Happy New Year

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CC Image courtesy of Daniel john buchanan on Flickr

When you look through your 2016 diary, you’re annoyed to discover Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday again. Even though you’re single, were single on the last Valentine’s Day and have no reason to suppose you won’t be single in a month and a half’s time.

You embrace the New Year as a clean slate in dating terms, an opportunity to start anew: to put aside bad dating practices such as reminding guys who have forgotten about you that you exist. That includes the guy from Tinder who sent you a ‘Happy Christmas’ message but won’t commit to a date.

At 5pm on 1 January you send him a message saying ‘Happy New Year’.

BUT you won’t be carrying memories of failed relationships over into the New Year. No. You’ve decided – and this applies to both parties, to another human being over whose feelings you have no control, as well as your own, over which you have possibly even less control – that feelings are like annual leave: they can’t be carried over.

CC Image courtesy of cygnoir on Flickr

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Grey Day

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CC Image courtesy of marfis75 on Flickr‘Do you think all-over stripes are too much?’

My long-suffering mother thinks stripes are fine.

‘Or spots? Spots are nice.’

Sharp intake of breath at the other end of the phone.

‘Don’t worry, I’ll decide! Oh also…’

We’ve been here before – the so-called afterthought.

‘… did you get my email?’

‘Yes,’ she says, ‘and I replied.’

‘Oh…’

The IKEA bedding department has everything it seems, except Wi-Fi.

‘… I haven’t got it.’

‘Oh.’

‘So… what did it say?’

‘So… you thank him and say Happy New Year to you too, and that’s all.’

‘Yeah that’s what I was going to do.’ I sigh. ‘Yeah.’

 

I contemplate the message. Gone is the dry sarcasm of our early exchanges, the tentative questioning when I knew things weren’t going as I hoped, the thinly-veiled hurt of our final conversations. In their place is a quiet neutrality and it saddens me. I hit send.

Getting up, my eye is caught by a bed set slightly apart from the others. I go over to it and sit down, absent-mindedly stroking the sheets. I rise, walk round, contemplating it from various angles before taking out my phone.

‘Is all grey acceptable?’

Seems appropriate.

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Administrative Error

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CC Image courtesy of mister ebby on Flickr

My initial response is laughter, followed by disbelief.  My father is first on the scene.  I bring him up-to-date on Tinder, and my association with it, before reading from my phone.

I laugh.  ‘Does he think I’m a complete idiot?!’ 

I run a quick Google search.

‘I thought so,’ I say, reading.

‘What is it?’

‘The period between Christmas and New Year is the busiest time for dating sites.’

‘Really?’

‘Yep.’  I pick up the phone.  ‘It kind of smacks of someone – I dunno….’ I re-read the message.  ‘He must be very bored!’

‘Yes.’  My dad laughs.  ‘It’s like he’s catching up on admin!’

Sensitively put.

‘Yeah, well, I’m not impressed – and I’m not going to reply!’

‘It is a bit… insulting.’

‘At least this other guy had the decency to get back in touch before Christmas – that takes a bit more effort!’

But still.  Admin?  I don’t want to be someone’s admin.

CC Image courtesy of studiocurve on Flickr