When the clock strikes midnight (or, in our case, when the glowing white numerals silently flip), I will scrape 2016 off my shoe like something nasty I stepped in.
Because I am done.
I am done with family members dying, I am done with friends dying, I am done with beloved celebrities dying.
I am finished with truculent Trumps on the television and emboldened bigots spewing hatred on social media.
I am over hurricanes that topple ancient trees, and floods that send creatures skittering into our walls for shelter.
I am beyond over zippers that strain and jowls that jiggle and photographs that capture a funhouse mirror version of me.
That is not to say these things will be done with me in 2017. But, like the polite person who pretends to ignore the malodorous lingering of 2016 on the sole of my shoe, I plan to just carry on as though there is no stench. Even if it means I have to hold my nose a bit in order to do so.
Happy new year – finally!
We got the inevitable holiday invitation…did we want to come to an ugly sweater party?
Nope. Nope, we do not.
My husband’s reasons are his own, but mine have to do with the fact that I’m tired of ugly as funny. An ugly sweater just tells the world you are so cool that you wear ugly in an ironic fashion, as opposed to those poor clueless people who wear reindeer-emblazoned knit without irony. I’m not amused; in fact, I’m a little appalled that, in a country where some can’t even afford any sweater, we think it funny to buy one just to make fun of.
In fact, I’m kind of tired of all the ugly.
The shouting on talk radio that pretends to be funny instead of just coarse and mean-spirited. The smarmy sorry/not sorry attitude of the entitled. The ugly politicians riding high in the polls for their hateful rhetoric. And, on a larger scale, the ugly that leads someone to take a gun to anyone who is different from the shooter.
It’s all ugly for its own sake.
Contrast that with the ugly Grinch (and, yes, I watched it yet again this year). The Grinch is a truly terrible creature – oh, that poor dog! But, by the end, the Grinch understands that love conquers ugly.
So, no ugly sweaters for me. There’s enough ugly around already.
If you have a child who lives in a different city and you host holiday celebrations, eventually you will have to face the day when they bring home someone with whom they’ll blithely assume they can share a bed. Under your roof.
Here are the polite fictions that will help you through the ordeal.
FIVE POLITE FICTIONS FOR WHEN YOUR CHILD
BRINGS HOME A LOVER
- Don’t talk about religion or politics. Or their jobs. Or their families. In fact, best not to bring up anything personal unless they do so first. You may be dying to find out how this young person who looks homeless plans to make a living, but you must at all costs pretend that unshaven is a look that works for them. That goes for male or female.
- Offer alcohol if they are of age, but pretend not to notice the amount they drink, even if you have to send someone out for another couple of bottles of wine so you don’t run out. Later, when your child has returned to wherever they live, you can always ask idly, “So was he nervous, or does he always take his wine intravenously?”
- Pretend you are not noticing every time they turn up their nose at some dish you slaved over because they don’t like it or their ethics won’t allow it. Slapping them with the pate is always a bad idea.
- Don’t ask questions you don’t want to know the answer to. And if you do, pretend to believe the lie. Questions like, “You guys aren’t going to have sex while you’re here, right?”
- Turn the music on really loud when they retire for the night. Or when you do. No parent should have to hear the bedsprings squeak in the childhood room and wonder whether their child’s “friend” is just a restless sleeper.