These two singles knew there was only one way they were going to survive the cold and lonely wintry nights, and it was through bout after bout of seemingly coincidental engagements. Cut to round after round of pre-planned and self-fulfilling cuddleage with each other; all precursors and tell-tale signs of the notoriously hashtagged and socially-noted Cuffing Season.
Cuffing Season is the time when wanton singles bundle up with one another and cease their promiscuous summer activities to avoid spending the winter months cold, alone, and depressed. However, when winter’s icy grip relents, and as the ice and snow begin to melt the cuffer’s self-imposed metaphorical shackles, so does recede the necessity for these heartwarming dates (I use the word loosely). Both realize the freedom to once again meet beautiful, new, and possibly (likely) more interesting people. These two feel a pull, something tugging at their shirts, a reminder of what used to be, of what could be, and during this time there are particulars that become considered, discussed, and eventually addressed. There are red flags that hint to these pseudo lovebirds that they must eventually nip this relationship-y thing before it blooms into an unnecessary drama-filled life bane. The warning flags are plentiful, and they’re usually picked up by the most astute of cuffers, but if your participation in this illegitimate affair is born of more romantical aspirations, then it’s best you read on and brace yourself for the end. Behold, the end of Cuffing Season.
This day of romance does more than celebrate love–it also serves as the beginning and the end of all Cuffing Season activities. Valentine’s Day is kind of like storming the beaches of Normandy on D-Day (if you know your World War II history). Not every couple is going to make it. Think about it: after months of on-and-off rendezvous, flirtatious conversations, odd yet strangely arousing body contact, or, for the least inhibited, sexual encounters, someone on either side will eventually anticipate this particular day. One of the two will become self-aware, and on that day, if gifts aren’t plentiful (among other things), one will ask the other with a tone unheard of before the winter months, “So… what is this?” Boom. Silence. There it is… the proverbial dagger. The inquisitor with the courage to ask such a question may have just cut down their fanciful fling to the flames of Hades. Valentine’s Day will always weed out the first wave of cuffers (this is what I’m calling them) who have overstayed each others’ welcome.
At this point, this unholy alliance has either gone south, turned sour by a Valentine’s Day debacle, or evolved into a chirpy Kodak moment–something someone might recall during the summer months over drinks and nostalgic laughter. The spring time is a test of endurance, because it shines a bright light over several cuffers, notorious for their nocturnal activities; it forces them to go public with their naughty venture. Days become longer and nights become shorter, and less and less beneficial; people (friends and family) begin to notice and wonder why introductions haven’t been made. “Who’s that person you’re always with?” someone might ask. There’s also the matter of competitors. These are the months of legitimate and totally non-secretive romancing, and lovebirds hot off the heels of Valentine’s Day are staking claims to each other. Social statuses go from super vague yet telling posts, like “gonna have fun tonite ;P” to something more ominous and exclusive like, “I’m tired of these games. I need more.” Since these cuffers passed the first test of V-Day, they’re likely realizing that they don’t actually know who the hell they’re talking to, and begin to reevaluate this whole thing. March cues the marathon months, a true test of how long one can stand the other person when they’re not in your bed or, you know, on your phone (if people still do that).
Island in the Summer Sun
They found each other and it made it work once. That was some time in October, but this is the now, my friend. The month of May and the following summer usher in the theme of finality for delinquent cuffers who, by this point, haven’t faced the ultimate truth. It’s over. Usually, people who are cuffing never admit that they are dating one another, and after months of straight up denial to other people, especially themselves, an observer–such as my humble self–might wonder if insanity had finally set in within either of these two crazies. They’re no longer an accessory to cuffing; either person can totally walk away from it all and move on with their life–maybe even pick up a summer fling (that takes much less dedication); however, the truth is the sun is out, adventure is everywhere, and people are exposing a considerable amount of personality and skin. Mostly skin. Temptation is everywhere, even for people in established relationships, and cuffers, with their lustful appetites, are prime for these sizzling hot summer days.
Never doubt Cuffing Season. Ever. One can lose themselves in the nightly bliss that it provides while the world and its brilliant gifts freeze for some time. Take note of these following months and whatever you do, don’t play yourself out.
Photo courtesy of George Eastman House Collection on Flickr