I recently learned about a popular millennial term known as “Cuffing Season” – an apparent sudden urge and desire to get tied down as the weather turns colder, so you have someone to hibernate with. As a non-dating-app-user (and I chronicled in, I Quit Dating), I don’t see shacking up with someone in the next couple weeks very likely (per the Farmer’s Almanac: Winter is coming sooner than desired this year).
Although it would seem appropriate to react with feelings of hopelessness and isolation as I forge ahead into another desolate winter alone, I have to admit I am feeling the exact opposite. The change in seasons has prompted a type of internal reflection, and an undeniable gratitude for the relationships I do have. With the hectic pace of summer behind me, I can focus on further cultivating the existing partnerships that fulfill me. I’ll be the first to admit that I absolutely want someone to share my life with. An activity partner. But I’d be foolish to disregard the many men that have already played a role in my life – and I’d like to take a moment to honor them here.
Eugene, The Gyro Guy
Eugene has never once asked me my name. Perhaps it’s the fact that he takes calls from a grease-covered, white, cordless landline that still has caller ID. Eugene isn’t much of a talker, at least on the phone. Our conversations consist of a single call & response: “Hi, I’d like a gyro to-go.”… “Ok, 15 minutes.” End of conversation. But don’t be fooled by Eugene’s dull phone voice. He always enthusiastically greets me when I walk in the 12×12 gas station that doesn’t sell gas and carries canned goods that expired in 2007. “Melissa! You have the most beautiful eyes!” he says. Eugene knows just how to make a girl feel special. Compliment her baby blues, and give her a Gryo with extra tzatziki sauce. And men think women are so hard to figure out…
Casey, The Donut Guy
Casey is a visionary and an entrepreneur. No one in the city was delivering donuts, so he took one for the team. And if that wasn’t cool enough, he delivers them by bike, even in the dead of winter – appealing to green, earth-friendly hipsters, and people that like donuts. Which covers the entire spectrum of humanity. Casey and I have a healthy, non-monogamous relationship, as I’ve shared him with a lot of my friends in town. He’s become a type of two-way communication system for me. “Thanks for the Macadamia White Chocolate Glazed Donuts, Casey! Will you tell Sydney I’ll be over at 11?”… “Yeah sure, I’m on my way to her place now.” Having a guy that fits into your friend group so naturally is clutch.
Sherman, my Laundry Guy
Sherman single handedly changed my life when he started accepting my laundry by the pound. I’ve never seen one man so enthusiastic (in the most non-creepy way possible) about washing my dirty unmentionables. It’s only awkward if you make it awkward. Sherman has a guaranteed turnaround time of 24 hours – making him more reliable than most men I’ve ever met. He never says no. He never complains. And he’s constantly encouraging me to use my free time to indulge in me. “Heya Kiddo. With all this time you’re saving not doing laundry, you should go enjoy a glass of wine!” No arguments there, Sherman. What a guy.
Art, my favorite homosexual
If Art were straight, I would have already reached out to him as potential Cuffing Season mate. And now that I think about it – I could see Art enjoying a type of subservient sexual relationship, so I may still reach out to him about being my winter prisoner. But for now, it’s just nice to have my Cheers bartender two blocks away. I never feel uncomfortable going to the bar alone (pro & con), because I know Art will be there to greet me and make me laugh with some crude humor. Art will soon be getting married to his actual boyfriend, and if I increase my weekly visits to four times a week, I think I can secure an invitation to his wedding. I really do love him. Or I love beer.
I haven’t been able to catch Taco Man’s name yet. But he’s a sultry combination of Casey and Art – and he always comes wearing a onesie. I think the proper term is “Cycling Bib” – but whatever it is, it’s working. And I think the suit makes him more aerodynamic on his bike, ensuring that I get my bike-delivered tacos even sooner. Thanks to my frequent ordering, this up & coming food business has become so successful that they now have a partnership with a brewery, and will deliver growlers. Beer + Tacos + Bearded-Unitard-Wearing-Bike-Man = happiness. And you thought you needed Bumble to make it through the winter?
A man for every night of the week. I’m basically a new-age Carrie Bradshaw.