I can't remember ever having a good New Year's. I remember plenty of bad ones: the one I spent being a grossly underpaid babysitter; the one I spent alone watching The Hangover, taking a bath, and packing; the one I spent watching a movie about a Palestinian suicide bomber the night before flying to Israel; the one I spent fighting with an ex-boyfriend outside in sub-zero Minnesota weather....
But last night reversed that NYE shame spiral. Last night was awesome.
Nick and Kelly invited some of their French and American friends over to their apartment, where we feasted on my ever-present pear and goat cheese crostinis and toasted each other over Fruit Star Expresses, my love-magic-and-danger-filled signature cocktail brought out of a long retirement for the occasion.
At 11:00 we left clutching two bottles of champagne and plastic cups as we made our way to Montmartre via the métro. We were worried we weren't going to make it to the top of the hill by midnight, so we scrambled up the steep sidewalks and staircases as fast as we could until we arrived, panting, to the hillside just below Sacre Coeur.
A cheer went up at midnight, as the people around us lit their flares and firecrackers and fireworks. Our new French friends let the corks pop on the champagne, and poured a glass for everyone. We couldn't see the Eiffel Tower through the fog--the reason we had come up to that elevation in the first place--but that didn't matter.
In France, instead of kissing that one special person at midnight, everyone does "les bises." As I kissed the cheeks of my friends, old and new, French and American, and wished them a "Bonne Année!" I felt so happy, so lucky, so grateful.
Wishing all you Francey Pantsers a 2011 filled with health and happiness.