It seems that, according to the media and movies, the perfect time of year to introduce your family to your new significant other is during the holidays. After all, that way we can all act like we’re all one family already, right? Sounds great, doesn’t it? Makes you all warm and fuzzy, maybe?

Not for me. For me, the holidays get incredibly sticky and dangerous.

See, I have this friend who happens to be male. He also happens to be one of two friends that I have who live within a 50 mile radius, so I tend to hang out with him if I’m going to hang out with somebody.

We tried the standard, “Male and Female can only be friends if they’re dating” thing for approximately two weeks. Then we got over that, thank G-d, and we’re basically just good friends now. Easy, simple ending. Everything goes swimmingly now, right?


Since we’re different genders, I feel like we have to be careful of how others view our relationship (or lack thereof). All the holidays, November through February, are a minefield, and I’m wearing snow shoes.

First, there’s Thanksgiving coming up. It’s a great time to have all the family over for a huge meal, say what we’re thankful for, and be one big happy. But what if I want to invite my friend? It could just be that his family isn’t really feeling up to a huge meal this year as they’re pretty scattered. Or it might be that he likes my family, and my family likes him enough to invite him to the occasion. But to the outside world, it looks like he’s my date. Awkward!

Then comes the whole gift-giving fiasco that is Christmas. I’ve been giving my friends Christmas presents since pre-school. So naturally, I want to get something for him. Last year, it was really weird though. Just giving him his present, and he mine, in front of other people kinda made me feel slightly uncomfortable. ‘Cause we’re a guy and a girl, so we’re giving gifts out of love, right? And the thank you hug? Definitely PDA, and I can feel society smirking.

Oy vey.

January is, of course, New Year’s when you’re supposed to kiss at midnight. No thanks. And then, looking into the far, distant future, there is Valentine’s Day. But that’s just too horrid to think about this far in advance.

And the holiday season in general? Supposedly it’s the best time to propose. So I have to listen to all the “love is grand and glorious” stuff for four months straight. Ick.

For somebody who doesn’t believe in, or feel comfortable with, romantic love, it seems so superficial, that you should be expressing your emotions with diamonds or whatever.

I’m not saying that giving gifts is bad. I love giving gifts to people, but I do it out of selfishness; I love making other people happy. I don’t care if I get presents, but giving presents? I simply adore watching people smile when they see what I’ve gotten them.

So… my friend and I try to just ignore the implications that society draws from our unorthodox friendship. But the holiday season makes it more awkward and difficult to do so.


~*~ Gretchen ~*~