“Happy New Year”

So I’ve been listening these past few days as my mother in law has happily wished people a happy new year. I, too, wish people a happy new year. But, really, I’m not sure why.

Does wishing people a happy new year impact the happiness of a new year? I’m being serious—do the words make even the slightest impact on the joy or lack thereof a person will experience over the 365 days of 2011? I know … I know—the conventional answer (and, I suppose, logical answer) is that the words are stated not as a utilitarian device, but simply in the name of kindess. Blah, blah.

I just think, when you really ponder this one, it’s silly and sorta stupid. When someone says, “Happy birthday!” on your actual birthday, well, I can see a direct connection. A person who loves you wants you to have a great day. On that day. It’s immediate, and might add to the glow. But a year is a long time. You wishing me a happy new year one time doesn’t guarantee prolonged success for my family, no leaks for my house, my book not winding up on the $1 shelf at Books-A-Million. Really, the words are just words, stated with the absentmindedness of a sneeze.

Ha. That was fun.

Happy new year!

PS: And why is “New Year” supposed to be capitalized? It’s sorta like ordering a Venti instead of a small.

2 thoughts on ““Happy New Year””

  1. I think there is a conspiratorial nature to the wish for others to have a happy new year. A lot of it is habit, politeness, something to say…

    but I think a part of it is that we have all survived the holidays, we don’t have to worry if you celebrate Christmas or any other religious holiday, and there is that light at the end of the tunnel. We’ve stood on ceremony for over a month, we’re just about free, and well, you know, we are neighbors, we share this world, this time, and fuck it, this is the one time each year, where you can say, basically, ‘I hope shit works out for you, nice to have met you’.

    I rank it above ‘take care’, ‘take it easy’, ‘best’, etc.

    so,

    Happy New Year ya bastard!

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