Monday, December 21, 2009

"Depressing Year After Year"

I hate that I find myself agreeing with the results of this on-line poll:

PITTSBURGH – The most wonderful time of year is the loneliest time for singles, a telling new CatholicMatch poll reveals.

Nearly 3,000 members answered the question: “Which holiday do you find most difficult to be single?” Forty percent chose Christmas, while 32 percent said New Year’s Eve, 26 percent said Valentine’s Day and 2 percent said Thanksgiving.

The romantic scenes that play out in Christmas movies, commercials and songs – kissing couples, sparkling diamonds, happy endings – can painfully underscore the absence of a significant other, respondents said. “Is anyone familiar with that jewelry store Jared?” asked Monica-390419. “Their commercials are enough to make you gag. I recluse from Nov. 1 until Jan. 1, and then it’s safe to come out.”

Julio-512347 admitted, “In the past there have been occasions where I’ve just slept through it all and was glad it was over.”

A fire is less delightful with no one to hold tight or kiss goodnight, singles lamented. Even a beautiful Christmas Mass can be difficult, Katherine-489999 noted. “People kind of look at you as if to say, ‘So where is your guy or hubby?’ It makes me feel rotten.”

Attending holiday parties without a date is hard for many CatholicMatch members. “It’s like being alone in a crowd,” Donna-462418 explained. Others dread family gatherings, where uncles tease, aunts quiz and grandparents examine left hands. “You go to your families and see all your cousins and everyone engaged or newly married with newborns,” Daniel-228472 wrote. “It gets depressing year after year.”

But if Christmas induces the most pointed, prolonged sense of loneliness among singles, New Year’s Eve takes a close second. Respondents vented about the awkward midnight kiss and the lack of partnership entering into a new year. “Everyone is paired off and dressed up,” Denise-464246 wrote. “Sitting at home with my bottle of sparkling cider is boring – even if I put on my nice PJs.”



Heather said...

Agreed, but I will remind you Paul, and anyone reading Paul's blog-

on the verge of blowing off midnight mass at the prospect of going alone for yet another year, I decided that it was better to go alone than not at all. And I met my future husband at midnight mass that night.

It is depressing, but you can never give up hope.

Adoro said...

(FYI - am not sure if my initial comment went through, blogger was giving me an error message but "cycled" long enough to make me believe the comment may have gone through. Please delete it if it DID come through! I misunderstood Heather's comment - read too fast due to the weird space in it. I edited my comment here and below is what I intend to be posted! Thanks and sorry!)

I have to say I disagree.

I'm single, probably perpetually so, and a few years ago I would have agreed.

But the problem was because of my focus. If you look at Christmas and the Christmas season as a time of romance, then first of all, you're missing the point're missing what it's about.

Seriously..romance had NOTHING to do with the birth of Christ, who came into the world in a cave covered in oxen and sheep dung,only to be laid in a manger lined with camel spit.

With a holiday like this, there really is no room for self-indulgent whining just because we singles don't have someone to kiss at various parties.

Yes, I've been to those, too, both with a friend as a "date" and alone, but really, the attitude that "others are staring" is so overblown it's sickening.

New Year's Eve...I still go to parties at my friend's homes, most of them are married, but neither I nor the other singles there feel a bit weird. Maybe it's because the focus there is on Christ, too.

Valentine's Day...has nothing to do with the Saint after which it is named. It's nothing but a commercial holiday to give us marked-up-in-price candy and a boon to the flower industry.

I used to be highly uncomfortable, but the odd thing was that even if I DID have a boyfriend, the day in question never measured up anyway.

Romance isn't in the's in the every-day. It's in reality, especially in the worst parts of it.

Heather, this is addressed to you and the same audience YOU addressed! :-)

Better we point out to those who want to "blow off Mass" what's really going on. After all, why blow off Mass just because you don't have anyone to go with? Isn't Jesus enough?

I go to Mass alone and have for years, and in fact, I LOVE it! It's the only way I can actually focus on what's really going on, not dragged out of prayer by my friend or family member making some kind of a comment, etc.

Sure, I enjoy going with others, too, but always find that it's not the "others" that make Mass important; it's how willing I am to engage in the massive mystery taking place, bringing us each and every time through the Nativity of Christ, the preparation for His birth, His life itself, and finally the Passion, Death, and Resurrection.

We are brought to the foot of the Cross during Mass. The Sacrifice of Calvary is made present for us, all through the power of the Holy why blow off Midnight Mass when the ONLY one who will EVER love you as you were born to be loved is waiting for your very presence?

Heather said...

Adoro, I don't think Christmas is about romance either. But at some point in your life, you want to share what Christmas means to you with someone else- a spouse, children- and it gets frustrating when it doesn't work out. Four years ago, when I dragged myself to midnight mass alone, I didn't mean "without a significant other" I meant ALONE. I lived alone, went to church alone, spent Christmas alone in my apartment, and as happy as I was that it was Christmas, I was lonely.

More Christmasses ago than I can count, going to midnight mass saved me in more ways than I can count, and started a 10 year process towards my conversion. Trust me, I know what Christmas is about. But we are all human, and want people in our lives. Knowing Paul as I do, I know he wants a significant other. I know he has a great family and is going to have an amazing Christmas visiting all hos relatives. But I don't want him giving up hope on finding what he is looking for, to share all of that with.

Fran said...

My words are simply this - God is relational, not an abstract idea. It is not so much (says this person who did not marry until age 49) so much about romance, but rather relationship and community.

Relationship is essential to Christianity, particularly to Catholic Christianity.

The longing for heart connected to heart is as much a part of longing for romantic connection as it is to longing for connection to the heart of our God.

Of course, I could be wrong.

Christmas blessings, love and connection for one and all.