Unicorn Hunting Season
Yeah, so, if you’ve read even a random smattering of posts since this time last year, it’s no newsflash to you to learn that I’m single. The trajectory of this matter has dipped and plunged, crested and troughed, taken a back seat to more interesting subjects, and during certain short spells, dominated not only my online writing, but probably my face-to-face conversations and personal emails to the exclusion of all other things. And that’s to say nothing of my general disposition – the days when, to steal a phrase from my friend J., I walk out the door wearing The Bitch Face, and wonder how come no one wants to date me. Heh.
Although hanging solo wasn’t where I’d expected (nor hoped) to land at 36, I’ve been kicking around single for ages now, and as days shorten, temperatures drop and leaves chuck themselves at the sidewalk, I’ve been feeling rather crappy about my single status. No one looks sexy in Canadian winter, what with the ten sweaters, longjohns, sturdy boots and nonstop toque-hair, not to mention few people actually leave their damn houses in the first place. It’s safe to say that the average dude you meet in January is stir-crazy, desperate to do it with someone, anyone, even if it takes him till dawn to peel her out of all that wool and thermal silk. In short, if I am single in October, I’m probably destined to remain that way till at least May, unless I am swept off my feet by surprise.
The magnitude of my crush on not having a crush right now, it waxes and wanes. Last Saturday night – Halloween, to be precise – was a nearly full moon in the sky and a cold, windy night, too. Shut in with my kitten, I considered the weirdness of wearing a tracksuit and staying home on what is, for most of my friends, an all-in kind of party occasion. I uncorked a nice red, put on the television then completely ignored it, and held lengthy conversations with my cat, that went kind of like this:
Me: Oh my gosh, really?
Me: No way! Are you totally sure? I don’t believe you!
Me: Come on now. I really think you’re making this up. I see no signs of a struggle. How did you fight them off?
Birdo: … (looks askance then just slinks away to the other room)
Ordinarily, I’d look back on that evening and think, “Whoa, dang, you really ought to get out more. In fact, from now on, if you feel a strong inclination to spend a night in, that is sure sign to put on coat and gloves, shoes and proper pants (no more of this fleecy shit) and get! out! of! the! apartment!” But, this time, staying in felt right, no matter how close to the brink of crazy-single-cat-ladyhood it may be.
And besides, look what I baked! A wildlife diorama, complete with fanged snails, unicorns with entrail trophies, fanged squirrels clutching stolen hearts and brains, and posses of mean bunnies setting upon the other creatures. Oh, and some flu-addled pigs, for good measure. Something to thin the shortbread herd.
My friend R. and I joke that come December, spotting us out doing something social is as rare as sighting a unicorn sipping at the bank of a brook. I’m certain there’s a correlation between too much at-home-ness and the unicorn cookies, some unlucky creature’s innards dangling like pink ribbons from their sugary horns. Hmmm…but, they were delicious, and I modeled the guts from only the best small-batch violet-scented marshmallows. I’m not sure whether that makes my Saturday classier or ten times more unsettling. Perhaps this will be the test of whomever does come along to do the “off my feet sweeping”: how charmed is he by my habits, my eccentricities, my trackpants, my cat?