends that couldn't be there. Because it read, Happy New Years! I love you! I did not send it to Valdosta. My phone vibrated from my back pocket.
"Hey, baby! Happy New Years!" said Valdosta from his party. I stepped into Harvey's foyer to hear him better. "Everyone here is kissing and it made me think of you, so I'm calling to give you a phone smooch!"
Harvey ran into the foyer. "Happy New Years, Valdosta! Baahhhh!" she screamed into my phone. "Bahhhhhhhhh!"
"Okay, I'm ready for my phone smooch!" I giggled.
"Oh, you're going to make me actually do it?" he asked.
"Just for you." He made kissing noises into the phone. "I'll give you a better one when I see you." He asked me to come to his party to meet his friends and he sent me the address. I guess Harvey's husband was right.
I left Harvey's house in suburbia and headed back into the city. Valdosta's party was in Midtown. Amazingly enough, I found free parking on 3rd street and walked four blocks to the skyrise. Valdosta was waiting for me outside under the building's awning.
"Valdosta!" I cried as soon as I saw him.
It was 1:45 a.m. and the streets were lit like daylight, but it seemed like we were the only people in Midtown. The ball drops in Downtown. He opened his arms and gave me my New Year's kiss. I love the look on his face every time I meet him; it's a mixture between surprise and excitement. The only other one who greets me like that is my dog.
He took my hand and led me into the building. The party was thinning out by then, but I got to meet the main players in Valdosta's life, the ones he had told me about. His friends consist of a few guys he's known for eons. To my relief, they seemed normal.
We stayed for a glass of champagne and said our goodbyes. I took Valdosta back to my place.
He groaned while he slipped into my bed, "Your bed is almost as comfortable as mine. What are your New Year's resolutions, baby?" he murmured.
"I don't have any," I said honestly. "I think my birthday list is enough."
He scooped me up and brushed back my hair, planting kisses on the nape of my neck. "I'm going to get in shape," he whispered. "I want to be in the best shape of my life for my 30th birthday this year. I'm so glad I got to see you tonight, baby."
"Me too," I answered.
"Let's watch movies tomorrow."