Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas advice for the lonely and single - how to make the most of your misery

"MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! We're here!" sang a bunch of my friends over the speaker phone on Christmas eve. One thoughtful deed deserves another. So I growl politely "bugger off...!"

"Whats with the grouch Bhowmik?" One cheerful elf asked while I could clearly hear giggled whispers of 'PMS" and "sex starved depression" in the background.

"I can hear you, you know?" I say.

I'm not anti-fun as such. I have tried fun in a hygienic and controlled environment and its fun.

But I have begun to dread this festival euphoria and the "are you having fun?" syndrome which hits worst when you are single, grumpy, and down a drink or two.

It is a must that you have a Plan.
The Plan includes pretty men and women clad in the latest boots and fur coats with posh accents. They must have the right mix of devilry and corporate suave to know a punch from a cocktail. And uh...they must be a part of your friend set.

Since I do not have such a Plan, and most of my friends look at the right hand column of a menu first and exclaim openly at the outrageous prices of food and drinks, once again I find myself alone at Christmas, wallowing in my private misery.

I feel the pressure of 'having fun' too much to handle every time a national holiday or a festival comes up. Every one seem to be asking the question I dread so much. "What are your plans?" Normally I ho-hum a bit, look shifty and say "Well I did have to line my kitchen shelves with newspaper..." Till a close friend pointed out the folly of it all.

"What are you, an ogre? Never admit that you don't have plans. Say you will be out till 4 am partying. No one will check up to see if you are actually downing tequila shots in a pub or wearing your ugly pajamas and polishing brass candlesticks."

Years and years of such constant pressure to "have fun" has forced me to come up with a list of things to do to counter frantically happy people who have perfect lives and cool friends to have fun with. It's the Plan against the List.

The List (for the lonely/single/divorced/widowed/dead/all of the above)

1. Stock enough vodka and lime juice to last a nuclear holocaust.

2. Spend the day shopping for peanuts, DVDs of F.R.I.E.N.D.S or Seinfeld or comedy movies

3. Come home by 4 pm, switch off your phone/blackberry/laptop/desktop. If company policy prevents you from switching off these gadgets then put them on silent mode.

4. Get dressed for the occasion. Best if you have a threadbare pair of pajamas and a sweatshirt/top.

5. Drag a pillow and blanket to the living room and make your sofa/couch/bed as comfortable as possible.

6. Bring in the drinks and the peanuts and stock it in reachable distance from the TV.

7. You are set for the night.

8. Its 930 pm and you are sloshed beyond decency. Get up, sway over to the fridge and get some food. This is the right time to call up old friends.

9. Call up old friends and slur "heyyy bitch...how are ye doing?" Most fun conversations happen when you are drunk. You will of course kill yourself in the morning, but hey, you are allowed your pathetic night out.

10. 11 pm. You are a rock star, but for heavens sake go to bed now.

You can alter some or all of these points in my list if the situation so demands.

This list always works for my lonely and pathetic life. It might work for you too. Or you can just go and buy a new set of friends on eBay.

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