2020 The Road to Perdition

Photo by Nubia Navarro (nubikini) on Pexels.com

Okay, I feel like an absolute fool for writing, “Let’s Make 2020 Unresolute,” I mean really, could any year be more unresolute?

All I can say is hangnails seem much less annoying and never did I ever think I’d feel sorry for travel agents?

That’s all I got.

Alex Hagan says “for all the talk of 2020 vision over the past few years, it turns out we had some pretty significant cataracts,” and no toilet paper.

Speaking of toilet paper…

“Oh shit,” Kelley yells, “Shaggy needs to go out.”

I heard alarming sounds coming from his irritated bowels, I throw her the keys, “here, unlock the gate to the beach.”

She manages the lock and the dog simultaneously, Shaggy has anxiety issues, and is shaking like a leaf. Poor thing is feeling poorly.

Kelley tries coaxing him further onto the beach but he squats at her feeling shivering uncontrollably.

I run along the water’s edge, clapping my hands as if a teacher trying to get the attention of an unruly class, encouraging Shaggy to move so he can release his bowels. Oh, did I mention it’s raining? Sorry about the distasteful subject but there are only so many ways to describe the foulness of diarrhea. Right?

Shaggy’s has a delicate disposition, he’s Portuguese, and often assailed with intestinal issues. It’s a shitty business.

After a lot of encouragement, he’s successful, but needs a bath. Unfortunately, all the men have fled, an ice run they call it, and we’re left with three antsy kids in a rain storm (for which I’m trying to remain appreciative) and a sick dog. Merry Christmas.

Dragging my dog outside, I power wash the remaining residue to put it politely, but he’s not having it, and a mixture of remnants remain. Ugg. Where are the men when you need them?

Now I’m really grouchy and it’s about to get worse.

So we confine Shaggy to the lanai until the back up troops arrive.

But life takes you places you don’t always want to go (2020 in a nutshell).

I grab up my computer and spew out like three words, they all rhyme with shit, I was going for something so much more sophisticated for my final 2020 post. I notice not only the rambunctious children, but the dog is loudly announcing his displeasure about being enclosed, and although it only a little after noon I’m feeling enervated.

I put down my computer with annoyance, peek, okay glare, into the lanai and immediately realize we forgot to open the dog door to the outside! &#%&#@! You guessed it, there’s poop everywhere, on exercise mats, rugs, on the dog bed, and floor. All that racket was poor Shaggy trying to tell us he needed to go out.

My irritation increases exponentially.

Kelley mops the floor as I rinse off the rugs, mats with bleach, and run another load of shitty towels, dog bed covers, and rags through the laundry.

The men are getting ice, which is code for a trip to the local pub, and let me just say I’m getting a little thirsty myself.

This story is sort of appropriate because as Dave Barry puts it, “2020 was one long, howling, Category 5 crap storm.” Did you catch the crap storm part?

Let’s take a little ride down that rocky road to perdition shall we?

And so it begins…

in January of 2020, I was thoughtlessly moaning about resuming my classes, closing up the lake house, and praying the media could focus on something other than Trump’s impeachment? The good old days.

We hear inklings of some mysterious illness out of Wuhan, which we ignore because Trump hasn’t tweeted about it, and besides Billie Eilish is sweeping the Grammy Awards. Hello? The Huston Astros are cheating! What? And if that wasn’t enough, Harry and Meghan want to opt out of the royal circus. Don’t we all?

Larry and I are planning a wedding for our daughter Kelley in August, putting money down on a pilgrimage along the El Camino de Santiago, and planning a visit to Portugal to see our son Tony at the end of the summer. This is the year we both turn sixty and we are going big. Oh the places we will not go.

Then things start to get a little janky, Kobe Bryant dies in a helicopter crash, locust arrive in Africa, a volcano erupts in the Philippines, and an epic earthquakes shakes up Turkey. How can it get any worse?

You had to ask…

February stirs up the muddy water, while we’re impeaching and acquitting Trump, Larry and I fly to Texas to celebrate a friends sixtieth birthday, I come down with a mysterious flu upon our return? Corona or not, we’ll never know, because there are no available tests.

Two days after my fever breaks, while Pelosi and Trump are ripping up speeches and refusing handshakes (way before fist pumping was even a thing), I go back in the classroom to say good-bye to my students, and explain how we are going to gather from the comfort of our homes on a new platform called Zoom, just until they wrapped up this COVID19 snafu. A few weeks at the most.

Best laid plans…

As March rolls in there is a run on toilet paper and hand sanitizer? Who is hogging all the supplies? I’ll tell you who – putzes, that’s who. You can buy a roll on Etsy for like fifty dollars? I’m feeling smug about the bidets I installed years ago! Pelotons are now backordered for like a year, hugs have become an act of rebellion, people are wiping down their groceries, and afraid to touch their mail? Let’s not even get started on the Post Office.

I have Zoom fatigue (I’m not making this up) and half my students are checked out.

Oh, and my other daughter is trying to buy the house across the street.

