New Year, Old News

2015 has arrived in the usual unexciting, mundane New Year’s kind of way. January offers little and takes a lot; we get a new series of Celebrity Big Brother’s human hamster cage in exchange for giving up Cadbury’s chocolate and bad men or Cadbury’s chocolate on bad men depending on your taste buds.

In the dying months leading up to a new year we indulge in alcohol, yule logs and Bruce Forsyth’s ghostly face only just visible on the latest Strictly Come Walking. We allow ourselves to parade around in reindeer onesies with wine-stained teeth safe in the knowledge that next year, we could run for the president of the United States of America.

In December, we decide to make ‘New Year’s Resolutions’. It takes a while to start writing as our E.T looking hands fiddle with a pen that we haven’t held since 1997 until we get into the rhythm of writing. Optimism begins to flow as we imagine marital bliss on the beaches of Mexico having secretly eloped with a bigamist George Clooney. We see our dreams coming true because a new year allows for change and we can morph ourselves into anything; we could wake with Kim Kardashian’s buttocks.

Most people opt for the obvious; dieting or sucking on anything other than cigarettes. Others decide it is time to throw caution to the wind and do obscene, nearly-time-to-be-sectioned kind of things like botox and growing moustaches. Just remember that we have to be realistic when deciding; Madonna’s armpit hair was grown for artistic purposes and should never be imitated as part of our New Year feminist empowerment.

With the lists ready and January coming to unpack a hamper full of success and orgasms, we wait patiently until it begins. We cram in any last minute gorging of cheesecake and One Direction because after, we shall no longer be these sad, depressing, I-heart-Harry kinds of people.

All of last year’s disappointments are left behind as we try to forget exes, the World Cup and the continued existence of Kanye West. We can disregard the momentary joy we felt that Take That might finally be breaking up and the chance that X Factor would fall further than Louis Walsh’s reputation as a talent spotter. 2014 is long gone and we no longer have time for it.

So here she is one and all. Her majesty, January, with nothing but rain keeping you wet when you would rather it came from elsewhere. We’re only a week or so in and we could still marry Prince Harry, travel to Jamaica on a banana boat and befriend King Kong but maybe one less tube of Pringles on our hips may be a slightly more realistic prospect.

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The Best First Date Advice You’ll Ever Get

First dates are like losing your virginity; painful and awkward. Forget the rules Sex and the City taught you – happy hour cocktails are out and an influx of what the ‘urban’ kids call ‘banter’ is in.

The issue is that most people find a date on Tinder. This dating platform is where you ‘swipe right’ if someone looks remotely like a human or ‘swipe left’ if they’re deemed below par. It sounds simple enough until you’re interrogated by the Karma Sutra police about your ‘experiences’. Ignore these nymphomaniacs immediately and stop posting pictures of yourself delicately nibbling a banana.

Once you have arranged the date, be sure to prepare yourself mentally. The person you believe to be ‘Robert Daley’ is probably ‘Ken Bridge’ who likes to collect toy soldiers and watch Countryfile. Any photograph that has been ‘cropped’ or distorted in any way means they are either acne-ridden, twenty years older or are simply Frankenstein’s brother.

More importantly, have a plan in place if you’re stood up otherwise you will be left with nothing more than a peanut-sized ego. Just think of it this way – either they turned up, saw you and left or they couldn’t prise themselves away from the Vaseline pot.

When the first date arrives wear appropriate attire; clothes are a good suggestion. Meet in a place that is bustling with people so you can run away if a monobrow replaces the man you were meant to be meeting or if he turns up wearing socks with sandals. Greet him with a polite smile and silently judge his entire existence.

There is nothing worse than going on a first date to a restaurant so most people generally decide to go to a restaurant. Always say no to a curry house; spicy foods and a nervous stomach is the perfect combination for an hour in the lavatories.

With the two of you sat opposite each other at the table, you can determine if the person in front of you looks like a married father of four or if he’s a suitable match for the rest of your life. If you’re sat across from someone who is sporting double denim, enjoy a slurp-fest of a dinner because you can’t possibly take that bad boy home for ‘coffee’. If the heavens have blessed you and Ben Affleck’s lookalike shows up, stop drooling before it stains your dress and get your act together.

Discuss anything other than what your ‘type’ is; if he has nasal hair sitting on his top lip, he knows he’s not your type. Forget mentioning exes or what horrendous heartbreaks you have powerfully overcome; it’s boring and no one cares. This is your ‘swipe right’ match so find out more about each other; preferably if he’s a Dexter-style serial killer or a completely normal person.

After the date, say your goodbyes and keep your lips to yourself. Remember all those scary news reports you’ve been reading lately about Ebola; no sharing bodily fluids until the new year. Take yourself home and shower the date away with some strong disinfectant. If you had a good time, you can feel optimistic about the prospect of further dates, a wedding and eventually marital flatulence. If not, you got out of a night in front of Eastenders crying into a bucket of KFC hot wings. After all, just because he’s your ‘swipe right’ it doesn’t mean he’s your Mr Right.