Friday, 23 December 2011

Controversy Bingo

Normally I love people, but not on the 23rd December (except for Laura, because it's her birthday).

Today is the day that we have some relatives over for lunch, who arrive, freshly botoxed, from the South of France*. Then from midday until four they sit and play a really fun Christmas game with the grandparents, called 'Who Can Make The Most Controversial Statement,' or 'Controversy Bingo'. Some gems so far include:

1. Cousin Emma is thinner than Anne. I mean, she looks thinner. (My Mum counteracted this one with "Emma has a bonier face.")

2. That word 'gay', once such a lovely, wholesome word meaning 'happy' or 'cheerful' is being tragically misused nowadays. What a pity.

3. Boys are better at singing than girls.

4. Anne's necklace is too long. Never mind what Topshop say, it could do with being about six inches shorter.

Once we reached the annual 'Global Warming doesn't exist' discussion, a Christmas tradition as normal in my house as the tree and presents, my Mother and I retired to the kitchen in order to be angry in private.

I expected the usual round of homophobia and misogyny, but the cousin Emma comparisons are going a bit far. I mean, we've already established that Emma, a genuinely lovely person, is more polite and hard-working than me, and that she has a perfect boyfriend and never expresses anger, but now thinner? Also, this is not the first time I have recieved fashion advice from my grandfather, who is 87, and, to be honest, not an expert in this field. If he was Giorgio Armani himself I would listen.

My parents and I coped with the afternoon by happily counterbalancing the game of 'Controversy Bingo' with a game of 'Has She Had a Facelift?,' in which you summon members of the family into the kitchen under the pretence of getting them to lay the table, and ask their opinion on the matter.

In the mean time, I adopt the following personality:

I think its important to get all the ill will and general wankerishness out of the way in time for Christmas Eve, when we will all be full of the joys of the festive season.

*I think they're in London for Christmas, they just talk about their villa in the South of France a lot.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Love Actually Isn't All Around

For some reason Blogger wouldn't let me comment on Harry's excellent blog on being single at Christmas, so I am writing my own.

Every year, inevitably, I am single. This comes with questions from my grandmother along the lines of "Your cousin Emma has a lovely boyfriend. Do you have a boyfriend Annie?" I always say "no" while my parents deliberately change the subject. However I'm tempted by creative excuses, such as:

a) No Granny, I'm too busy having casual sex with total stangers.
b) No Granny, I am a lesbian.
c) Yes Granny, his name is Chad and he's my drug dealer.

A university friend of mine was recently accused by another friend of 'always being in a relationship.' She protested that this wasn't true, and she had actually been single for four months before her current relationship. It's difficult to avoid a bitter, sarcastic internal monologue going "Oh poor you. Four whole months, that must have been so hard." I try not to be bitter though, as some people just have relationships more frequently than others. I propose relationship communism, where love is divided equally amongst everyone. I could be the Chairman Mao of relationships.

As Harry said, however, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Statistically single people will not be single forever, and the general feeling of loneliness is due to songs like 'Lonely this Christmas.' Try to imagine a house that's not a home, try to imagine Christmas all alone.I like to think that refers to people who don't have families, rather than single people. After all, we all have people we love and who love us to spend Christmas with right?*

It's not like any of us would be spending actual Christmas day with a boyfriend or girlfriend anyway. It's just the build-up that's the lonely bit, particularly as for me that build-up takes place in Canterbury, a beautiful, historial little town full of twinkly lights and buskers singing 'All I Want For Christmas' outside old-fashioned sweet shops.

But it's important to remember (without meaning to sound cheesy, except, inevitably, this will sound cheesy) that we are not really alone. I'm not walking around Canterbury by myself, I'm with friends. We all have friends and family.** Think of the starving children in Africa. Do they know it's Christmas time at all?***

Well, I hope that put things in perspective. Remember, no matter how depressing the build up to Christmas can be, that's nothing compared to how catastrophically shit New Year is.

*As far as I'm aware, everyone who follows my blog has parents/guardians. If you don't, I'm really sorry.

**Again, I'm really sorry if you don't. I'll be your friend.

***If you're reading this, and you're a starving child in Africa, then it's Christmas btw.