Hey, 2013, I feel like now that we’ve spent almost as much time together as we’re going to, I can be honest with you about something.
Mostly, that you are a horrible monster and I can’t wait for you to end.
Our relationship started when I spent several days taking icy showers because our hot water heater shit the bed over New Year’s.
Then I got a terrible, gruesome flu.
Then my husband’s grandmother suddenly died.
Then my dad, 1500 miles away in Florida, got a terrible, gruesome flu that would eventually turn into a near life-threatening lung issue and keep him sick for six weeks.
At the same time, back in Boston, a pipe in the attic of our building froze and burst and flooded down through four units of our building, including our bedroom, leaving behind some impressive damage, although luckily we were not quite as bad as the units on the upper floors.
Then we spent a week surrounded by drying fans and dehumidifiers, during which time I very nearly went insane from the noise.
When my husband and I finally managed to go on a long-planned vacation, our return flight was cancelled owing to a massive snowstorm back in Boston, and we spent an unexpected three additional days in Florida crashing at my mom’s place and using her washing machine like damn college students. (The up side -- is this really an up side? -- was that we were able to go check on my dad and clean his house top to bottom and see how terrifyingly sick he really was.)
All of this was just JANUARY and the first week of February, by the way.
And I can’t say that the year ever really improved, what with my husband becoming unemployed just in time for our washer and dryer to break (if we didn’t have family to help us, I would probably be beating clothes on a rock down by the river even now) and then it took three months for unemployment insurance to come through, during which time we burned through our meager savings, terrified that we were totally screwed (that money has since been replaced, at least, so there’s a silver lining).
And there’s so much more, but I don’t want to just write up a litany of sorrow here, because even just this much is depressing me. (At least none of our cats died. I wonder if I could have survived that.)
It seems like so many people I know had a shit 2013, for a million different reasons. Many of my friends have fought through unimaginable personal nightmares, from long-term relationships gone awry to professional catastrophes to health issues to the impact of far-reaching politics and terrible injustices, not to mention deep and painful loss.
My natural impulse in such bleak circumstances is to be all yay and positive and HEY GUYS LET’S LOOK FORWARD TO 2014 IT’S GONNA BE GREAT. And to be fair, good things happened for me this year. I got a promotion at work. I celebrated my tenth wedding anniversary with my husband. I, uh, bought some cute dresses at reasonable prices. I’m sure there’s more that I’m just not thinking of right now.
My father, who chiefly raised me and was thus a strong influence on my outlook, is a big believer in “counting your blessings,” in stepping back from petty anxieties (or not-so-petty ones) and looking for the good things in your life. And usually this is what I do.
But today I feel like saying FUCK OPTIMISM, I want to talk about how much this year has blown. I want to get DARK, you guys. I want to WALLOW IN MISERY TOGETHER. WHO WANTS TO WALLOW WITH ME? WE ARE ALL FAT WALLOWY PIGS IN A MUDDY BOG AND THE MUD IS OUR OWN DESPAIR.
And if you had a great 2013? That’s super awesome and I’m happy for you, but now go away and let the rest of us bask in our own negativity in peace.