Single-Minded: Werewolves and Winter Boos

Finding Mr. Right Now to get through the holidays is an old -- bad -- habit. This year I'm trying something new.


My friends say I've been acting weird. But really I've just been werewolfing myself lately. "You know when a dude knows he's going to turn into a werewolf and locks himself into a jail?" explains Tracy Jordan to Liz Lemon on NBC's 30 Rock when she finds him locked in his dressing room.

Basically, it's a Hail Mary move. A last-ditch effort to avoid an inevitable loss by avoiding life. Lots of folks do it around this time of year, despite the fact that it never works in the movies. 

I got an e-mail a few weeks ago from a good friend, mapping out all the holiday parties we should be sneaking into this month. One of the main goals (aside from free drinks), according to her, was finding a "winter boo." Because if we're bored and want to board up against the cold, isn't everybody else, too?

Not three days later, a popular celebrity blogger posted this on her Twitter page: "I'm trying to find a winter boo and industry events is not where it's at #thingsmyfriendssay." After I retweeted it because of the déjà vu of it all, another one of my "tweeples" asked if I coined the term. No. But I did get it in print.

The same time last year, the Washington Post published a profile of me that I still consider the Lord Voldemort of my professional career: that which shall not be named. In it I was quoted as saying about a gentleman caller, "He could be my winter boo. I need a boo. My life sucks. When your life sucks, a winter boo with his own apartment would be awesome to have."

Now, hyperbole is a dish best served in person. Obviously my life doesn't suck, and if it did, being "booed up" is hardly a cure-all for seasonal loneliness.

The Post writer went on to define the not definable: "A winter boo is someone you hook up with when it's cold outside, someone good enough to take to office holiday parties, someone who has a car and who can drive when the wind is whipping down the sidewalk."

And a genius named Helena added, "It's like a booty call, but it's not," followed by, "A winter boo doesn't know he's a winter boo." Whack. Last year, that all made sense in the same way that locking yourself in jail to avoid killing your loved ones makes sense to a mutated man staring at a full moon.

The very concept of a winter boo is nothing but a Band-Aid for a broken heart. It's useless, but it beats standing around and doing nothing. (Or allowing yourself to admit how much that last hit hurt.) So for the uncoupled, the onslaught of social gatherings -- from the annual legislative conference of the Congressional Black Caucus to the nondenominational holiday-party season -- is an opportunity to secure a fake relationship before the last leaf drops.

"This is like the worst time to get into a relationship, because you don't know what you've got until the spring," joked a comedian I saw on Tuesday. What looks good in a puffy coat and snow pants might not pass the test come April.