It’s not something that anyone wants to admit to; being ‘un-fun’.
On the mental checklist of things that we all aspire to, being ‘fun’ is up there with kind, thoughtful and, well, breathing.
Marginally better than ‘boring’, ‘un-fun’ is still about as miserable an existence as imaginable. No one wants to be the un-fun friend. No one wants to have the un-fun friend either.
Yes yes of course we’d rather our friends be ‘un-fun’ over, oh, I don’t know, ‘stabby‘, but it doesn’t mean it’s a trait any of us are on the hunt for.
And so, please, know how much it pains me to tell you that I am currently going through a bout of being about as ‘un-fun’ as it’s possible to be.
Now before I get into it, I need to start with some clarifications:
This is not me fishing for compliments. Oh I’m soooo boring someone tell me what a hoot I am and how every party that I am not at is a total bore and waste of time.
This is not my anxiety talking either; although my mental health makes it very easy for me to jump from ‘so and so isn’t coming to lunch anymore’ to ‘oh brilliant the whole fucking world hates me’, the acknowledgement that I’m currently not quite the good-time-gal I’d like to be is unrelated (as much as it can be).
The announcement of ‘un-fun’ status comes on the back of the realisation that at the moment, I’m quite simply not that much fun to be around.
Yes yes we’ll blame it on my health (or lack thereof) – that’s my go-to move. I wrote a few weeks ago about how I haven’t been drinking recently and I’ll be honest, things haven’t got much easier since then.
I’m still a sober-Sally and for the most part that makes this time of year HARD. Mid-September if you met your pals for a quick drink after work, that’s exactly what you’d have. It’s September, no one wants to get fucked up on a Tuesday so it’s easy enough to get away with a couple of diet cokes and a smug sense of ‘I’m going to feel fantastic in the morning’.
At Christmas, it’s ten times harder. People will happily get fucked up anytime, anywhere. Monday, Tuesday, Sunday even; day’s don’t count and as such, keeping up with your friends is bloody hard work. There’s no promise that one drink won’t turn into a 2am queue for a student night in Farringdon. That pizzas won’t get washed down with tequila. That your chain-smoking friends have actually stopped feeling the cold altogether and will now sit outside for their sixteen pints, so bring a blanket because this is what December will look like from now on (if I sound chippy, it’s because I am describing me at every other Christmas and I miss this all like crazy).
It’s not just the lack of booze causing me some quandaries though. It’s this whole time of year.
The season of organised fun.
Everywhere you look in December, there are parties, lunches, fun-runs, drinks, pub crawls, fairground rides, mulled wine opportunities, movie nights, office events, carol singing.
There is a constant flurry of things going on. You’re the miniature snowman in amongst a snow globe of mince pies and merriment.
More prevelent still though are the people talking about these things.
Social media is heavy with people bursting to tell you about how bloody MERRY they are.
The pages of magazines and newspapers are exploding with tales of mistletoe snogs and advice on what to wear for the fourteen million parties you have no doubt been invited to and research into the best mulled wine and mince pie hotspots to hit up with friends (if you can get 152 friends together by tomorrow lunch time, we’ll give you a generous 10% off!!!).
Every time you talk to anyone they say something along the lines of ‘let’s try and get something in before Christmas shall we – God it’s hard at this time of year! Do you even have a spare second!!!!???”
(I normally keep relatively quiet about the fact that now I’m A Celeb is over I have quite a lot of free seconds).
The fact is, we are all expected to be so relentlessly jolly that it can become a bit difficult to feel like you’re doing it properly.
That you’re having enough fun, doing December properly, being the care-free boozehound that once a year is given a free pass to do anything and everything she so wishes.
If you’re not at every market, sampling every glass of egg-nog going, if you haven’t lost your voice from singing so cheerily about the three bloody kings (that you may well not believe existed anyway), if you have nothing in the diary for so much as a day between now and Christmas, if you’re not already onto your fourth Christmas jumper and sick of the taste of turkey then, well, you’re just not doing it right.
I don’t feel like I’m doing it right this year. And that’s a feeling I’m becoming familiar with.
This worry that I’m ‘un-fun’ is the albatross around my neck where a line of cheap tinsel should be wrapped.
Of course that’s about as self fulfilling a prophecy as it’s possible to find; tell a girl she’s un-fun and she’ll be as good a bit of company as a lump of coal. But the struggle is real.
Particularly living in a city like London I do feel the pressure to make the most of everything and do all the fun things and see all of my friends and do all the things that I’m supposed to be doing.
But it’s well worth remembering that actually, just because the temptation to pull a tree into your house and cover it with ornaments ends as the new year begins, it doesn’t mean my ability to see my friends or have any fun will too.
It is possible to have fun in January.
Pubs are still open in January.
Mince pies will actually be discounted in January.
Your friends will still be there in January. They’ll actually way more likely to be free to see you; ambling around the post apocalyptic waste land that is their social calendar now the MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR has gone.
And there will be other Christmases.
Yes, it’s all jolly good fun.
But it doesn’t have to be funfunfunfunfun and you’re not failing if you’re not having funfunfunfunfun every minute of every day.
You’re allowed to be a bit ‘un-fun’ at Christmas. And you don’t even have to call it that if you don’t want to.