It's not about Last Christmas...it's about THIS CHRISTMAS...
Suze loves love, an eternal romantic she loves everything to do with it. Put her in front of a romantic film and she'll happily munch her way through a tub of Ben and Jerry's cookie Dough shedding happy tears. Give her a romantic novel and she'll devour the pages, rooting for the characters until they invariably find love on the last page. She loves nothing more than driving along in her car, singing away to a power ballad, feeling every word of those heart felt lyrics.
You would think with love constantly being on her mind she would be living happily ever after with her knight in shining armour. Not so. Rather than aiming an arrow at her heart cupid was using her as a foot solider instead. She is the perfect matchmaker , for everyone else...
So, with Suze facing Christmas (the most romantic time of the year) alone desperate measures are called for and she embarks on a series of dates looking for the man who will make her Christmas dream come true, but as each date turns into disaster she is resigned to the fact that it's Turkey for one again this year.
Or is she? If there is one thing Suze truly believes in, it's Christmas magic and there might just be something magical in the air...This Christmas.
All Suze wants is to fall in love...THIS CHRISTMAS
‘It’s not you, it’s me.’ Surely, that is the worst line ever spoken from anyone’s mouth…particularly when it’s the person sitting opposite you and even he knows how clichéd it is, he grimaces as he says it.
The night didn’t start off on quite such a negative ending, in fact I was quite looking forward to an impromptu date night with my current squeeze (maybe not so current now, hey?). I’d received a text in work that afternoon from Morton – his mum was a huge A-Ha fan, suppose it could’ve been worse, she could’ve been a Guns n Roses fan – asking if I fancied popping down to Marino lounge in New Brighton for a ‘swift one’. I replied straight away. Ah, bless Morton, he knows that’s my favourite watering hole, they do amazing cocktails and all very reasonably priced. I’m on a travel agents budget, I may get cheap holidays, but that’s about it! I’d been seeing Morton for about three months, we were hardly the romance of the century, but I had hopes that we might become a decent partnership, Scott and Charlene, Torvill and Dean (I know technically they weren’t together, but they were magic on the ice!) and maybe a more up to date coupling like Mr Grey and Ana…or maybe not, I don’t have a spare room to turn it into a read room of pain. Sorry, I’m rambling, maybe that’s half my problem, I don’t stay focused on the task in hand, I’m easily distracted as written on every single one of my school reports. Maybe I didn’t give Morton my attention 100% of the time and to be fair he was fairly high maintenance. I tried to overlook him spending more time getting ready than me, he had more face creams than Boots and Superdrug combined. Actually, I’m sure he still has them, I know I keep referring to him in the past tense, he’s not dead, he’s just dead to me! Ha, that sounds a bit dramatic, I’m not heartbroken, I’m over it all ready, no really I am.
Back to the night of the ‘break up’. So we’re sitting there chatting away, when I suddenly realise it’s me doing all the chatting.
‘You’re very quiet tonight, busy day?’ I ask.
He nods slowly. ‘Something like that,’ he downs what’s left of his pint and is already on his feet as he asks ‘Want another?’
I glance at my glass, which is half full (you see, I’m a positive person, how can that make me such a bad girlfriend?) ‘Err, go one then.’
I take the opportunity to people watch as Morton goes to the bar. It’s fairly busy for a Wednesday evening, but it’s Orange Wednesday and the cinema is right opposite the pub, so that probably explains it. I notice a large group by the bar and instantly recognise the tallest guy, holding court in the middle of the group, it’s my friend Zoey’s, brother, Ed. He hasn’t spotted me yet, so I carry on watching his group of about three lads and six girls. The girls are all laughing at whatever it is he’s saying, one of the lads claps him on the back. It looks like a fun group to be in and he clearly enjoys basking in the attention. Just then, he looks up and makes eye contact. I quickly pick my drink up so as not to make it look obvious that I was staring at them. He smiles and waves. I wave back, just as Morton sits back down with our drinks.
‘So, Suze,’ he begins ‘there’s no easy way to say this…’
Apparently there is an easy way to say it – in fact it wouldn’t surprise me if he had an app on his phone that told him the best lines to use to dump your girlfriend of three months. To give him his due he did go into a bit more explanation, he didn’t just use the ‘it’s not you it’s me line’ and then get off, no he said a few more lines and then he got off! It would seem Morton wasn’t ready for commitment and he didn’t want to get too heavily involved only to hurt me further along the line. According to him, I’m ‘too nice to hurt.’ He thought it was best we just moved on before we got too attached to each other. I did ask him to clarify what he felt was ‘too attached’, more than when we were in bed together on Saturday night? Call me old fashioned, but that’s fairly attached to me. He didn’t respond to that, he just drank the rest of his beer and said he had to leave, he was meeting a friend.
And that ladies and gentlemen, is what it comes down to, one in, one out so to speak. His next conquest already waiting for him in the pub down the road. Clearly I am well shot of a guy like that. I watched him walk out of the pub when another thought hits me. He picked me up to come here, he obviously expects me to make my own way home. It’s October, it’s dark, and I’m a girl. Those three things combined are the type of thing that would stop me being allowed out as a teenager. As my dad would frequently tell me ‘You don’t know what strange people are around in the dark.’ Taxi for Quinn it is then.
Just as I’m gathering my stuff together, I see Ed looking over and I can tell by the look on his face that he’s about to head over. I’ve just been dumped. I can’t deal with other people right now and whilst I’m not completely heart broken, my ego has taken a bit of a bashing. I pick up my phone and start to talk into it, dashing out of the pub, giving him a quick wave on the way out so as not to appear rude.
I get a taxi easily enough, making sure he has a registered badge, 29 and I know my dad would go ballistic if he knew I was in a taxi on my own. I use the short journey to reflect. Morton was the last in a relatively short line of unsuitable boyfriends. It’s obvious we weren’t meant to be as I’m not sobbing my heart out in the taxi. I’m just relieved I don’t have to explain to any of my friends why my boyfriend is called Morton anymore. I’ll just have to explain to them why I’m boyfriendless – again! The taxi driver has the local radio station on and I happen to hear the DJ mention it’s only nine weeks to Christmas. That lifts my trodden on heart slightly, I love Christmas, it’s my favourite time of year and despite my age, I still believe. Elf is a documentary, not a movie. When I’m curled up on the sofa in my pj’s with a hot chocolate watching Miracle on 34th Street I am practically screaming at the telly at the stupid people who doubt Kris Kringle, it almost makes my blood boil. There is magic in the air at Christmas, I also happen to think it’s the most romantic time of the year, which isn’t great when you’ve just found yourself single. The prospect of sitting in my flat, turkey dinner for one, singing ‘It’ll be lonely this Christmas,’ whilst drinking snowballs doesn’t appeal. It’s not that I want a boyfriend for Christmas, I want a boyfriend for life. I’m ready to settle down, I’m ready to find Mr Right. If there was any right time to find the guy meant for me, then it’s Christmas. I’m going to put all my faith in my belief that magical things happen at Christmas and find my man. I can make this happen, in fact, I’m so convinced right now that if this was a movie, it would suddenly start snowing (despite the unusually mild October we’ve had) and ‘All I want for Christmas’ would start playing. The taxi pulls up outside my flat, I pay the driver and head on towards my front door, yes I may have misplaced a boyfriend tonight, but that’s ok, with this renewed bounce in my step, I’m feeling positive. I just need a plan to get my man.
The song that inspired the title...