It’s always difficult to feel the magic of Christmas ebb away each year. It’s an almighty killjoy of a sensation that puts me in a thoroughly grumpy mood for January. As the new year came in I looked down at my protruding food-stuffed tummy and groaned about the hassle of having to cram all of the Christmas decorations back up in the loft. I mourned the fact I didn’t get to sit in front of the telly all day any more and instead had to return to the merciless reality of work. But the worst thing about the post-Christmas period? The marital explosion that took over my Facebook news feed.
Obviously the electric sparkle of love and goodwill that dominates that special festive time of year has an effect on those happily paired off. They get to spend time planning surprises and treats, writing cute gift tags and enjoying sickeningly picturesque snowball fights. Well, I imagine that’s what they do. How am I to know? Regardless, it seemed that apparently, 2011 was the year for the joyously settled to make things official all over my Facebook. There were no less than nine engagements announced between Christmas and New Year. Nine. Of course, the human part of my soul reached out with only the warmest and most genuine of congratulations. But the darkest, shadowy parts, the ‘single’ parts… they all went off to have a little cry.
It’s difficult to put your heart fully into dashing out to buy a new hat when it’s aching with the desolate loneliness that being a spinster-in-the-making can bring. Your heart that is, not the hat. To be fair, you can never feel sad in a fabulous hat. Either way, right now, I’m as far away from getting married as I possibly can be. I haven’t yet got that man to be ‘in a relationship with’ on Facebook. There aren’t annual photo albums of our holidays, or plans to move in. I haven’t got that rich history of several years’ worth of relationship to build the foundations for a married life. Woe is me?
Maybe not. I’ve decided that this is something that I’m just going to have to turn into a positive. While I may not have a ring on my finger, it does mean that I’ve got plenty more years to have fun. Maybe I should see all these Facebook updates and think to myself that I should make the most of my shackle-free lifestyle. I need to say to myself that right now, I’m as far away from being tied down as I possibly can be… and that leaves a wonderfully large scope for very good times indeed. Footloose and man free, the world is my oyster. I don’t have to make joint decisions, share joint bank accounts and create joint dreams. There’s plenty of time until I have to worry about something as vexing and responsible as marriage.
So for now, I can just look forward to the potential of attending nine weddings and buying nine different fabulous hats.