I was excited for Christmas until Match.com told me I shouldn't be.
The dating website has been running a new TV ad, "I Met Someone." The phrase is repeated by different people in different scenarios, but the camera lingers on a final scene at a holiday dinner, where a young woman leans in to an elderly relative and says, "I met someone," to much rejoicing.
Don't do this, Match.com.
Don't turn Christmas into a day to make single people feel bad about being single. Save that for Valentine's Day, New Year's Eve, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Let us just have this!
Christmas is pure. It's a holiday for celebration of faith, family, and childlike wonder.
We're celebrating the birth of Christ, a holy infant, an immaculate conception.
And you choose now to ask Santa for an online hookup?
Christmas is a perfect time to be single. You go home to your family, binge on all your favorite foods, watch great, old movies, and spend the whole day in pajamas.
Come to think of it, I should try to plan my next breakup for December.
I've been in a relationship over the holidays and I've been single, and, honestly, I prefer it this way.
Maybe as a child of divorced parents, I'm already exhausted with splitting the holiday. If you want me to cut the day into thirds, I'm going to need a ring on my finger.
And a new relationship at Christmas is the worst. The game theory that goes into choosing the perfect gift for a brand-new boyfriend - one who isn't too serious or too jokey, one who neither disappoints nor upstages his gift for you.
I need more liquor in this eggnog just thinking about it.
Single people don't need a TV ad to be reminded we're single at Christmas. We have all the engagement announcements on social media for that.
My Facebook timeline is an emoji diamond mine right now.
I don't begrudge the happy couples in my social-media feeds. I give my likes, hearts, and double-taps freely.
But I resent that television ad for trying to make us feel like not only are we alone, we're letting our family down.
You're a mean one, Mr. Match.
Also, it's not true. Our older relatives might ask about our dating status, but they're just trying to find something to talk to us about.
Not everyone is caught up in HBO's Westworld.
If you don't like the line of conversation Great Aunt Bertie is pursuing, look up from your phone and ask her something. Better yet, ask her about her dating life back in the day.
Old ladies have stories.
Maybe that was just my grandmother, Mother Mary. She was very chill about my love life.
One time, I told her I had a boyfriend, and she said, "Why?"
Her sage advice was generally to date around, not get tied down too soon, and not to settle.
She was divorced twice, so she knew a thing or two.
At least two.
I thought of her watching this ad, because the only scene more manipulative than the holiday dinner was the one where a man is sitting at his grandmother's hospital bedside to tell her, "I met someone," and she's filled with joy and, presumably, the will to live.
So, not only are single people guilty of ruining Christmas, we're also denying grandma's final wishes.
Somewhere, Mother Mary is laughing.
Because when she fell gravely ill two years ago, I had just ended a long-term relationship, but my uncle advised me not to say anything to avoid upsetting her. But later, as I was caring for her in hospice, she asked me about my ex, and I had to tell her the truth.
I told her the whole story, so she'd know I had tried my very best to make the relationship work. When I was finished, she held up a finger. Speech was difficult for her by then, and when she wanted to make something very clear, she wrote it out on her whiteboard and showed it to me:
"MOTTO - WHO NEEDS IT???"
Then she burst out laughing. We both did.
Mother Mary isn't with us any longer, but I always feel close to her around the holidays. And, in my book, she'll always get the final word.
So, sorry, Match.com, you've been overruled. Christmas remains a no-date-needed holiday.
And, single or not, if you're lucky enough to spend today with your family, make sure they feel your love. There's plenty to go around.