November 29, 2020
I will be honest with you. I have been in a Covid-induced daze and a Corona fog if you will. The viral vicissitudes of 2020 have seriously hindered my efforts when it comes to producing my blog. I figured only I would notice. I was mistaken. Apparently, I have followers. Well, to be fair, I know of seven, because that is the number of individuals who have expressed dismay and/or displeasure at the lack of a new collection of my learned musings since mid-September. Call it what you will. I have been suffering from the proverbial writer’s block. I felt as if I had nothing worth saying, nothing appropriate to contribute, or more likely, given my current malaise, just don’t feel like it. This year has just sucked and I will be so happy when it is in the symbolic rear-view mirror. At the risk of sounding like Chandler Bing (My daughters were teenagers in the 90s; of course, we watched Friends.) with his over-emphasized speech pattern, 2021 canNOT BE any worse, can it? That thought is just unfathomable to me, and I am sure to most people with a modicum of sanity and common sense. So, with that stated, this blog will address some of the events and behaviors I have observed this year. They cover the spectrum from horrific, annoying, ridiculous, stupid, funny, sad to tragic, whatever adjective I deem appropriate. Originally, I planned to devote this blog to my lengthy hospitalization (that’s always fun – unshaved legs and hospital gowns are so alluring) that led to my decision to move south. Next time, I promise. For now, let’s discuss the year that shall forever be remembered as the WORST YEAR EVER – for so many reasons.
I remember sitting at this very laptop with the television on in the next room when a news bulletin announced the death of Kobe Bryant. As a long-time basketball fan and Kobe admirer, I was both shocked and saddened. He was so young and had just begun his second chapter after retiring. There were so many possibilities. It was almost a metaphor for 2020. Little did any of us know that quiet Sunday in January that Kobe Bryant’s tragic passing would become almost nothing but a footnote. At the time, I like many others was convinced that this would be the main reminder of the year. How naïve. With what lay ahead, Kobe would almost be forgotten. In hindsight images of his funeral were an eerie harbinger of what was to come and language that would soon become part of our daily parlance – social distancing and face masks. At the time, no one gave it a thought. But soon, very soon, all that would change and life as we knew it would likely never return to what it was.
When I started jotting down a list of everything that has occurred so far this year, I literally felt dizzy. There’s just so much. I know I am just scratching the surface and that is, to be frank, demoralizing. How many awful things can we bear? None of us have anything to prove by how tough we are. Enough already. And some of us, a lot of us, need to check our egos, our negative attitudes, our bad behaviors, and our lack of kindness and empathy at the door. COME ON! Stop being assholes! Please!
I think we can all agree that PANDEMIC is probably going to be the Time Magazine “entity of the year” or however they want to phrase it. No one on the face of the earth has escaped its wrath. And we all are truly in this together, to use an almost trite saying that has found traction during this crisis. We really are. So, wear the damn mask. Practice social distancing. Quit your bitching. Wash your hands. Just be safe. In so doing you will be helping keep others safe – it’s that simple; we all just need to work together. Additionally, let’s realize how hard the folks on the front lines are working – healthcare workers, first responders, grocery employees, anyone who provides us with our daily necessities. (And, let’s not forget those hardworking liquor store workers 😊) Please try a little patience as well. I have witnessed people who BEGIN with aggressive, nasty, entitled behavior. Seriously? Why? Try being nice. It might just change the whole dynamic. Asshole. (Couldn’t help myself, but don’t you think it actually works here?) None of us knows what that person who cut you off in traffic, possibly inadvertently, is going through at that moment. Maybe his mother died, or he lost his job, or maybe he’s just an insufferable asshole. Just take a moment, have some compassion, and don’t be an asshole.
Australia nearly burned down, tens of millions of acres, 500 million beautiful helpless animals – it was heartbreaking and a reminder to all of us that we need to love our planet. It’s the only one we have. We must respect the land and protect its inhabitants. It’s pretty simple as far as I’m concerned. Sigh….. Other reminders that we are not in control were natural disasters in the form of floods, earthquakes, cyclones, and hurricanes. The hits just kept coming. West Coast fires in the U.S. were thanks to human carelessness and reckless disregard for the land. Unfortunately, I don’t think these idiots will ever learn. Assholes. Selfish, entitled assholes. They seem to think someone else will “handle” it. That’s clearly what makes them assholes.
