It’s that time of year again. The trees become bare. I can finally wear that ridiculously overpriced scarf I just had to have. Decorations more garish than a Pride float’s decorate the city. And a harsh reality sets in: I am indeed alone over the festive period.
Is it just me, or do imminent, supposedly joyful, winter events make single folks feel somewhat inadequate for not having a special someone to snuggle on cold, dark December nights?
Throughout the year, I am more than happy to enjoy boozy or cultured weekends with friends, but as the trees become bare and frail, so do my emotions.
I begin to yearn for something to cuddle other than my hot water bottle. I begin to dread yet another Christmas at home with my siblings and their partners – me alone at the end of the dining table, nobody to pull the other end of my Christmas cracker.
I don’t know whether it’s the sudden drop in temperature that brings clarity and makes me realize my true desire to be half of a whole. Maybe it’s simply a reaction to a season marketed to couples and families, therefore creating an inferiority complex because I have no one to kiss under the mistletoe.
Finding a partner in the gay community can be a challenge, to say the least. Putting yourself out there can be exhausting. Dating and searching for a worthwhile relationship is difficult. Opportunities are few and far between, and when you do meet somebody, the chance of a spark igniting anything worthwhile seems bleaker than four months of snow – not to mention the difficulty of maintaining a relationship in today’s fast-paced and fickle society, where relationships come and go faster than fashion trends.
Let’s face it: finding a special someone who will love you back is like trying to find a decent pair of jeans at Boxing Day sales.
So yes, it’s no wonder most years I celebrate the season the way I spend the majority of my time: single.
I imagine some will relate to my predicament, while others may be thinking, “Just go out, get shagged and enjoy yourself!” And guess what? You may be right.
Why should we let this ridiculously cheerful holiday make us feel insufficient and force its codependent ideals onto us? We gays have had to deal with more trying problems. Why should we conform to the heterosexual vision that society and the media churn out by the stocking-load this time of year?
Maybe we singletons should take solace in the knowledge that we won’t have to search high and low on bitterly cold and overcrowded city streets, spending a fortune on the perfect present for our supposedly perfect partner.
Or we won’t have the nightmare of trying to find a babysitter for New Year’s Eve like our straight counterparts.
And we can spend some genuine one-on-one time with our close friends and family, which we don’t get any other time of year.
I guess being alone over this season has some advantages worth celebrating.
That said, I know I will feel a pang of loneliness as I settle down in front of the TV to watch this year’s inevitable repeat screening of the sickeningly romantic and festive Love Actually.
But then again, I won’t have to endure any relationship squabbles, which we know are notorious this time of year.
Instead, I am going to embrace the other spirit of New Year’s Eve – that a new year is a fresh start that can hold infinite possibilities – and I’m going to celebrate the best way I know how: being the single and fabulous homosexual I am.
But I suppose there’s nothing wrong with hoping that maybe, just maybe, I might get a kiss at the stroke of midnight from a possible love interest for 2012.
There’s no harm in adopting a little festive optimism, is there?