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Living In Sin: Unhappy Holidays

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Every week in Living in Sin, Jen Sincero provides advice to LA's sexually confounded. Sign upfor her newsletter and have it sent to you every week. Ask Jen your questions: all are posted anonymously.

Dear Jen,
Once again the holidays came and went and I found myself alone. I'm 45, female and a generally happy person, but this time of year somehow magnifies the negative aspects of my single lifestyle and always makes me feel terrible. I have a wonderful family, and usually spend Christmas with them, but I'm the only one who's not married and this fact seems insufferable when I'm around them on the holidays.

The worst, however, is New Years. I usually force myself to go out to a party (I've tried staying home and it just makes me more depressed) but the feeling of dread I experience the whole night, just waiting for midnight when everyone turns to the one they love and kisses, makes the entire evening stressful. This year I made sure I was safely locked up in the bathroom. Pathetic, I know, but I just couldn't take another night of standing there with a fake smile plastered on my face while everyone made out around me. Any suggestions on how I can get through next year without wanting to kill someone? Like, perhaps, myself?
- Countdown to Breakdown

Dear Breakdown,
This is the last holiday-related letter I'm answering until next year (unless someone humped the accounting department at an office party or something and then I definitely want to hear about it). I made it through unscathed and am ready to hose it off my body and get on with my life, but I do think it's important that the epidemic be addressed so that maybe there will be just one less suicidal person when 2008 rolls around.

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First of all, many many people of all shapes and marital statuses long to harm themselves and others in late December, so you don't need to feel so all alone. I'm not exactly sure why everyone's saddest sad things are magnified at this time of year, but whoever orchestrated it is a super genius because the number of people who feel this way is staggering. If only we could get such impressive group participation for things like solving world hunger, impeaching President Poopypants, outlawing babies on airplanes etc. Your particular sadness revolves around being lonely, so I'm gonna focus on that, but in general, I think everyone needs to remember that, just like weapons of mass destruction, there is no Santa Clause, and that January 1st by any other name would still just be another day of the week. Nobody has to join in any reindeer games they don't want to.

Here are some suggestions that may make next year more tolerable:

1.) Have a New Years party for just your single friends. And their hot, single friends. Pick names out of a hat to decide who you have to kiss at midnight.

2.) Plan ahead. If there's some huge project you've been meaning to work on (painting your room, writing a novel, shaving all the hair off your body) this is the perfect time to do it since Santa's big red ass is in the way of getting any outside work done. Collect everything you're going to need before the world shuts down and dive in.

3.) Go to a midnight movie.

4.) Go on vacation.

5.) Volunteer to feed the homeless.

6.) See New Years as an opportunity to force yourself on someone. Scope out a hot guy, or lady, at whatever party you wind up at and make sure you're standing next to them when the big second hits. Or drag them into the bathroom with you.

Whatever you do, don't go to a party and spend the entire time dreading the end of the night. That's like spending your life dreading the moment you die. What's the point? If you're hating it every year, simply change your perspective and where you're hanging out and turn that frown upside down.