Anti-semitism, racial unrest, and a level of hatred and ugliness that I will never understand gave birth to a level of physical destruction of property and the human spirit in 2020. I fear that it will take a long time to repair. The unjustified killing of George Floyd was the catalyst and sadly it was only the beginning. While it produced violence and wanton devastation, I hope it also opened eyes even a little bit to what has always existed in this country. We must listen to one another. Respect one another. And teach our children that racism has no place in a free society. And those who use these terrible killings as an excuse to spread even more evil exacerbate the hatred and continue to fan the flames and hurt the vulnerable. I don’t know about you, but I am incredibly tired. Sometimes I feel like I have nothing left to give. So many lives could be saved if we just stopped letting the assholes run amok. Assholes ruin everything. I think I am going to copyright that sentence and print some bumper stickers. And hatred solves absolutely nothing. Does burning, looting, beating someone senseless solve anything except maybe release more asshole endorphins? No, it doesn’t. It makes good people sad.
Which brings me to politics. This year has seen an impeachment, the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the nomination and confirmation of her successor, and finally, the campaign and election. Talk about hatred and ugliness. Posting your political views on social media is fine with me. I choose not to. But, when you use the various platforms to trash those who don’t share your views, and to do so with vitriol so full of rage and spew it over and over and engage in these cruel and malicious displays of animosity JUST because someone doesn’t hold the same opinion is, well, it just goes beyond defending your position. It smacks of bullying, censorship, and suppressing intelligent discussion. Whatever happened to having a polite conversation? There goes my naivete rearing its innocent head again. Agree to disagree and move on. A dear friend of mine and her husband have been essentially disowned by their oldest child because of their political views. This includes not seeing their grandchildren. Really? Have we come to this? And, frankly, the hypocrisy is rampant on so many issues depending on which “side” you are on. I’m going to crawl into a nicely padded hole and stay there with a bottle of wine, some books and a pillow and stay there until the assholes leave social media. Yup, I’m dreaming.
Some other noteworthy but not anything I really give a shit about “events” in 2020: Meghan and Harry left royal life. Don’t care. Good for them. Whatever floats their boat. Honestly, if it makes them happy, then leave them alone and don’t devote any more time or air space to them. Thank you. Murder hornets are coming! I’m not losing any sleep over this, at least not right now. But they do look like little assholes. Have you actually LOOKED at a closeup of their faces? Ugh. Now, we have “Karens.” What the hell? I have several friends named Karen who are lovely people. I feel bad that their moniker has now become synonymous with asshole, although I must admit I have enjoyed watching some of the meltdowns on social media. It’s been an amusing escape from time to time. So, all of my friends named Karen, be strong. This too shall pass. You are good people and shouldn’t be identified with bad behavior simply by virtue of your name. Carry on being your terrific selves. I’m sure some Karens out there are assholes, but not my Karens; they are amazing.
So, in writing this blog, I asked myself if anything worthwhile has transpired in 2020 – anything we can look back on and view favorably? There are a few things worth mentioning. While Covid-19 has been nothing short of a catastrophe on so many levels, devastating lives, families, businesses, the economy, the list goes on, in some small ways it has provided opportunities. I know my daughters have a new appreciation for teachers as they tried to juggle their jobs and distance learning. I propose that teacher salaries be reevaluated and as part of their new package they be provided with a weekly massage and a case of wine. Just sayin.’
During this pandemic, I for one have worn my mask religiously and an offshoot of this practice has been I am saving a fortune on makeup – because why bother? And my daily uniform for the most part consists of sweatpants and a similarly comfortable top. And if I am inside, I am barefoot, because in my life it’s comfort at all costs. And whether they like it or not, families are spending more time together during Covid, so thank you, 2020. I also learned that there are significantly more pet adoptions this year. That bodes well for our four-legged friends. Always adopt, don’t shop. Even if it’s a cat.
And finally, one of the sweetest things to come out of 2020 was the birth of the new panda at the National Zoo. His name is Xiao Qi Ji which means “Little Miracle.” I hope this little guy is a sign that 2021 has wonderful things planned for all of us – things like hope, kindness, peace, and understanding. And oh yeah, significantly fewer assholes. Unfortunately, I am afraid that would take more than a little miracle.