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‘Tis The Season to be…Cuffed

The days are becoming shorter and the nights longer. Trees are bountifully shedding their colorful leaves. The election is over (for most of us), and there’s a chill in the air. 

Oh, it’s that glorious time of year: It’s Cuffing Season!

Cuffing Season, to those unfamiliar with the term, is essentially the time of year when people couple-up with someone just to get through the colder weather while also avoiding being alone during the holidays. It’s having a winter Bae, if you will. It’s a quantum leap into the cozy phase of a relationship that exists right before you both reveal your true selves and start changing everything about each other.

This year, cuffing season coincides with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

There’s no worrying about a breakup, however, because there’s an expiration date in cuffing. It’s the best parts of a committed relationship, crammed into a few months. Typically, cuffing season begins around the same time as Seasonal Affective Disorder sets in and conveniently ends right before we catch Spring Fever. 

I’ve never consciously chosen to be cuffed, but I have enjoyed some very short romantic endeavors. They seem to hold my attention the longest thanks to my ADHD. I’ve noticed that many of my friends on social media find their ‘soulmate’ thrice a year so I’m sensing that the cheese doesn’t stand alone. 

This year, cuffing season coincides with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. That should create quite a hunger for single people to find connections before a long, lonely and grueling winter. 

Bonding sounds particularly intriguing for those of us who’ve been hunkered down for months, cuffed by Bundt cakes, bourbon, and other refined sugars. I realized how isolated I’d become last week while I was watching two squirrels frolicking and chasing one another up a tree. It was delightful. I thought to myself, “I miss f*cking.” 

Find a practical pandemic cuffing partner. They can’t just be cute.

Early into quarantine, I was seeking a ‘Pandemic Partner to help pass time, but a trip to my local grocery store shed light on how people were wearing their masks. I decided to die alone.

Thinking about those squirrels makes me want to give it another try. That and I could use an extra set of hands to help apply my Aspercreme and Absorbine Jr. back patches. You say you’d rather be alone until trying to get a medicated patch in the center of your own back.  Pandemics have a way of aging you. It’s like one day [pre-pandemic] you’re the life of the party — then comes December where you find yourself in the dark, googling colon cleanses and shoe inserts. 

Having learned a lot in those months of isolation, my advice to those seeking to get cuffed would be to find a practical pandemic cuffing partner. They can’t just be cute; they must also serve a purpose. Likewise, you also need to bring something to the table.

For instance, I’ve taken note of the things I’m good at while having plenty of time for self-evaluation. It turns out I’m not good at most things. I can bake and tell jokes, so I’d need someone who is hungry and seeking a court jester. In return, I’d benefit from having a hairstylist, bartender, plumber, gynecologist, or podiatrist.

If everyone is safe and committed to their own agreed rules of cuffing, it could be a healthy way to endure another season with a long, dark wintry mix of snow and pandemic. I, for one, would much rather be cuddled up on my couch watching my favorite holiday movies with a not-so-special someone than out shopping with half-masked people this Black Friday. And by half-masked people I mean, my family. 

Until one of us sneezes or has a prolonged dry cough, I’m in.

Cuffing may not be for everyone. I’m not sure it’s even for me. I don’t trust my hormones since they’ve led me down the sad-girl highway many times. I’m not smart enough to quit trying though, so until one of us sneezes or has a prolonged dry cough, I’m in. 

If you’re prone to becoming emotionally attached to someone after intense bouts of intimacy, cuffing may not be for you. That sounded like a pharmaceutical commercial. I totally understand, though. I’m still not over Dana’s death in the third season of The L Word.

If you’re going to engage this cuffing season, make sure you and your partner are on the same page. If not, you may both send one another more mixed messages than a lesbian breakup. And we all could use a little happiness right now.  Should you choose to avoid a potentially broken heart or an STD, may I suggest buying an extra electric blanket or a body pillow. To everyone else, happy cuffing!

Chrissy Costa is a local comedian known for her dry wit, satirical style of comedy, and big earrings. Before doing stand-up she studied sketch comedy at Chicago’s famed Second City. You can follow her on Instragram and Facebook. (She / Her / Hers)