January 06, 2007

Statute of Happy Limitations

I'm confused. This happens to me every year.

When the clock turns midnight on December 31st, bringing in the new year, it is natural (and somewhat expected) to yell out a hardy Happy New Year to all those surrounding you. When you wake up the next morning, it is de rigeur to call family and friends and wish them all a Happy New Year as well.

A few days later you'll go back to work and see all of your business colleagues. Of course, you need to greet them with a Happy New Year, right?

So tell me, when does the madness end? What is the statute of limitations on Happy New Year?

It seems that everybody is entitled to one - and only one - Happy New Year. Heaven knows you wouldn't wish a friend Happy New Year on January 2nd then grant them another Happy New Year on January 4th. That is just a flagrant misuse of the Happy New Year greeting and begins to border on awkwardly retarded.

However, it doesn't seem right that you absolutely NEED to wish all your peers their single Happy New Years greeting. It is not required that everybody get their own personal Happy New Year. But my question is, where and, more importantly, when is the dividing line between New Year greetings and a good ole Hello, How are ya?

What if you see a friend for the first time on January 5th? Is it OK to wish a Happy New Year then or is it too late? I just ran into an acquaintance this morning while walking down the street. Of course, the first thing out of my mouth was a booming, boisterous Haaaappy New Year!! Yet before the "ear" even left the comfort of my lips, I began to wonder if it was already too late to say this. A feeling of slight discomfort crept into my greeting leaving the "Year" of "Happy New Year" hanging in the air like a limp, wet noodle.

The fact that she smiled and wished me a Happy New Year right back made me think that I was still in the acceptable time limit. But what about tomorrow, or the next day? What if people are still wishing Happy New Years in February?! When does this madness stop?!

Perhaps it just quietly morphs into Happy Valentine's Day, a holiday greeting with a very defined term limit. I dare you to wish somebody Happy Valentine's Day on February 15th. It just doesn't happen.

In the meantime, let me wish you all a Happy New Year before it gets too late.


21st Century Mom said...

I said it yesterday, January 10th, to a guy I hadn't spoken with yet this year.

I think it's time to give it a rest for the next 354 days.