It’s cuffing season. If you don’t know what that is, Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it this way:
Cuffing season refers to a period of time where single people begin looking for short term partnerships to pass the colder months of the year. Cuffing season usually begins in October and lasts until just after Valentine’s Day.
This year it started late. Global warming, I’m certain. Or maybe I just live too far south. Either way, it has begun.
Last year’s prized Cuff came crawling out from under the rock he found himself under shortly after February. Yup. Blindly cuffed. And now that it’s cold outside again, he wants back in the good graces. There are so many things I want to say about that (and to him), but it all sounds remarkably a lot like ‘duck cough.’
Did I know it was cuffing season? Ever? No. I had never heard of it. I thought it was fall…as in “fall in love.” Little did I know that it was “fall for this crap again.” Once enlightened to this magical season and all of its wonders, I did a dear-diary review with the lightbulb brightly lit above my head. The Ah-ha moments thereafter were shaken off with self-degrading thoughts. Idiot came up a lot as did eternal ducking optimistic fool.
I have had consistently single summers for many summers in a row. I blamed an ill-fitting bikini.
About a month ago, text messages began to appear offering well wishes and a chance to catch up. I found myself on calls with multiple past haunts, playing nice in conversations that were tinged with the scent of baited hooks; plans to talk more or get together soon. Fly 1,700 miles or just drive nine all came with a side of “it would be good to see you.”
I began to notice an array of men at the grocery store lingering in the produce section and attempting uncomfortable eye-contact, or worse, conversation. I put the squash and beans down and went to the back of the store for a pound of bacon. Giving up vegetables was never so easy.
Shorter days mean longer nights and winter means snuggling up and staying warm. This is a lethal combination for the hopeful hearted. All animals have this season and it’s called a rut. And like the doe chased by the buck in my back yard, I have been on the unwelcomed receiving end of short term “relationships” that sneak up from behind and have you wondering what the hell just happened.
I haven’t been in a rut. I’ve been cuffed.
This season, I’m not playing the cuff-and-release game. I have a dog now and she keeps me company just fine. The pandemic (the stay-safe-at-home order) is wrapping me up in feeling good about staying solidly solo for a while longer…maybe until just past Valentine’s Day. Let the joy of this season be about the holidays, good friends, loud laughter, long-lasting scented candles and cheesecake for everyone.