I had my First Idea of the New Year at approximately seven minutes after midnight.
At three minutes to midnight on New Year's Eve, my phone rang. It was the Law & Order ring, so if you've read my previous post, you'll understand that I was more annoyed than anything. Who would be calling me at three minutes to midnight? I interrupted my conversation with Master Fob, accepted a Dixie cup of Martinellis from Editor Girl, and looked at my caller ID. When I discovered it was Switchback, I gleefully answered the phone.
"Pronto?" I answered, because I'm one of those missionaries who uses the mission language to answer phone calls from old mission buddies. After a good round of Auguri (which means congratulations, but also is what you say on any sort of special occasion), I asked her if she was calling me because she was alone for New Year's Eve. She explained that as her parents were headed out to a party, leaving her alone with her dog, her father turned to her and said, "Don't you have some... singles thing to go to?" Switchback opted to stay home with the dog rather than attend the "singles thing."
I excused myself from the party and stepped out into the cold and rain so that Switchback didn't have to spend the New Year alone; she and I could spend it alone but together. As I heard everyone inside the house count down to the New Year and begin singing Auld Lang Syne, I kept my eye on my atomic clock, insistant on bringing in the New Year at the correct time with Switchback. We counted. We congratulated. We reminisced. We caught up on what we'd been up to since we promised each other not to call anymore during finals week.
"You know," she said, "I'd go the institute library to study for finals. And for some reason I always managed to be facing the 'How to Deal with the Singles Problem' section of the library where there were all these books dating back to the 60s with cheesey titles like Single, But Not Alone." As she related her latest story of single's disappointment, we both concluded that the spouse search was pointless, and we may as well embrace singlehood and love it.
We've decided that we'll eventually move in together and buy a cat and write a book called One Plus One Equals One: Single and Loving It. It will be a book about our adventures as single women who are free of spouses and free of responsibility and who are absolutely happy.
I got off the phone with her a little while later, and rejoined the party in time for a couple sparklers before I was able to get a ride home. I was so caught up in thinking of the possibilities that I will have if I'm single and living with Switchback that I only realized at 12:40 that she lives in California. Which means that I didn't bring in the New Year with her at all. She brought in the New Year with me. So at 12:57, I called her and brought her New Year in with her. We resolve to start having many, many adventures, to be recorded in One Plus One Equals One.