Now that the holidays are over once more, let us relax and ask ourselves what the hell happened in the last couple of weeks. Kathy Minicozzi
When Christmas comes around, there are advantages to being single and living far away from any relatives. Here are the ones I have been able to figure out. Anyone who can think of another one – please post it in the comments section. I’m dying to know. Really, I am.
You don’t have to cook.
Unless it’s someone else’s turn to have the family over for Christmas, married people (especially women) have to go through a lot of work and fuss. What is supposed to be a holiday turns into a full workday for the person who has to prepare the meal.
The single person doesn’t have to go through all this. This is a blessing, because a lot of us are barely able to boil water. Seriously. I once knew a single woman who was trying to lower her cholesterol by eating oat bran. She complained to me how hard it was to swallow all that dry grain. She was shocked when I told her that oat bran had to be cooked in boiling water, THEN eaten. I guess she never had to eat oatmeal or Cream of Wheat when she was growing up, or she might have figured out that she was doing something wrong. She must have been a Pop Tart kid.
My own cooking knowledge is somewhere in between chef level and pathetic. I can cook; I just don’t like to do it anymore. It takes up too much time, it’s too messy, I’m only cooking for myself and I’m not very fussy. Unless it’s something gross, like chocolate covered ants or organ meat, if it’s edible I’ll probably eat it, especially if it has sugar or wheat in it.* If I can nuke it in the microwave or eat it straight out of the fridge, great!
Where was I? Oh yes. It’s a blessing for us single people not to have to cook Christmas dinner and clean up afterward.
You can pick and choose who you want to spend Christmas with.
This is a real boon to those of us who have obnoxious relatives. It is a special boon to those who, for whatever reason, are a disappointment to the family. If you pick and choose who you hang around with, you can be around people who brag to everyone that they know a real writer instead of around people who are embarrassed because you aren’t rich and they think you’re weird.
If you have picked out and mailed lousy gifts for your family, you’ll probably never know it.
Remember the movie A Christmas Story? Well, I’ll bet Aunt Clara never knew that Ralphie hated the bunny pajamas she made for him. Ralphie’s mother was sure to send her a letter telling her how ecstatic Ralphie became when he put them on. I think most of us are too smart to send bunny PJs to a 9 year old boy, but we have plenty of other chances to choose something that will probably spend its life hidden away in a drawer or given to Goodwill.
If we’re not at the family dinner, we won’t have to see the looks on anyone’s faces. We can continue on in blessed denial, especially when someone sends us a thank-you email to make us feel good about ourselves, even if we are crummy gift givers.
The next time someone looks at you with pity and says, “I’m so sorry you don’t have any place to go on Christmas,” smile to yourself. What they don’t know won’t hurt them.
*I have never fainted in my life, but the smell of liver or tripe could be the first thing to make me pass out.