December is the busiest calendar month of the year. Especially for Londoners. Especially if you are a single Londoner.
We jam-pack those 31 days full of brunches, lunches, after-work drinks, and dates with strangers in-between Peloton sessions. Sometimes, we even have two plans in one day (I know, bloody exhausting) to really maximise our social schedule. And we’ve earned it, we’ve worked for this.
Diaries start filling up from late October, and double booking becomes something that is unavoidable (apologies friends and potential husbands), but we don’t mind as it’s fun to be busy in December with something other than work. Because let’s face it, we only work half of the month anyway, right?
This year, 2021, despite the last one being slightly fractured, was no different. In fact, I opened my diary wide and happily started cramming it full from November onwards. This year, nothing would be a no.
“Yes, I’ll be doing Winter Wonderland even though I have no appropriate coats. Ok, I’ll come to the theatre show, the concert, the wine tasting, the client lunches and the Christmas Market with the handsome stranger. A Barry’s class before we sign off for Xmas, you say? Why the hell not. Axe throwing just for fun? Count me in. All of it. Fireworks, hot chocolates and a freezing rooftop for Sunday brunch. Sign me up!”
December for me has always been a social challenge, but one I love and embrace, yearly. There was just something so incredible about the build-up to the day where we all sit on a sofa and eat far too much. People finally start relaxing, becoming friendlier, more open and more accommodating. We start to forgive people for their usual annoyances, easing into the end of yet another year of our lives (it goes so fast) and loosen our belts ready to gorge. Pure bliss.
And, rather controversially for some who stop matching on Tinder for the month because they see no point, December is also an exciting time to date. I know, WTF, you say? But it’s the perfect time to meet without pressure or expectation and just have some harmless fun! You’re not looking for husbands or wives, but just single fun times without care. Because if you meet in December, no presents need to be bought, no serious plans can be held, and you always have the “I’m spending time with my family,” as the perfect get out excuse, even when you’re not. Especially when you’re not!
All of those places that you wanted to try for drinks because it looks Christmassy on some other coupled up persons Instagram, you now finally get to try it with a stranger and not care where it will lead, how much you drink or struggling to find someone to go there with. Just take a new date. December is all about the ‘try before you buy,’ and frankly, it’s pure heaven.
So, you can understand my sheer disappointment this year, (my favourite social time as a single Londoner) when stolen kisses across a bustling bar with mulled wine in hand, has instead become a game of guess your Covid status and ‘should I just bloody stay in instead?’
Thank you, Omicron!
Thank you, Omicron!
In the backend of November, mid-making my plans, Covid graced me for the second time in less than a year. Stealing two weeks of the start of ‘the most wonderful time of year’ and wiping out my social calendar, I thankfully got off lightly with a mild cold, cough and a constant ‘Sleeping not so Beauty’ like state. But, once I was out of isolation, what was to come was about to ruin all of our Decembers and potentially, Christmas…
Here we are again!
December, the social joy it usually brings me, had now been replaced with Covid breakouts (I currently know 8 positive cases,) cancellations, FOMO and JOMO… Because that fear of missing out had quickly become a joy of missing Covid for Christmas. Dodging those Covid kisses.
And, as we continue to see cases skyrocketing, a fear of ruining our Christmas every time we step outside of the house, our social and dating lives are just more casualties in our ever-lasting current battle.
Hold the mistletoe, cancel the party, keep your distance, please, and shall we just FaceWine?
Understandably, we are all concerned. It’s a zombie apocalypse right now and the goal is to make it to Christmas. Our Grandmas Brussels with pancetta and chestnuts are worth it, we know this, and what’s a cancelled plan or 20 if we save Christmas, right?
But even though I completely agree, and I’ve cancelled plans and had others cancel on me, I can’t help but feel even more deflated than ever on the month we usually feel the fullest. Because I wanted the kisses, I wanted the drinks with blankets around me and the handsome strangers at the crowded Christmas market. Our social December just the way it always has been.
But we can’t. I’m sorry.
Life right now is about doing what feels correct for us, protecting others and hitting pause on the dates. Avoiding Covid to protect the family and make it in time for the sage and onion, the only stuffing I’ll receive this month. Because even though I love December, and all that it brings, perhaps we all need to enjoy some JOMO and see what the new year holds.
For now, it’s lateral flows and a tinny outside, maybe even a brunch with PCR negs if I’m lucky, all whilst praying to avoid a positive.
Until next year, December. I’m out.
Related: Sex – Is it time to quarantine?