I’ve never understood why people make such a big deal out of the new year. Jan. 1 is a featureless, arbitrary day like any other that exists in the yawning chasm between Christmas and the first day it’s safe to go outside without your parka, and it’s always struck me as a bit naïve to think that the calendar rolling over is going to change anything about your life. However, this year, I completely understand, because this is the year we leave the pungent Dumpster fire that was 2020 behind.
Yes, the date is still arbitrary and we’re still in as deep a pile of crap as we were last week, and I’m an irritating millennial who complains about how terrible every year is with no attempt to improve my life whatsoever — all that is true. However, I don’t think the optimism a lot of people are feeling is misplaced. Millions of Americans have received the new coronavirus vaccine, freeing them up to return to making out with strangers in the frozen foods aisle at Target. (Thank God, right?) In less than three weeks, this country will no longer be led by a man who has committed countless offenses against the American people, his reprehensible spray tan displayed on every single news channel for the last five years. Plus, we haven’t heard anything about those murder hornets in a while, so that whole situation must be fine, right? Yeah…
That said, some people are getting a little bit ahead of themselves. The other day, I overheard someone talking about the pandemic in the past tense, as in, “Gee, remember that toilet paper shortage during the pandemic? That sure was crazy.” (I backed up an extra six feet, just in case.) It makes me wonder how long it’ll be before the sort of people who write Medium articles about the ethics of making your own sourdough will start releasing pandemic memoirs. I bet you my last box of emergency fallout spaghetti that in two years, we’ll be able to go into any bookstore and find books with titles like Tie-Dye Dreams: How TikTok Trends Saved My Marriage or Mommy Doesn’t Understand Algebra: How to Incorporate Your Day-Drinking into Your Parenting Strategy. The mind practically boggles.
2021 is nigh. I wish you all an overabundance of happiness, to compensate for last year, and good luck in fighting off those gangs of radioactive cannibals.
This article was originally published in Little Village issue 290.