So, around this time of year, I approach my coupled friends and tell them: “You poor soul, it must be so hard to be coupled around this time of year. You not only have to put up with your own family’s holiday frenzy but, no, that’s not enough, your partner’s family piles on the demands and stresses. I am sorry that you can’t just do what you want to and sleep all day!” How often I glean a shimmer of a tear in their eyes when they recover from the shock that I – the single person – am so lucky. They quickly swallow down the jealousy and pretend that I am really the poor slop. But I know better than that: All the attempts to make me feel lonely are just weak cover-ups of their need for solitude. They could not possibly admit that what they want more than anything else is hide from the masses and have a carefree holiday. And, yes, they won’t admit that they are jealous of my freedom!
With the holidays upon us once again, I am faced with the annual question: what do I offer my coupled, family-committed friends? Should I offer them a replacement spouse/partner so that they can take the long weekend off to contemplate in solitude? So that they can join the scores of us singles who use these times to renew and refresh because we do not have the obligation to rush from one partner’s family’s house to the other? I feel so sorry for my poor coupled friends! As if the holidays aren’t stressful enough – now they have to do everything in duplicate. It is so draining to have to go to the dinner with family instead of kicking back with a pizza and watching old movies. A house filled with noisy kids and adults getting drunk can really depress that holiday spirit. My heartfelt condolences to all those who cannot just stroll through the woods enjoying the wonders of solitude.