There is nothing cryptic or life-changing about what I’m asking. Neither is my question some deep thought inducing entity that will make you start journaling your journey in life. No. Basically all I want to know is when is it acceptable to stop saying Happy New Year to everyone?
I have an issue with people getting all positive and high-spirited about wishing everyone, including their neighbour’s goldfish, a Happy New Year. Stop judging me. Not everyone celebrates (yes, that’s a phenomenon you probably never heard about if you’re the cheerful, positive happy type) and it often comes as a shock to many when, by 1.30pm January 1, I’m merely grunting in response to New Year wishes. Don’t those stop at noon on the same day or something? There are others who carry on greeting you until June 23.
I know I’m not alone when I say I’m a bit of a grump in January annually. Many of us get paid early in December. Usually by mid-December our account balance is suddenly reflecting this magical amount of money we don’t see mid-month otherwise. This lulls you into a false sense of security, it’s the holiday season, there’s goodwill and season cheer all around and all of a sudden you start spending like you’ve just received a major windfall from a recently deceased relative.
Then, when the new month starts, people are busy being positive, lists of resolutions tucked away in their fancy smart phones as a reminder, you are busy fretting about January’s expenses. You have to pay bills – electricity, water, pay TV and if you’re a parent you’re trying to put together money for school fees, uniforms and the ever-growing list of stationary. There’s rent to pay, household expenses and not forgetting that because some of us made New Year resolutions of becoming healthy (or just thin!), you’ve just splurged out an amount of money that looks like somebody’s phone number when written out, on a gym membership at some swanky gym.
Take it from me, the regulars HATE you guys who descend on their turf every January. You work out only for that month, your brand new gym clothes (see? Another expense) are freshly opened from their packaging and the shoes are quite fancy as you make a nuisance of yourself at the gym by over-doing it on the treadmill then doubling over screaming for an ambulance when you get a cramp. You then need to recover for two weeks before you work out again and by that your ‘get up and go’ just ends up ‘getting up and going far away’. And no – you won’t go back to the gym. You just can’t be bothered.
So coming back to my original question – when’s a good time to stop spewing this cheer? For me, by noon on January 1 works very well. I know you wish me well and just because I’m not replying back to your mass forwarded messages and posting mushy messages on your Facebook wall doesn’t mean I care any less or wish you ill. On the contrary! I wish you well.
Now to the ask the next most important question us Kenyans ask each other in January – ‘Wapi karendah?!’