THE ART OF BEING SINGLE

Helium balloons and soft toys shaped like internal organs. It sounds like the makings of a thrilling time, doesn’t it? It’s unforgivably deceiving, the entire façade of Valentines Day, but that is why I love it. It’s as if I’m watching the most intense and ridiculous romantic drama take place over the span of a few days.

You have happy couples strolling down the street, grinning serenely as they anticipate the arrival of Valentines Day, however, at least one half of that love-sick pair is bound to forget the occasion and end up having to present a can of condensed milk and tinned sausage to their lactose intolerant, vegetarian partner.

The wafting scent of chocolate and red roses stinks out the street like Mustard Gas when the dreaded day arrives. I look on fondly as people sprint in their pyjamas like greyhounds to corner shops and card stores before the crack of dawn, in the hope that their futile efforts will save their relationship for disaster.

I am single and free of obligations, Valentines Day is the only day of the year when I am #WINNING.

The good bit comes afterwards. As February 15th rolls into town, I take pleasure in strolling up and down the seasonal aisle of Tesco to embrace the essence of crushed dreams and unreturned texts, whilst I rid the shelves of discount chocolate and cheap wine.

Happy Valentines Day to me.

CHRISTMAS MAKES MONSTERS OF US ALL

As the most wonderful time of the year draws near and you prepare to gain 30 pounds in the space of two days, there are a few things to keep in mind.

It is cold. It is stupidly cold, the kind of cold that makes me jealous of the equator. ‘Ooh look, they’ve gone and set their pudding on fire,’ God said ‘let me extinguish it with an expensive British winter!’

To avoid leaving your toes in your boots, I suggest you eat some ginger. Don’t ask me why, but my mum always said that ginger keeps you warm and in good health, she even made tea with it once and I don’t mean ginger and lemon tea, I mean she made English Breakfast with ginger water.

Come wintertime, my kitchen becomes a bloody ginger wonderland. I tried to point out to my mum that the guy from Titanic chugged from a flask of alcohol in preparation for being plunged into the cold ocean and perhaps I should do the same before a Christmas dinner party, but she wasn’t convinced.

‘Tis the season to be grouchy, fa la la la la, la la la la. Oh bow down to the everlasting cycle of headaches  and streaming eyes and no, I am not talking about the family gathering. As the scent of gingerbread and mistletoe fills the air, so does the smell of Vicks and Soothers.

It is Christmas, and an overweight, child spying man is rolling into town on an oversized dinner tray, we must greet him like a tenor choir. If he’s lucky, we may even choke up a ball of phlegm and leave it on a dish for his reindeer. Make Santa feel welcome, kids.

Speaking of Santa, why do children find it magical that a stranger, with an unhealthy BMI and an army of slaves, plunges down the chimney and into their home without warning. The guys even eats your food, for crying out loud!

When my neighbour found me with a hand in her Rice Crispies and a huge bag slung over my shoulder, she threw a saucepan at me and called my mother. Yet nobody has called Santa’s parents, he skips away scot free, whilst calling out the name of a gardening implement and jingling his damn bells.

Now, let’s talk poultry. It’s around this time of year when turkeys begin to pen their wills, and we all feel bad about that, but what about the chickens?? They’ve been demoted, turkeys are bigger, better, more exclusive. Even turkey sandwiches are celebrated, hardy anyone thinks to Instagram their stodgy old chicken sandwich.

It’s not until January, when we find that we can only fit a single finger in our mitten, when we go crawling back to chickens to save us. Bye bye steak and beef, hello chicken, you beautiful, nutritious alternative! Well, let me tell you a little something! Chicken is sick and tired of being your rebound bird, watch out for salmonella.

Arson is always on the rise come Christmas time, electric blankets, candles, pudding. Pudding is a beautiful thing, sacred even. For any non- British people out there, Christmas pudding is this brown/grey gritty mound, composed of something that was probably fruit a long time ago. It’s bad enough that it looks like a pie made of a sack of mouldy tea leaves, but folk have taken it upon themselves to douse it in sherry and burn it to cinders, before scraping the remains onto party plates for people to flush down the bog.

This cruel, cruel practice has left me so disheartened that I often feel like dousing myself in alcohol and setting myself on fire too.

 

Happy holidays to you all.