If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me if I was back on the dating scene, I’d have enough change for, well, literally nothing because everything is ridiculously expensive- but I do get asked that question A LOT. If you’ve read even one of my previous blog posts, you know that the dating scene and I have had a pretty tumultuous relationship. After weeks and months of going on dates and exchanging flirtatious text messages, the end result is usually one of you ghosting the other or planning fictitious road trips that one of you has no intention of going on. Wouldn’t it be a lot easier if we could all just be honest and upfront with each other? (You’re right, that would actually be horrible, I take that back.) The truth is, I’ve made a conscious decision to stay single these past few months, quite frankly because Christmas is around the corner and I’d rather spend all of my money on gifts for myself! There’s no better feeling than opening up a little blue box tied with a white ribbon, filled with earrings that aren’t going to be tainted in 6 months because some jerk broke your heart. Let’s be honest, we all have beautiful, wasted jewelry from a previous relationship that is now stashed away in a drawer, or if you’re anything like me, on the pages of Kijiji, for sale to the highest bidder.
When you’re single, there’s nothing quite like the holidays to remind you that you’re probably going to die alone. Just kidding. But seriously though, how many more Christmases do I have to spend explaining to my relatives that I’m happy being on my own (for the most part) and I have no interest in dating their co-workers son, Chad, unless he’s over 6 ft and next in line for a sizable promotion. Christmas is one of my favourite times of year- the smell of pine in the air, the cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies on television and Mariah Carey’s ”All I want for Christmas is You” blasting on every radio station on repeat. Often times, as single women, with the chill in the air and the snow falling from the sky, comes the overwhelming feeling of desperation that you’ll never find somebody to meet you under the mistletoe or to kiss at midnight on New Year’s Eve. After watching a dozen W network Christmas movies that all seem to have the same plot line which always includes some totally far-fetched love story, we’re usually made to feel bad in some way. As if not having a suitor to take on romantic sleigh rides in the snow, means that we’re all sad and pathetic. I’ve spent my fair share of Christmases as a single gal and I’ve always tried to embrace the season regardless of my current dating situation. I even went as far as starting my own tradition of sending out a solo holiday card with a photo of my face on it (to all my friends and family reading this right now, you KNOW you miss those holiday cards!). If you think that being single during the holidays is some sort of devastating tragedy, I’m here to tell you why it’s actually the complete opposite.
- In-laws. Let’s just say, I have a hard enough time tolerating my own family, let alone somebody else’s. Having to divide your time between your own family obligations and your significant other’s, has to be the most taxing affair that can take place over the holidays. It sounds incredibly selfish, but I don’t feel the need to sit at an awkward Christmas dinner with your family watching everyone open personalized gifts, while I unwrap a generic scented candle that your mom bought me last minute because she didn’t want me to feel left out. You shouldn’t have Carol, you REALLY shouldn’t have. Everyone has that one person in their family (sometimes more than one, and if you don’t have one, than that person is probably you) who you’ve all deemed in unity to be crazy. Your kooky Polish nana may be endearing to you (though maybe a little bit racist), but I can only master the art of respectfully declining a Werther’s Original so many times in one day. Blood may be thicker than water, but luckily I don’t share blood with any of these people, so, peace out!
- Having to pretend you love the gift your partner got you. Guys, I know some of you really try to make an effort in buying your girl the perfect gift (usually because she’s tagged you in exactly what she wants on Instagram 326 times), but a lot of you really drop the ball when it comes to gift-giving. There, I said it. I wouldn’t say that every gift I’ve gotten in the past has been terrible. But I once received not one, but TWO mini cat calendars as a Christmas gift one year (wrapped individually, I might add). Bear in mind, my gift to him that same year were very expensive concert tickets. The fact is, women are just better at buying gifts, especially for ourselves. We know what we want (unless the question is what we want for dinner), we know what size we are and what style of jewelry we want to wear. If being single means that I don’t have to pretend to love a generic heart shaped pendant necklace in white gold, than sign me up for crazy cat lady status.
- Stressing over what to buy your significant other. Talk about next level anxiety. As much as I love to shop and spoil my friends and family with amazing gifts at Christmas, I usually have no idea what to buy a guy (unless he’s into something super specific, in which case he probably has everything related to it already). I really can’t bring myself to wander around the aisles of Cabela’s or Home Depot totally clueless for hours trying to choose the perfect gift, so fuck it, you’re getting a hoodie (obviously, one that I like, so I can steal it the minute I give it to you). Men usually never have an answer to the question, “What do you want for Christmas?” either, which is really irritating and absolutely no help at all. Just give me a curated list of items, organized by category, store location and price that you’ve been updating since June. Is it really that difficult? I’ll have my list ready by December 1, and yes, it’s laminated.
- Christmas Parties. Sure, getting all dolled up with your partner for a night out on the town at your company Christmas party or holiday gathering with friends can be really enjoyable, but attending holiday functions when you’re single is really where it’s at. Let’s face it, single people are becoming more and more extinct as biological clocks start to wind down and hair lines start to recede. The dating scene is just a giant game of musical chairs and the goal is to not be the only one left standing when the club music stops and the lights all come on. Being the anomaly at a Christmas party means that you’re arguably going to stand out in any crowd and your single and ready to jingle energy will radiate like the crystal ball in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. Unlike the NYE ball though, there is no chance that you’ll be dropping at midnight at a holiday party- you have places to go, people to see and an expensive dress to spin around on the dance floor into the wee hours of the morning.
- Arguing over holiday decor. I can honestly say that the best part of being single this time of year is not having the whole “white lights” vs “colour lights” domestic dispute in my house. I’ve seen actual couples threaten divorce over this shit, and let me tell you, I’m no stranger to this yule tide battle. I’d rather convert to Jehovah Witness than hang your ugly nostalgic ornaments or tacky tinsel on my perfectly decorated, Pinterest inspired tree. I’d quite frankly much prefer not to have anyone else’s input but I will demonstrate the art of compromise and hang your NHL hockey themed Christmas stocking…in the garage.
I’m not trying to glamorize being single because there are definitely times when it sucks (especially when it snows or when my shower drain needs snaking) but I’ve finally gotten to a place where I don’t feel the need to be half of another person to enjoy the holidays. Would it be nice to have someone to drag to a Christmas tree farm, drinking Bailey’s and hot chocolate out of thermoses while you engage in some sappy PDA for the sake of adorable Christmas card worthy Facebook photos? Of course, but I’m not willing to sacrifice my sanity or standards just to avoid spending the holidays sipping spiked egg nog for one.
Luckily, I have amazing family and friends who are always willing to be my plus one to any basic bitch holiday activity that I want to partake in. My December calendar is completely jam-packed with Christmas themed outings that will have me consuming my body weight in holiday themed lattes at Starbucks, getting tipsy on mulled wine and inhaling all the sugary treats I can get my hands on straight into the new year. The best part about taking your girlfriends with you to do all of these things, is that you don’t have to feel bad for making your boyfriend take 100 photos of you at different angles all for the sake of the gram. Your girlfriends have no issue getting knee deep in a puddle of snowy slush when it’s minus 10 outside just to get the perfect shot. They’ll also help you plan, edit, analyze each photo (because you took 600 in one afternoon), and brainstorm caption suggestions. If you do have a boyfriend or partner that is willing to do this, I suggest you lock that shit down and start designing your joint holiday card-STAT.
Whether you’re spending this holiday season alone or with special someone (congrats, really, I’m happy for you), I hope you and your kid’s Elf on The Shelf, both find the hidden stash of rum.
Natasha, just Natasha.