Christmas of a crap lesbian
At Christmas little children sing and merry bells jingle
The cold winter air makes our hands and faces tingle
Happy families go to church and cheerily they mingle
And the whole business is unbelievably dreadful, if you’re single.
– Wendy Cope
Wendy Cope doesn’t often get it wrong, but I think on this occasion she has. If you ask me, Christmas is the best time of year to be a carefree, no ties single gal.
While it is, I’ll admit, a touch depressing to imagine ones loved-up friends cavorting hand in hand through frost and dew-laden fields, building snowmen and having cutesy (and somehow mildly erotic) snowball fights, it might be more accurate to imagine them wrapping presents that they didn’t want to buy and rowing over whose parents to spend the day itself with, while one of them keeps their finger on the knot.
Without a doubt, this is the holiday where the single life wins out. There are myriad parties, lunches and drinks at which one can flirt wildly with whomever one chooses and engage in flings with unsuitable quarry safe in the knowledge that, when the gin has run dry and the last of the vastly oversized turkey has been consigned to the bin, you can claim ‘new year, new start’ as your excuse to make a hasty exit.
We also have the dubious highlight of the seasons’ social calendar – the work Christmas shindig. The volatile mix of free food (which will go largely untouched), booze (which will run out before midnight) and a bunch of people who wouldn’t normally socialise together, but who are determined to have a good time ensures the Single Girl will enjoy herself. Whether she remembers in the morning or not. Single Girl has no babysitter to rush back to, no husband at home brooding over his microwave meal – when the married, engaged or otherwise shackled, rush to catch the last train home Single Girl parties on into the night, considering that this is indeed the season of goodwill to all men, and batting her false eyelashes at the cute one from Corporate Planning.
With no need to agonise over the perfect festive gift for your beloved, the stress factor of Christmas is reduced, a major plus. No more traipsing round the shops in the cold and the dark, searching for some desperately longed for gadget that just keeps alluding you. Gone too is the fear that you might have to feign delight at another pair of hand knitted hiking socks or a bottle of Old Spice from a partners dotty old Mum, undoubtedly overcompensating and thus ensuring a torrent of similar gifts for years to come. Instead, afternoons in the run up to Christmas are spent with girly best mates in Starbucks, gossiping over gingerbread latte’s and comparing seasonal footwear bargains.
Christmas offers too an opportunity to cozy up to each of those that you’ve had your eye on over the course of the year. Large-scale social gatherings suddenly hit the twice-a-week mark, so you’re bound to run in to most of them, and you, armed as you are with a mirth and suavity provided by four pints of mulled wine are bound to impress.
In fact, that’s the beauty of the single life at Christmas; when you do (and you will) get smashed on cocktails you’re showing up no one but yourself. There will be no future in-laws to try stand up straight for, and no one will care when you fall off your platforms.
A single girlfriend mentions that it is rather nice to have a guaranteed kiss to mark the turn of the New Year, and try as I might I can’t disagree with her. I would suggest that the frenzied clamber for a suitable (or at least attractive) kissee lends an excitement all of its own to the proceedings, but it has been suggested that I am something of a slut, and I wouldn’t want to disseminate that belief.
There is, of course, the fleeting desire of New Year’s Day that it’d be nice to have someone to hold your hair back, but for a month of festive sluttery, that’s not too high a price to pay.