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The Miami Herald
December 31, 2005 Saturday

Being single can be so much fun, especially if you know the right party

BYLINE: NATALIE P. McNEAL

In the house New Year's Eve? I'm not your girl.

Why would I give up the chance to wear fake eyelashes? Put on a cute dress? Chat with cute boys?

A party at my home would be nice, but I live in a one-bedroom. My dining room doubles as the computer room.

On any given night, I may be found at a South Florida gathering place. Bars, lounges, clubs all spell fun to me.

New Year's Eve shouldn't be any different.

I admire those who want to stay in on Dec. 31 and be reflective. Me, I like to click my heels.

One of my mottoes is ``single women do single things.''

I like going out New Year's Eve because I can. One day, I'm sure I'll have a hubby and a few crumbsnatchers that will factor into New Year's Eve possibilities. Until then, it's out I go with my friends.

Last year, we went to a big party in downtown Miami at the Bank of America tower. I still chuckle softly at the memories of my green pants with the black lace overlay. It's not often that working stiffs get to wear pants that are both green and lace.

I loved wearing my black velvet halter shirt. And my hair flip was too cute.

This year, we're going in a different partying direction, a big bash at a defense attorney's spread.

New Year's Eve is a great holiday for singles. It doesn't have the same familial obligations as Christmas or Thanksgiving.

I never could understand those who don't go out because they don't have a ''date.'' I highly doubt one finds a date watching TV.

New Year's Eve planning for my friends and me begins right after Halloween.

We start plotting and sniffing around, searching for the best party. Different things factor into the ''best'' party such as who has a hook-up with tickets and who is throwing the bash.

We picked the attorney's house because we went there last year for a New Year's Day party and had a nice time: An attractive crowd with an open bar works wonders.

My friends and I are all single and make the most of it. On the way to the party, we check out each other's 'fits. On the ride back, we always babble wishes of finding the great guy while reviewing the guys we met that night.

As a child, I never liked the New Year's Eve TV specials. Seeing a Far Eastern country celebrate New Year's before I could just never sat well. I must be in the fray. At least at a party, you can celebrate the New Year without the countdown getting spoiled.

Sometimes I think my mother, who's in the house when the street lights come on, is about sick of my, ahem, social philosophies. It conjures up memories of her ex-husband, my pops, who is the ultimate night outdoorsman. Case in point: My dad used to take my brother and me to the local watering hole with him when we were growing up.

“All you do is rip and run the” Mom “You can stay home. You're just like your father.''

I tease her, ``Apples don't fall far from the tree.''

To keep my perspective and family from worrying, I'll probably stop by an 8 p.m. church service (10 p.m. service cuts into party preparations).

But soon as the service is over, the heels, fake fur and body glitter will come on.

While I have good health, a growing 401(k) and friends who care, I will enjoy my life the way I choose.

I don't worry about a date or being single. I have enough married friends asking about my weekends to know that type of life is nothing to take lightly.

However, me on Saturday night in a gold and lace cocktail dress, well, take that seriously!

Natalie P. McNeal is a Miami Herald reporter and normally is a very respectable woman.

 

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