When the catch-cry, “I’m never drinking again”, echoes through workplaces and from underneath duvets across the country, you know a month has arrived that is rather distinct from any other – and not just for the washboard abs and long hose belonging to Mr. January on your new fireman’s calendar!
Yes, the first month of the new year is well and truly here and you just need to look around you for proof that things have changed. In the pop of a champagne cork and the wave of a sparkler, January makes its presence known everywhere. So, whether you are at the gym, the bars, the shops, or even at home, you know it’s January when…
1. The Bars Are Empty With memories of severe hangovers, shirts being swung above heads on the dance floor in front of co-workers and getting it on with the nerdy photocopy guy at the office Christmas party still fresh in people’s minds, New Year’s resolutions not to drink seem to stick as bars across the city become empty. Suddenly, the Kylie tune you belted out at the top of your lungs at the New Year’s party doesn’t seem as fabulous when there isn’t a crowd of people to drown you out. Meanwhile, the few people who are there haven’t had anywhere near as much alcohol as they had in December to appreciate your moves. January is a month in which it seems like they’re not laughing with you, they’re laughing at you.
2. The Gyms Are Full As January sees a mass exodus from bars, it also sees people emerge from their hangovers and flood the gym. In January, the drunken slur of the New Year’s resolution to get fit is actually taken seriously as the results of all that festive season overindulgence is seen in the mirror and on the scales. People come to realise that they look nothing like the toned and oiled up dancers wearing little more than leather chaps and a cheeky smile at the New Year’s party, and that Santa and his jolly, jiggling belly seem to have over-stayed their welcome. Never have so many people gathered in the one public place to squat, stretch, crunch, thrust, clench, sweat and feel the burn together without the involvement of alcohol and laser lights than in the month of January.
3. It’s Shopping Madness Not only are the stores inundated with people returning the hideous knitted jumpers and practical socks they got as a Christmas gift from Auntie Mavis for store credit, they are also overrun with people looking to get that belt or those boots they were eyeing off months ago for a fraction of the price. The sales separate the strong from the weak as the elbows, claws and credit cards come out. You know it’s January when it’s still acceptable to knock an old person and few small children out of the way to grab that shirt on the back wall with your name on it. At full price, you would never buy it – royal blue silk has just never looked that good on you – but at half-price, you’ll buy three in all different sizes, because you’re determined that all the hard work you’re putting in at the gym will pay off. Hey, you’ve already managed to use your upper arm strength to push a large man out of the way in order to get to the cash register, so you must be doing something right!