9.25.18: a rebel alliance of quality content
our facebook page our twitter page intrepid media feature page rss feed
FEATURES  :  GALLERYhover for drop down menu  :  STUDIOhover for drop down menu  :  ABOUThover for drop down menu sign in

happy new year, already!
when the greetings have all been said....
by robert a. melos

When is it appropriate to stop wishing people a happy new year?

We’re already more than a week into the New Year, and people are still wishing me a happy new year. Granted, the year is still new, but the sentiments of the holiday season are getting old faster than a tuna surprise casserole at a potluck supper. While I will admit being wished a happy new year is a pleasant enough greeting, in these difficult times I find the greeting as fake as all the artificial snow leftover at Santa’s closed up village in the mall.

Yes it is a nice thing to wish someone happiness but, like wishing my over-weight aunt a thin year, unless the wishee makes an effort to be happy there is no guarantee the new year will bring happiness. So this brings me back to my original question. When is it appropriate to stop wasting time wishing people a happy new year?

Should I stop the New Year’s happiness wish within a few days of the passing of the actual event? How much time has to pass before it just seems out of place to wish someone a happy new year?

A week seems more than a reasonable amount of time to me, yet I am still running into people whom I haven’t seen since long before Christmas, and they are still wishing me a “Happy New Year.” Now I don’t want to seem as if I don’t wish them the best in return, but saying “Happy New Year,” a week after the holiday just annoys me.

Also, being wished a “Happy New Year” sort of reminds me of the fact we are at the beginning of the year, when everything is new and the year is filled with opportunity and the promise of doing all those thing I put off last year, and the year before that, and the year before that, but have always intended to do if I just had enough time to actually do them. So hearing the phrase “Happy New Year” long into the year lulls me into a false sense of security, allowing me to think I have more time to lose that weight and get into better shape so I will be comfortable at the beach this summer.

Of course, every time someone wishes me a “Happy New Year,” I mentally slip back a few days, giving myself that much more time before I lift some dumbbells, or do some sit-ups. It also gives me a few more days to put off getting serious about finishing my next novel. After all, if people are still wishing me a “Happy New Year,” then I’m not really behind in my personal goal of getting six more chapters done by April and starting the publishing process so the book hits the Internet by July or early August.

Each wishing of a “Happy New Year” also makes me self-conscious of the fact I’m tired of just saying “Happy New Year” back to these chipper people although, “right back at ya,” and “same to you,” don’t seem to have the same pleasant sound to them. Yes, it could be my tone of voice, as I try to exchange the pleasantry yet again, but I’m sure I mask my annoyance with the reminder of my future failures due to my own laziness by chuckling warmly as I give them a pleasant “back at ya, buddy,” or “same to you, fella.”

I can let it go a few more days, but I don’t expect to hear any New Year’s greetings after the middle of January. By the time January 15th rolls around, I figure the pleasantries will go back to normal, and greetings will be those brief nods in the hallway, or little wave of the hand like you’re shooing away a fly, or the verbal “hi,” if people really must have oral communications.

At that point, when everything gets back to normal, I will have forgotten all about my self-improvement goals for the year, and not give a dumbbell anymore thought than I did before stuffing that last holiday cookie in my mouth after dinner. I will give my novel a lot more thought, and even make a few attempts to finish it but, things being the way they are, I will probably be distracted by some other annoying greeting which should be coming up around the second week of February.

Yes, the pleasant tone of “Happy New Year” will be greatly missed by me when folks start wishing me a “Happy Valentine’s Day.” Then I will go into my mid-winter-lonely-and-depressed-gay-guy-funk, which always occurs just after everything gets back to normal after New Year’s, and I forget the next happy holiday so many people look forward to is one centered on couples and being one half of a couple, and being in a wonderful and loving relationship, and all that drivel.

At least, by February 15th I can start to look forward to “Happy St. Patrick’s Day, buddy. Wanna grab a beer?” Now that’s a greeting I can handle, and I know, by the middle of March, I won’t be hearing any mention of a Happy New Year.


Robert is the author of the novels Cool Mint Blue, Melba Ridge, and the recently released The Adventures of Homosexual Man and Lesbian Lad; and the creator of the on-line comix Impure Thoughts found at his web site Inside R.A. Melos, as well as having been an on-line staff writer for QBliss where he had a monthly humor column, Maybe A Yip, Maybe A Yap. In his non-writing time, when he's not studying the metaphysical or creating a tarot deck, he sells real estate in Middlesex County New Jersey, hangs out with his dog Zeus, and spends time at the Pride Center of New Jersey in Highland Park, NJ, where he is on the Board of Trustees.

more about robert a. melos


altered scents
bathroom humor
by robert a. melos
topic: humor
published: 12.18.03

why i'd never be a good parent
traumatizing children for the fun of it
by robert a. melos
topic: humor
published: 11.10.09


adam kraemer
1.9.03 @ 7:46a

I'd argue that it can be used for the entire month of January, but only by people who haven't seen you since 2002.

Intrepid Media is built by Intrepid Company and runs on Dash