Christmas, apparently the time everyone and their dog gets engaged. A time for couples to share cosy weekend getaways, or meals with each other’s families and the exchanging of one another’s overly luxurious gifts, (I was really happy with my recycled sketch book, thank you mum).
A time for parading your relationship across social media, a competition of sorts. Unless, of course, like me, you are single this festive period. Spending your precious time away from work either entertaining numerous boring or perverted extended family members, or worse, actually witnessing first hand these happy – engaged couples. It’s times like these that we singles find solace in copious amounts of Bailey’s and red wine, however, it doesn’t quite quench the Christmas thirst.
A few hangovers down the line and you’re making silly decisions and face-timing your ex, reenacting Andrew Lincoln’s declaration of undying devotion to Keira Knightly in Love Actually. But soon, you realise with shame and an air of desperation that life is not like a Richard Curtis film. Alas, no-one makes these grand gestures of love anymore (did they ever?), and you must settle for less. Your thirst quenches. Something has got to give.
You scroll through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. All you see is diamonds, Christmas trees, happy lovers, HAPPY PREGNANT PEOPLE? It is all too much. You take an unnecessarily large swig of eggnog and you’re knee deep in your contacts, desperately seeking some form of Christmas crush. IS LOVE REALLY ‘ALL AROUND’, HUGH GRANT? IS IT?? You stumble across a name that you recognise. Pause. You remember. The back burner boy.
You forget how you know him, or if you’ve even met. But he’s been warming up. Just for you. Months or maybe years have passed, and this boy will still be at your beck and call. He’s alright looking, he’s got an okay job and he lives in the big smoke – sexy. You want some attention or validation over social media and he’s the answer, waiting for you at the end of his phone. You daren’t think how many of you there are, but you needn’t question his morals at this point. A cheeky snapchat, or a suggestive ‘like’ on an old insta pic of him shoop-ing down the slopes of Austria, and he is sliding into your DM’s faster than a bobsleigh.
It’s a mutual agreement between the two of you, you won’t meet up, you won’t ask about your exes, you won’t even discuss what you are. You just give each other all the attention you need for the festive period. You send each other cute bitmoji’s, moan about your work and lol at each other’s jokes. The back burner boy is a saving grace, the clementine at the end of your stocking, if you will.
In the dawn of the new year, you will go back to work two stone heavier, a heart full of hope and fridge full of vegetables, continuing the lifelong search for the one. But you will look back over your Christmas time, proud of yourself, you got through it – single – once again! But what made it a little easier, is that the back burner boy was there to comfort, humour and care for you, temporarily filling your empty void, (far better than the Baileys & 500 chocolate coins ever did). Three cheers to him!