Is it just me (again) or does anyone else find the repetitive and compulsory wishing of health, happiness, and prosperity for the New Year a little creepy? Somehow, no matter how sincerely expressed, all these good wishes serve as a reminder that there are other possibilities; that for some, 2006 will be a year of famine and divorce and illness and redundancy and war and plague and pestilence and bankruptcy and other natural and unnatural catastrophes. (Feeling cheered up?)
Here in France it's not enough just to say a short "Bonne Année", you have to add something along the lines of ...."et tous mes voeux pour vous et votre famille" or "et bonne santé" often followed (especially if you're speaking to someone old and decrepit) by "car c'est le plus important n'est-ce pas, ha ha".
Why do we do it? Is it superstition? Do we really believe that by just expressing the wish that our acquaintances won't be affected by bad vibes in the coming year we will protect them in some way? (What do you mean I have Bodoquin's Gonorrhea, I can't have, Lesley wished me good health last January.) In which case, may I suggest that we do what the Mormons do when they baptise all those dead people and start looking out the electoral registers and wishing a HNY in absentia to every name on there.
I love that scene in Indochine where Catherine Deneuve looks at her beautiful grandchild for the first time and loudly exclaims what an ugly little critter she is, then explains that this is just a way of tricking the gods into thinking the baby's not worth bothering about so that they won't try to carry her off.
So from now, in an effort to ward off all evil spirits, I think I'll be wishing everyone an Abysmal New Year.
Category: new year