Sunday, December 24, 2006

I’ll be home (alone) for Christmas

Why is it so hard to be single at Christmas? I mean really, single, not just the not-married single, but the no current boyfriend, no prospects single. And an older single at that, whose majority of friends are married with kids, not the single with the fabulous “gal pals”.

I fully and lovingly embrace the single life. There’s no need to check in or budget for two (or three or four) or get the wet towel. There’s always the thrill of the flirt without guilt and the chance meeting. And I love Christmas. I seek out just the right gifts and wrap them using way too much tape. I put up a tree. I spend time with family and friends who I adore. But at this most wonderful time of the year, it’s the really single in search of the tradition. I do the “drop in”, coming by to share gifts and a cocktail. I tag along. We singles ask, “So what are you doing for Christmas?” The couples and the committed have a ready-built holiday social calendar.

I imagine some envy my holly-jolly freedom. There are no crazy schedules, school pageants and panic that you forgot the batteries. No time spent with the boyfriends’ grandma who thinks you’re not “right for the boy”. But there’s a trade-off. My Christmas Eve is spent with take-out, pinot noir and a Nick@nite Rosanne marathon. I don’t wake up Christmas morning, stay in pajamas to open presents and spend a lazy day among torn wrapping paper and the smell of new boxes. There’s no one making the coffee. There’s no gift from that one special someone to bring tears, to tell you there's no one on earth like you, that you are loved beyond measure and biological ties. The really single may romanticize the reality out of it, but I have the feeling some of it is closer to real than not.

We can hardly stand to wait. Please January, don’t be late.

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