I don’t know about you, but now that there are less than a handful of days left in 2011, I’m more than ready to unceremoniously boot this tired and tattered old year to the curb and welcome in the new one with open arms and high hopes.
What on Sunday morning was a magical mishmash of tinsel and trappings, garland and gewgaws, bright greens, reds and golds, by Monday was starting to look more than a tad garish and gaudy. Youthful excitement and anticipation of the coming Christmas festivities had already begun to turn into the familiar adult dread of the coming credit card statements. The tips of the branches on our tree seem to droop a bit more with each passing hour (as does my enthusiasm for hefting all of the containers of decorations back into the attic once again). Our vast collection of treasured Christmas CDs has already been locked away in the family media vault until sometime late next November. To be totally honest, you couldn’t bribe me to play a single song from that play list until then.
I mean no disrespect to anyone for which this year has been all unicorn smiles and rainbow sprinkles – but speaking for myself (with the possible exception of an adventurous late summer attempt to summit Mt. Whitney), 2011 has mostly been one big pain in the proverbial patootie.
I’ve had more than enough of the terrible economy, near-historic unemployment levels, rising international turmoil and – please – from now on let’s stop giving those petulant “occupy”ing lowlifes any more attention.
I’ve had enough inept, incompetent and inexcusable “leadership” from politicians who are paid too much, enjoy too many perks and aren’t affected nearly enough (if at all) by the terribly oppressive and harmful taxes, regulations and laws that they create and enact. I just read that at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 1, over 750 new laws will go into effect. That alone should frighten every thinking person straight into the voting booth next November. I for one can hardly wait.
I’ve had enough of the winds, thank you. It’s pure coincidence that our gardener (who really doesn’t actually “garden” in any traditional sense of the word – we affectionately label his services “mow, blow & go”) shows up every Wednesday afternoon and the past three windstorms have all started on Wednesday night or Thursday morning. But it would really be nice to have a yard that isn’t buried under mountains of pine needles, dead leaves, lethal pinecones, fallen branches and Wicked Witches of the West for more than a few hours after he mows, blows and goes. Oh, and power that stays on is a nice thing, too.
I’ve had enough of mail order catalogs that began their annual holiday/Christmas deluge about two weeks before Halloween. I foolishly hoped for a slight pause between the Christmas surge and the post-Christmas/New Years Sale avalanche. No such luck. Last Friday our mailbox was filled with “Last Minute Gift Ideas!” By Saturday catalogs announcing “Unbelievable End-Of-Year Savings!” began arriving.
Before we yank the plug on 2011, I want to mention the brilliant commentator, Peggy Noonan, who wrote in her Wall Street Journal column last weekend that in the moments just before he disconnected from that great Ethernet in the sky, Apple founder and techno-visionary Steve Jobs looked for a long time at his sister, then his children, and then his wife. Finally, his gaze lifted above and beyond their shoulders, his eyes widened and he said, “Oh, wow! Oh, wow! Oh, wow!” Ms. Noonan pegged Jobs’ last words as the best thing said in 2011.
I agree. (iAgree?)
Finally, I’d like to express my thanks and gratitude to the faithful readers of this column and of the CV Weekly newspaper this year.
My end-of-year wish for everyone is that 2012 bring fewer events that make us say, “Oh, no …” and many more that make us say, “Oh, wow!”
I’ll see you ‘round town.