Okay, for the record, 2020 wasn't just humming along fine and dandy until March. Then, out of the blue WHAM it all went into the dumpster. On fire. It was in January of this past year that Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash. It was also during this month that the United States became aware of its first coronavirus case.
What I am suggesting is this: Had we been savvy consumers of time, we should have looked over that first month and asked to see time's manager and asked for a refund. The trouble is that we waited until March to get really grumpy about how things were going, even after the Senate ignored two impeachment charges and let the former game show host continue to play "president" while the country and the rest of the planet began to roil and burn and lash out at one another. "I'm sorry," said time's manager, "but you've already used a quarter of this year so there the window for exchanges or refunds is closed. Now go away."
Trouble was that we had no place else to go. We were stuck inside, hating the situation we found ourselves in and each other alternately. Sometimes in the same instant. As we attempted to figure out how to do everything via Zoom, we learned the limits of Al Gore's Internet. For example, even though we stayed out of nature in record numbers, climate change continued. Racial injustice seemed to get worse even as we looked directly at it.
And all the while, that former game show host continued to pretend to be "president." He didn't wear a mask. Why should we have to wear a mask? He paid seven hundred dollars in taxes. Why should we have to pay taxes? He ignores science and math. Why can't we ignore science and math?
Yes, when November finally rolled around and the country turned out in record numbers to vote the former game show host out, there were still an alarming number of us who seemed to want the charade to continue. And even after the votes were counted, and recounted, and lawsuits were filed and lawsuits were dismissed, there were those who insisted that two and two were not four but a hippopotamus. While metaphorical Rome burned, the metaphorical game show host fiddled. And filed more lawsuits.
Which wouldn't be such a big deal in any other year. But this is a year which saw nearly two million people die from a disease that continues to ravage countries across the globe, and fires burn for months as we try and figure out a way to keep them from consuming all the air we might eventually want to breathe.
Don't get me wrong: I'm looking forward to a year with vaccines and dogs in the White House. I'm looking forward to seeing kids on the playground at my school again. I'm hopeful for a worldwide movement to save the whole wide world. I'm anxious to get a seat on anything that resembles the way things used to be.
But I'm definitely going to keep the receipt for 2021. I don't want to get stuck with another lemon.