Moments when you are going to accidentally say “I love you” in the run-up to Christmas

During the festive gathering at work, when your boss tells you it’s been a good year for additional revenue from the new snack machine and those three little words pass your lips. Thankfully your friend Lucas is there and he throws in a joke about second quarter disinvestments.

When shopping for bargains on Black Friday you let slip your expression of love to the guy on the register. Fear not, your good friend Lucas distracts attention by causing a scene; he climbs over two display cabinets of razor wire in order to get the last Muppet Babies Advent Calendar.

Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” comes on the radio and the life-sized cardboard police officer that the grocery store uses as a crime prevention method looks at you like he means it. You utter the declaration of love to the card figure and people stare. It’s awkward for a second until your caring, funny friend Lucas buys you giant card police officer as a “fun gift”. Somehow, the embarrassment disperses.

While out for drinks with friends, you accidentally say the magic words when the guy working the bar mixes your small batch gin with a premium tonic. You freeze more awkwardly than a politician’s smile but your good, loyal, witty friend Lucas immediately strikes up a conversation about the amount of urine traces there are in complimentary bar snacks. You all laugh. Everyone forgets the words you uttered — except you.

Picture: Universal Pictures

When your friend Lucas, who you have always had a close bond with (but over time has become so close you have developed deep, emotional feelings for them that probably constitute love) says “Merry Christmas”. To you, it’s not just “Merry Christmas”, it’s a message of hope, love and potential eternal co-existence, even though he’s heterosexual and you are a gay man. And you fret, finding it once more annoying that you haven’t yet worked out how to get the “less flamboyant” gays to find you attractive, even though you’re probably in the “mid-flamboyant” category yourself (which, if you’re honest with yourself, is likely to be an indication of some sort of vague internalized homophobia). Despite the mitigating fact that this special friend will probably be cool with your desperate affectionate words, and still like you for who you are, you will still always wish that you hadn’t said this out loud and will never fully salvage that little piece of you that just died inside. And you wonder if it seems weird that you picture the piece of you that died as if it were a small Muppet that belonged behind the final window in Lucas’s advent calendar.

At your apartment on Christmas Day, opening a packet of ham at 4.30pm and uttering your expression of love to the slices of meat therein. The meat appreciates your words but has a preference for intimacy with bread.

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