Love in the Time of Vodka

22 November 2007

It’ll Be Lonely This Christmas…

I’ll be blunt: Operation London failed – abysmally. I remain unambiguously Single. And now the holidays loom, richly laden with all those occasions when one really doesn’t want to be alone, and I find myself gazing upon the prospect of mine being a very white Christmas indeed.

But Christmas, I hear you cry indignantly, is still a month away. Just because they dribbled fake snow on us in market square on Sunday, and Boots looks like a bunch of five year-olds had a ‘Christmas craft’ party in there, does not mean there isn’t still plenty of time to snare some unsuspecting innocent. However, alas and alack, today is my birthday, marking a hideous Bridget Jones moment when the abyss of enduring spinsterhood yawns before me, before retreating again in behind a vodka-induced haze.

(My one consolation is that I don’t seem to be ageing. Physically or mentally. I’ve often hinted to the Devil that I’m interested in exchanging my soul for eternal youth and beauty, but as I haven’t heard back from him yet, I’m waiting for the wrinkles to appear any day now. Either them or a mysterious portrait.)

My birthday signals the beginning of that season of goodwill to fellow men. Now I’m quite up for anything good involving my fellow men, but it’s not easy to be full of ‘good’ cheer when you have to contend with the hassle of keeping yourself warm, whilst other people have the convenience of someone else’s arms to help out. Unless, of course, cheer just is a euphemism for mulled wine.

Fortunately, I’m not actually going to wallow alone in drunken self-pity, caterwauling dismal songs a la Bridget. I return, thankfully, to a household composed exclusively of women, where all thoughts of man-troubles fade away under the onslaught of endless mince pies and the joys of ‘Last Christmas’ played on repeat. There’ll be the delights of period dramas and old movies on television, shown just to reassure us all of the inadequacy of modern man. “There’s nothing wrong with you, darling,” Cary Grant seems to say, “except you were born too late”. Furthermore, ‘real’ men seem increasingly unappetising after regular exposure to the pictures of Aragorn and Hugh Jackman adorning the front of our fridge.

Yet there are many reasons to give thanks for being single at Christmas. Crucially, you never have to enter the perilous field of romantic present exchanges, which in my experience usually result in all romance evaporating faster than a Cambridge snowfall. Men are plain difficult to buy for, and if I hadn’t seen them get all gooey and upset about it, I’d swear they chose our presents out of pure perversity. The reason I have seen them get all gooey and upset is because, when I don’t like my present, I don’t mince my words.

In my opinion, if the dolt’s gone and bought you another of those abhorrent Clinton’s Cards teddy bears, he deserves some severe punishment. Especially if it has ‘I love you’ inscribed across its ghastly grey belly. Or, if, as happened this day two years ago, it’s a Paperchase snow globe he picked up on the way from the station. (I did once receive a love poem, but unfortunately it was written by my boyfriend’s best friend.)

And so, O festive singletons, take heart – you are not alone. I downright refuse to have me a blue, blue, blue, blue Christmas, and so, therefore, should you. Anyway who needs men when you’ve got Cluedo, truffles and It’s a Wonderful Life? Or perhaps a little romance will turn out to be the icing on your cake. Hopefully cakes plural, in my case.