I laugh every time someone asks because its such a serious subject. They ask as if they are enquiring that we are ready for the impending nuclear war, resulting in us being barricaded in the house for three months!
But with the question 'Are you ready for Christmas?' comes the underlying double meaning for those having affairs, both the married partners and the mistresses. It doesn't refer to one day at all. It refers to the nightmare two weeks, the week before and up to ten days after the 'Just One Day'. Before, during and after, kids are off school and loitering around the house, with nothing to do, bored and cold. They can't be kicked out to play like they can during the summer holidays and of course, in this weather, its a miracle they even get out of bed. The other halves are either off work, or are stepping up the stress levels because its 'their' time of year to excel, when they turn into a cross between Delia Smith and Anthea Turner. The house has to be immaculate, the food prepared weeks in advance, presents bought and wrapped, cards written, and all of it produced with military precision, the husband increasingly dragged into the chaos because she can't cope with the pressure.
Then the big day arrives, and the family descend, or you're dragged reluctantly to a relatives house. The drinking starts far too early, so you're sick of it by the time Queenie starts saying her bit. You eat far too much, and spend the entire day with people you only see a handful of times a year. You have to make endless conversation, play pointless games, arguments break out, kids sulk and stomp off to a corner of their bedroom. The Mrs gets more and more stressed during the serving of the big meal. The turkey is dry (as always), no matter how many Delia and Jamie books she has read. The vegetables have been crucified and boiled to resemble pale replicas of their former selves. The roasties have been cremated, too crispy for even a chipmunk to chew. Pudding is served and for the only time during the year you suffer an overdose of dried fruit and cream in the form of Christmas cake, Christmas pudding and mince pies. You top it all off with an excessive quantity of chocolates from the 18 in the pile, you crumple into a heap, and to avoid another dull conversation, fall asleep on the sofa, snoring and dribbling.
In amongst this nightmare a huge proportion of married men are looking at their wife, remembering the early Christmas' when they spent the build up, and most of the following week, tucked up in bed, and brought the new year in very drunk, kissing passionately and making love, starting the year as they meant to go on. But then Christmas and new year started to change. Families became involved, children arrived, debt and stress mounted up, and before they know it the problems appearing during the year are magnified at Christmas. I know so many men who spend Christmas day wishing they were somewhere else, trying to find a moment to sneak off with the phone to quickly send a text to their mistress to tell them they are being thought of.
Now from the mistress' point of view, she receives one text, no doubt sent from the toilet, how flattering, but is grateful that he managed to think of her at all. The stereotypical view we have of the mistress is sitting on her own with a ready-meal for one from the freezer, her solitary tiny Christmas tree twinkling in the dark as she cries, alone, from Christmas eve through to Boxing day, singing Whitney Houston songs and watching endless weepy chick flicks.
I am a mistress, and have been for many years. Not once, in all those years, have I spent Christmas on my own crying and pining over a man!
My Christmas is spent with my family and I love it. I never have any issue about where I'm going to spend it. I don't have a fight about which family's house we will be at for the 'big meal'. I never worry about who will be offended if I don't go there. I spend three days with my family and, although I occasionally think of my men during that time, I don't pine over anyone. I don't worry if they are having fun or not, I don't worry if they are pining over me, and I don't get upset for a second thinking about them playing 'Happy Families' together. Life is too short and anyone who knows me, and knows how I live my life, will appreciate that I don't get remotely sentimental about these things.
Being a Serial Mistress comes with several added bonuses too. I get the opportunity to celebrate Christmas several times over. I get to eat several Christmas dinners between the beginning of December and the second week in January. They feel guilty for neglecting their mistress on Christmas day, without realising that I wouldn't have it any other way, so I get beautiful presents, fabulous dinners and lunches, a huge amount of attention and affection, and apologies for being 'let down' at Christmas. I let them have their guilt and embrace it. If it makes them feel better by spoiling me and making it up to me, then so it will be :)
I must admit I do think of my men now and then, but most of the time it is tinged with a feeling of sadness and pity for them, and for their wives and families. Firstly, life is too short to spend any day, especially Christmas day, somewhere you don't want to be, with people you don't want to be around and doing the things you HAVE to do, instead of what you WANT to do. Secondly, its not fair for the wife, going to all the trouble of putting together the perfect Christmas, with matching napkins co-ordinated with the Christmas decorations on the tree, only for her husband to wish he was somewhere else. But, I wonder, if she didn't spend so long worrying about the fine details of the day, stressed and panicking about it all, maybe he wouldn't be looking elsewhere in the first place, and wishing the day away.
So, during the silly season, for all the mistresses out there, enjoy it with the people you love, your family and friends, and be grateful for having them. Don't pine over any man, you will see him soon enough. It is not the downside of being a mistress, its the great part. You have a fabulous present, he is being ultra attentive before and will be after, and you get a chance to catch up on some normality with your friends. And of course, you never know who you might meet on a Christmas or New Year night out, especially with some mistletoe in your hand :)
For all the marrieds reading this, I wish you well, and hope its not too much of a nightmare over the holiday period. If you have kids, remember its for them, spend quality time with them, play with their toys, and don't forget to buy lots of batteries. If you're playing host to several relatives then try your best to enjoy it and make the most of having lots of people in your life who care enough to visit you. Thinking logically about these things, if you give the Mrs some money as a present you can encourage her to hit the sales for several visits, leaving you time to speak to your mistress. Find some bits of work you need to do over the holiday period and sneak away for an hour or two, even if its just to pick up the phone to her, she will appreciate it. It all just needs some logical thinking, not just at Christmas but anytime there is a holiday period looming.
Some people will be on their own, and as much as it feels like a nightmare two weeks, its actually only one day. Christmas day is over before you blink, and the text messages and emails all resume very soon afterwards, especially if you have a clever lover :) In all the years I've been doing this I have hardly missed any of the guys I've been seeing, and they have all managed texts or emails during the holidays, and have been incredibly attentive on either side of the break.
So it's never a depressing, desperate situation. Its just a short time in your life you have to be apart and its amazing how quickly it will be January and everything will be back to normal :)