Pinky Pie

My underwear, ushering in 2011 & Me

Posted on: January 1, 2011

My biggest fear going to two New Year’s Eve parties on Friday is that someone would ask me what color underwear I was wearing.

I worried about it for months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, seconds. Okay, I really haven’t worried about it. It’s more that I’ve been amused by the concept of New Year’s undies since reading about it on the web.

It turns out that in some South American countries – Bolivia, Ecuador and Brazil – wearing brightly colored underwear brings good luck. Wearing yellow at midnight brings wealth, while red brings romance.

My undies are my business. I thank you to mind your own business.

I’ve learned this important cross-cultural New Year’s information on the Internet, that bastion of all truth. I went prowling around the information superhighway looking for weird ways to usher in the New Year. There are plenty across the world, including throwing breakable dishes at the door of your neighbors in Denmark. In the U.S. you might call the police.

In Scotland, men walk through town swinging balls of fire over their heads, which supposedly brings purity and sunshine. In Ecuador, a scarecrow is burned to scare away bad lucky and anything bad that has happened in the last 12 months.

That sounds like more fun than an idea for a New Year’s party I found on the web that said, “Make It a Cleansing Eve.” The perky suggestion continued with: “Don’t just say you’re going to exercise more and eat healthier next year—start now! Tell your girl friends to show up at your place with their yoga mats and fitness gear in tow. Follow along to one or more fitness videos and take breathers by sipping on smoothies and noshing on grilled salmon and veggies.”

Anything with the word cleansing in it is probably not going to be something I’ll do. I wish those who want to the best, but I will not be joining you.

I won’t be going to Nigeria either. One tradition  there is for children to rush into the house before midnight and slam the door shut. If they are caught outside at midnight apparently they could get “carried away.” I think that is a tad creepy. If I wanted doors slammed, I could go some place with teenagers. After midnight, it’s apparently OK for everyone to go outside and clap and yell at the New Year.

In Germany, the people watch an English movie, “Dinner For One,” at midnight, a practice that began in 1972. The butler acts out all of the guests at this dinner party for Miss Sophie, drinking their portions of sherry,w hite wine with the fish, champagne with the chicken and so on. Here’s a link for the program on YouTube.

As it turns out, I should have gotten in the car early Friday to usher in the New Year in North Carolina. There, the Mount Olive Pickle Company had its 12th annual New Year’s Eve Pickle Drop at the Corner of Cucumber & Vine in Mount Olive, NC. At 7 p.m. the company dropped a three-foot-long, glow-in the dark pickle from its flagpole. That’s my kind of patriotism.

Here’s how the company’s website describes this important event:

“The New Year’s Eve Pickle descends down the Mt. Olive Pickle Company flagpole at the stroke of 7 p.m. midnight – that’s 7 o’clock EST, which also happens to be midnight Greenwich Mean Time. (That way, we are official, we shout Happy New Year! – and we don’t have to stay up until midnight.)”

I just want to say that I could get into this Greenwich Mean Time celebration, which would be 6 p.m. La Crosse time. I don’t know if the company’s Pickle Polka is held before or after the Pickle Drop.

I do love pickles, but olives have an even greater place in my heart, not to mention stomach. Perhaps Mount Olive, North Carolina, can work on that for next year.


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