So Reader, this is my first Christmas in 5 years as a singleton. I feel like Bridget Jones, only younger and with a smaller flat. And not because I have two dashing men on the scene-no, it's more the cheesy knitted jumper, cringey moments and eating all the food in the house (including, in one tragic moment, a jar of lemon curd). Oh, and going back home for the holidays, which means I'll be sure to be asked the question all singletons dread, 'So, any men on the scene?'
No. There are no men on the scene. The scene is completely lacking in testosterone. Apart from gay men. And very very young ones. Instead of dates, my evening now consist of drinks with the girls (we like to call them platonic date nights-they tend to consist of sushi, dancing on boats, festive booze outside old man pubs and the sort of laughter you only do when you don't give a rats arse how you look or sound), nights on the sofa with my housemate and dinners with the parents. On the rare occasions I do meet guys I have a connection with, they are invariably taken. On a number of occasions, this has led to awkward situations (talking about the guy you fancy to your friend, then being introduced to the girlfriend you didn't know about who was listening the entire time anyone? Kill me now.) and downgrading my flirting far too late into the conversation as it slowly dawns on me that the Fifi they've been talking about is in fact, their significant other rather than their sister.
And of course everyone else in the world is getting married. I'm going to four weddings next year. FOUR. Generally I'm pretty happy being a single lady, but there's nothing like the inevitable stream of facebook posts telling you that 'Terry and Andre are engaged!' or 'Penny and Marcus are tying the knot!' to make you feel a little left behind. Your mid twenties seem to provoke a fight or flight reaction-you evaluate life and either break up with your partner or start getting married and having kids. Meanwhile, if you're anything like me, you're trying to work out the perfect hot chocolate/ biscuit combo and being outraged that your parents suggested not leaving out a mince pie for Santa this year. And I keep getting told that we're the 'It'll do' generation, who just settle. I don't want to settle! I want true, gut punching, knees wobbling, head spinning love! Not 'Ah, he's alright I suppose' vague affection!
It doesn't help that this is one of the most romantic times of year. Holding hands round Christmas markets, buying joint Christmas pressies, having snowball fights and then cold kisses after, roaring fires and twinkly lights at every turn. You kind of even lose your enthusiasm for Christmas films a bit-Love Actually is less appealing when the character you most resemble is the secretary who tries way too hard and doesn't get even a snog out of it (HAH, only joking, I'd never be that forward! I'm far too shy for all that nonsense!) and Miracle on 34th Street is less charming when you keep yelling 'JUST BE NICE TO HIM YOU DAFT COW! HE'S PERFECT AND WANTS TO MARRY YOU DESPITE YOUR STUPID FLICKY HAIR AND PRECOCIOUS BRAT OF A CHILD AND BESIDES, HE'S BEST FRIENDS WITH SANTA!'. Me and the lovely SJ keep saying we're going to give up on men and become platonic wives with the perfect home. I'll have the kids from a handsome gay sperm doner, she'll bring the money in and hire someone to nanny when I have an acting job and we'll both get wonderfully fat. We might miss actual romance though, so we'll keep it an open marriage just in case.
So this year, when well meaning relatives ask me 'Any men on the scene?' I'm going to look them dead in the eye and say
Hope you're all enjoying the festive period Reader, whether you're a single pringle or loved up!