The end (of 2020 at least) is near
Hey, whaddya know ... it’s almost December!
Took its damn sweet time getting here, that’s for danged sure.
But sure enough, come Monday, it’ll be all right: The 30th day of November will be nigh, and we can welcome the arrival of the final 31 days of 2020.
I know many of us are still wiping splatter off our monitors from when a family member sitting at our virtual Thanksgiving dinner table asked for someone to pass them the gravy, but it’s time to move onto our year-end traditions.
Christmas, and whatever spelling of Hanukkah you recognize, and Kwanza, and Festivus, and National Ding-A-Ling Day and, of course, Holiday — which is celebrated by Pastafarians when the mood strikes at any time during the month, and carries no obligation to follow any ritualistic ceremony.
That is ... as long as you don the appropriately adorned colander.
Of course, even those whose lone dogmatic belief is the rejection of all dogma are unable to avoid the other tradition that comes at this point in time ... the assessing of the past 365 daze — where we’ve been, where we are, where we’re going.
And who we want to blame for it all.
For 2020 however, that task will be particularly heavy. Holiday letters will no doubt be filled with anecdotes of perseverance and the airing of grievances. Family photo Christmas cards will show socially distant progeny smiling for the camera behind masks depicting messages of hope or trademarked superheroes.
We’re basically 91.666666666 ... ad infinitum% of the way through this wretched year, why would we want to spend the remaining 8.333333333 ... etcetera% recapping the past 334 days of metaphysical kneecapping?
Because, despite ourselves, we are destined to get it out of our systems? Because we owe a duty to the future by spewing 1.5 million words on the remembrance of this past? (Nah, that was only true for Proust.) Or possibly just maybe because it provides us one last chance to howl at the moon?
So, we will reassess, revisit, reevaluate, recall, rewind and regurgitate what we’ve been through to fulfill some intangible duty, garner some invisible checkmark in some ledger of responsibility.
In the wisdom handed down from my father — and, likely, dispensed by his father before him ... ad nauseam — “screw that noise.”
After all, the month ahead provides us not only with National Ding-A-Ling Day (Dec. 12), but National Cookie Day (Dec. 4), Dewey Decimal System Day (Dec. 10) and National Crossword Puzzle Day (Dec. 21).
Not all of the month’s celebrations make as much sense as those. Some, in fact, leave you trying to think of a three-letter abbreviation for “Were they out of their minds?”
Dec. 13, for example, is National Ice Cream Day. Whose bright idea was it to put a day celebrating Rocky Road and Mint Chocolate Chip just as the weather outside turns frightful ... Australians?
At least ice cream is something worth celebrating — as opposed, say, to National Cat Herders Day, which falls on Dec. 15.
According to the holiday compilers at nationaltoday.com, cat herders should be celebrated because they can “handle life even when it is uncontrollable.”
You ever tried to herd cats? Heck, you ever tried to get one cat to go where you want it to go? Whoever came up with idea, my father (and, likely, his father) would like to have a word with you.
Three words, actually.
National Emo Day on
Dec. 19 got me into trouble last year when I misread it for a day when you were encouraged to tickle teenagers wearing studded belts and listening to Weezer through their earbuds.
I am somewhat looking forward to National Short Girl Appreciation Day which comes on Dec. 21 — which is the date before what we commemorate in this home as National Short Spouse Appreciation Day, otherwise known as her birthday.
And (just in case she’s reading this) there doesn’t need to be a day set aside to appreciate someone who is appreciated ... no, admired ... no, treasured ... every day of the year.
Shut up, Dad.
The other day, we were visited by a friend who, as we sat 8 feet apart from each other to form a socially distant triangle, spoke for so many of us as we reach the time of year for recollections.
Hers was a simple lament — one registered with a mix of exasperation, exhaustion and ennui that perfectly encapsulated 2020 on the cusp of its final month.
“I’m Zoomed out,” she sighed.
It isn’t so much the steady march of the pandemic, or the long road ahead of those who lives were devastated by the fires, or even the continuing stress and strain of an election that divided our hearts and minds.
It’s all of that, and more, occurring during a time that puts constraints on human interaction. The need to congregate, and communicate, without appearing as mini-versions of ourselves on monitors.
“I want a hug,” she said finally, and we wished it was Dec. 8 and had a tardis or DeLorean available so that we properly could celebrate Be A Time Traveler Day by going back to 2019 ... and give her one.
Mail Tribune news editor Robert Galvin eagerly awaits National Bacon Day (Dec. 30) at email@example.com