In April I’m trying to decide if I need to supplement my diet with vitamin B, C and D, maybe add some fish oil, I beginning to think life will never return to normal, and all I want to do is pop this fu.king bubble. Netflix and chill is all we have to do, of course we are drinking and eating to excess, my hair, teeth and nails are in shambles, and Dolly Parton’s popularity rises to a presidential level, maybe she should run?

Don’t get your hopes up because May is not any better, politics have polarized our communities more than ever, we’re sick of walking the neighborhood, fighting over the safety of beaches, teaching children remotely, debating the effectiveness of masks, missing our major league sports, and to make matters even more untenable, George Floyd dies at the hands of four Minnesota police men.

My daughter Kelley cancels her wedding, my daughter Julie sells her house, buys the one across the street, and moves in with us, along with her husband and three children while she’s renovating. We are forced to upgrade our internet, thank God toilet paper is back on the shelves, Larry and I turn 60 with drive-by celebrations. Not what I was planning.

I’m watching reruns of Bridget Jones Diary like nobodies business, hiding out at the lake house whenever possible, and dreaming about what it was like to go out to dinner. Remember when…

June have mercy on us. We seem to be flattening the curve for like two days, Black Lives Matter movement is in full swing, we’re threatening to defund our police, we have two old white men running for president, conspiracy theories are running amuck, and women are having their hair done in the backyard unless your name is Pelosi? What the hell is going on?

My school is providing professional development on correcting my unconscious bias, exposing systematic racism, and how to reformat our curriculum using Zoom. I’m exhausted, overwhelmed, and understanding oppression from a whole new perspective. Oh and my daughter Kelley moves home for a few months as her fiancé moves to the bubble in Florida to cover the NBA games. I now have four adult children, three grandchildren, and a highly anxious dog living under the insane same roof. I’m not, I’m just not going there.

Independence Day becomes an autonomous celebration in July, COVID 19 cases are on the rise in just about every country, making our boarders meaningless when it comes to real threats. Sweden is open, Shanghai is closed, and in the US every state is having a completely different experience of this heinous disease, some states have no restrictions, others are social distancing when alcohol isn’t involved, and both coasts are completely shut down. Why did we ever leave Kansas?

Not to be a doomsayer but…

In August, as usual California is on fire, literally, with rolling blackouts, so we just sit in our own sweat, with no television, no Zoom, and wonder if this is the Armageddon predicted in Revelations? Protests are raging across the country, Portland is out of control, and Trumps declares war on TikTok. What is going to entertain us?

Trump and Biden have a regretful debate, I think Chris Wallace won? I’m googling the benefits and detriments of Xanax as my daughter announces she’s having a micro wedding in November. Is there even enough time for me to order a dress?

Things only get worse in September, I initiate a new school year on Zoom, a platform simular to the Brady Bunch show, everyone is assigned a little box, but the students have complete control over their cameras (not ideal), which they choose to turn off for most of the class, needless to say I’m not up for the teacher of the year award.

Our beloved Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies, COVID patients are filling up our hospitals, our first responders are exhausted, and the use of masks has become a moral issue, but the race for a vaccine is in full swing. Oh and the postoffice has a complete nervous breakdown without the benefit of Xanax.

October is the month my son Dante rolled his car, miraculously survived, and if nothing else good comes out of this entire year I will have my son, and for that I am forever grateful. It was the first time I got a hair cut in almost a year, Trump tests positive for COVID19, and although there were more debates all I remember is the fly? I have 75 mini snickers bars to deal with (trick or treaters were a no show), and a couple thousand dollars worth of dresses to weed through for the mother of the bride, all delivered to my doorstep by Nordstrom, and our visa is shut down in response to my delirious spending. Larry is not pleased.

Is this year ever going to end?

November is bittersweet, my daughter Kelley gets married in a private ceremony with sixteen masked witnesses, following her around the church with our eyes. So 2020. We end up in a wine cave built in the 17th century for a seven course socially distanced meal, each course paired with an exceptional wine, I’m serious. My son Tony and his girlfriend Thilita arrive just in time to join the celebration after a two week quarantine in the Dominican Republic, and this is the first time in more than a year that all my children are together. I’m so overjoyed they all follow us home. I’m feeling an internet upgrade in our future?

Duke’s mayonnaise is now the third most popular condiment in the world (because we have to make our own sandwiches) and California goes into another major lockdown. Oh joy! There is the longest election in recorded history, as I say good-bye to my son Tony who returns to Portugal I still don’t know who won? I start bawling as I watch him walk away, and cry all the way home from the airport, for my boy, for the lives we once had, for all the suffering, I may never stop.

So we find ourselves once again in December, immunizations have arrived just as COVID19 is pitching a hissy fit, my husband sleeps on the couch after an extremely long “ice run,” Shaggy continues to have the trots, the vacuum cleaner died, and that highly anticipated rain storm fizzled out like the Forth of July. The grand children have opened what seems like ten thousand gifts, perhaps it’s only a few dozen, but each with 30,000 parts. The house is as you would have expected – total mayhem, just how we like it.

