What is it about those magic bells as December turns into January that make us desperate to lock lips with someone?
Despite having a perfectly acceptable time all night flying solo, the impending “clanging chimes of doom” (thanks Band Aid) of New Year suddenly make us feel more alone than ever. And most years, if your significant other isn’t already a) a thing that exists and b) somewhere nearby trying to pee into a beer can to save having to go to the loo, you end up reaching out to someone for a New Year snog.
But is this the start of something beautiful or merely a germ-swapping exercise to make sure you get most of January off work thanks to snog-flu?
Before you start tapping out your “So…? How’s it going?” text, run through this very quick checklist.
1. Are they actually already next to you in your bed?
If you got really lucky – or unlucky as the case may be – they may well have come back to yours to ‘ring in’ the New Year with you. In which case you have to decide whether to prod or let them awaken naturally. Or…
2. Are you already next to them in their bed?
Congratulations, not only have you spent a ridiculous amount of cab fare going somewhere you don’t even live, you now have to somehow locate your underwear/debit card/illuminated “Yay 2016” deely-boppers and creep out of their room, just so you can go home and send the text.
The walk of shame is only marginally made better on New Year’s Day by the fact that everyone else is too tired or hungover to heckle you.
3. Do they ‘belong’ to someone else?
Put yourself right back there, last night. As you were exchanging tongue with your Hogmanay hero, was there, rather inexplicably, someone just out of reach trying to get at you with hands outstretched?
Was there a cry of “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” Do you have a black eye? Or scratch marks? Or aching goolies? You may well have been trespassing. Do not send the text.
4. Were they the annual “make do and mend”?
Have you spent New Year with this person before? If yes, did you snog them before? If yes, do you do this every year? If yes, why don’t you contact them every other year?
a) You don’t really fancy them.
b) It’s just something you do every year.
c) They already have someone.
d) I always forget I’ve done it until it’s time to do it again.
e) I am madly in love with them and desperately shy – it is only within earshot of Big Ben and on the business end of a bottle of Sambuca I can show my true feelings.
If it’s the first four, put your phone down and use your hands to make bacon. If it’s the fifth one… well, let’s get realistic here, just do the same. There’s always next year.
5. Were they “just there”?
Again, ask yourself if you’ve spent New Year with them before. If you didn’t snog before, why not? What has somehow elevated them to snoggable status in 2015/16 that was not present in 11/12, 12/13, 13/14, 14/15 and so on?
a) I’m shy and was just about drunk enough to do it this year.
b) They weren’t single before.
c) I wasn’t available before.
d) They’re still not single but I really hate who they’re dating.
e) I just needed someone – anyone – to fill that void. To feel their skin next to mine, their rosebud lips pressed to my own, their sweet tongue dancing upon the back of my throat. Is that so wrong? Is it? Well?
Any combo of the first three and you’re good to go. The last two… make some resolutions or something to take your mind off it.
In other words, is this a close relative of a friend? We have all made eyes at the hot dad – did you make a little bit more?
Do not text. Do not phone. Do not call them by their first name when you see them next. He is Mr Johnson to you.
7. What have you got to lose?
Look, it’s New Year and everyone will still be in a post-firework fug, sweating vodka. Just send the text – they might be still merry enough to say Yes.
And if they don’t? Claim it was supposed to go to the other person you snogged. Let’s face it, after all those Sambucas, there has to be more than one.