3 min

Beating the winter blues

Several steps to surviving Vancouver's rainy season

Credit: Xtra West files

It’s that time again. The lights dim, the weather gets weird, and a profound sense of fatigue coupled with a teeth grinding anxiety hits.

Those of us with Significant Others, snuggle and cry and beg for reassurance that it’s only winter. But for the single folk among us, times are hard.

It was great being single in the spring, and fucking fabulous to fly solo in the summer (especially during Pride Week). But the dark and cold days leading up to Christmas are difficult for even the most independent soul to bear.

But don’t move to Mexico yet. We are here to help you.

Plan A: One solution is to do what the pair bonders have done, but on a short-term basis: get into a “temporary” serious relationship just in time for Christmas.

You’ll impress your relatives (at least the ones who don’t know you very well) and you can have lots of fun flaunting your “engagement” as all of your straight friends debate the merits of gay marriage. Everyone will think you’ve become one of the “good gays” that Jean Chrétien spent his political swan song trying to legitimize. (We won’t mention that we saw you in Stanley Park last summer.)

But this is only one benefit of falling in love just in time for the holidays. You will enjoy lots of sex and intimacy with someone just as desperate to not be alone as you are.

Yummy, scrumptious needy sex… hot, hot, hot in a way that can’t possibly last. But that’s perfect, because you won’t realize it until late January and you won’t do anything about it until your annual spring fling, when-Oops! Did I mention that I go off to Club Med every spring alone?

Once the fog has lifted (or drizzle in our case), your temporary lover may be devastated, but trust us, he or she will remember the break up as the best thing that ever happened to them because all the other temporaries will be flying the coop at the same time.

And you needn’t be embarrassed about pledging undying love that didn’t last in front of your family: they’ll be as relieved as you are not to have to deal with Mr/Ms Temporary any more.

Which brings us to Plan B.

Get a life or, more accurately, remember that you have one.

Think back to those times when the days were long and Christmas was at best a merciful memory or, at worst, looming in the distant future. How you laughed and played in the sun. You were popular and engaged in your life.

Anyone can lose track of this when daylight is at a premium and the Big Holiday is looming. Don’t despair. Follow these simple steps to renewal.

Remember, when it is raining in Vancouver, it is snowing just above the clouds on the peaks of the North Shore mountains. Seek altitude (that’s right, Altitude, not Attitude. Okay, both if it helps).

Ski, snowboard, or try snowshoeing. Snow refracts light and your body and soul will thank you. And if you play your cards right, you can comfort some poor out-of-town hunk who has hurt his ankle.

Exercise daily. Now don’t go and start some rigorous routine and hurt yourself; that would really be depressing. But rain or shine (it hardly ever actually snows), walk when you can. Forget your car, sneer at the bus, thrown on some gortex and take a change of socks and head to work!

And for heaven’s sake, if you already have a workout routine don’t quit.

Try a little yoga (this is Vangroovey after all), go for a swim (and check out the sauna afterward), dig out your skates (or rent some) and hit the skating rink in your neighbourhood.

Walk your dog if you have one. And if you don’t have one, go to the dog shelter and find out what being alone really looks like. You’ll be inspired by the simple joy a dog takes in being outdoors (but we caution against peeing on the bushes, at least in the city).

Set selfish entertainment goals: see as many movies as you can afford, invite people who put you in a good mood over for a casual dinner once a week.

Wear your favourite clothes every day.

Consume drugs and alcohol only for fun and not so much that you waste a day with a hangover that you could have spent doing any of the above.

Volunteer at a community organization. Even if you don’t feel like talking to anyone, you can stuff envelopes, take out trash, and guess what? Someone might ask after you!

Choose Plan A or Plan B. Or some combination of the two. Take a deep breath; it’s going to be beach time again before you know it.

What the fuck!

* In our next column we ask: if your girlfriend becomes your boyfriend, are you still a dyke?