Can you imagine the theme parties they’ll have in twenty years depicting 2020? People will show up in pajama bottoms with a business casual top, carrying a bag of Ruffles Potato Chips, cold beer, wearing fuzzy slippers, with a mask hanging from one ear, and overgrown hair. Bahaha.

Larry and I just finished the mini series Undoing, great cast, super suspenseful, and I won’t spoil it, but it’s such a fitting ending for our dear, sweet, psychopathic year, 2020, if only it could be undone.

Matthew McConaughey says “We read, we wrote, we prayed, we cried, we listened, we screamed, we spoke out, we marched, we helped others in need. But how much do we change for good?” Only time will tell…

So as we bid a much anticipated adieu to 2020, I’ll be ever so careful with my wishes for 2021, may our biggest issue be hangnails and bossy travel agents!

Thanks for Living in the Gap with me this year, it’s been a doozy, here’s to a really Happy New Year!

PS The Dog recovered, I did not.

PSS Jeff Bezos made more money this year then the last five put together, you’re welcome.

Anecdotes:

  • Just a note to my readers, I love you, I appreciate you, and I’m ever so grateful to share this crazy journey with you. Thank you for reading, commenting, and noodling this life with me, warmly, C
  • “I heard someone say, “It’s December! Maybe 2020 saved the best for last.” I’m not sure whether to be hopeful or nervous about that.” Steve Maraboli
  • “I stopped using twitter because it’s like a bunch of mental patients throwing shit at each other.” Joe Rogan
  • “This year’s vintage is best enjoyed this year. Let’s begin.Gina Barreca

42 Comments

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  1. That’s a word-perfect review of your year, Cheryl. Sadly, it seems as if 2021 is going to be no better, at least over here. Tier 4 strict lockdowns for almost 80% of the country, until ‘at least’ the 5th of April.
    Take care, and stay safe.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Pete, I agree, I think we need to prepare ourselves for another year of lockdowns and restrictions. Ugg. Let’s hope for tiny moments of joy to get us through! Happy New Year my friend, I wish you good health and a safe 2021. Warmly, Cheryl

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh how I enjoyed this post!! I completely agree with your analysis!! Glad your pup’s ok! Just finished “Greenlights” myself … and yes, how much did we really change? Lol. Keep writing, and many blessings in the new year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Leigh, it wasn’t until I got it all down on paper when I realized we are a damn tough bunch of survivors and so it Shaggy! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and joining me in the comments! Makes it all worth it, and may our 2021 be a blessed new year. All my best, C

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Kim, I was inspired by your post from Dave Barry, he’s more political, but I liked the idea of recapping the year, injected with a little humor just to make it palatable. It’s really been a doozy, let’s pray 2021 is a mixture of healing and joy! Happy New Year, C

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Cheryl, I can’t stop giggling. I know the stress that this year brought. But you have a way with words that brought some laughter and light to a review of a year we’ll never forget! I’m so happy your family is safe and sound (and Shaggy ok too 🐶). Happy New Year!

    Like

    1. Hi Karla, I’m so glad to have brought a little laughter into your day. It really was a year I’m ready to leave behind, loved your post with the poem to 2020, beautifully written! Happy New year Karla, warmly, C

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy New Year Gail! You are so kind, I’m glad you enjoy the letters! Your emails bring me a great amount of joy and food for thought. I’m so appreciative of your unique voice! Warmly, C

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  4. I think we all need an ice run! Really you’ve got the 2020 lowdown here, for sure. Summed up the madness. And though the 2020 micro weddings may feel like a letdown at the time, I do wonder if your daughter (and the many other brides who did the same this year) will be happy for their smaller celebrations. My husband and I had a wedding with 11 people in attendance (including us!)–immediate family plus my husband’s best man. 16 years later we still say it was the best wedding we’ve ever been too (and our reception was in a fancy Italian wine “cave,” too!). Of course, we’re biased. Well done on making the best of an insane year. And let’s hope Shaggy gets has a better year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bahaha Rebecca, we absolutely need an “ice run” especially after surviving 2020. And as you noted it was absolute “madness.” I have to say the unexpected highlight of the entire year was Kelley’s small intimate wedding, our focus was the bride and groom, not entertaining a couple hundred other people. It was magical and I too am biased. I would highly recommend the same if anyone cared to ask me. And you ended in a wine cave too – how wonderfully crazy is that? Here’s to an unexpecated and magical 2021! (Shaggy’s back to his old shenangians and I’ve forbidden “ice runs” for the rest of the month!) Warmly, C

      Liked by 1 person

  5. WoW!!!!
    You nailed this one. No doubt your best post of the year. As I was struggling trying to come up with an appropriate clean response to your “Sex in the Kitchen” post (think ”The Aunt Jemima Treatment” circa 1981 Stripes or maybe a Clue boardgame tie in: Lawrence Oreglia in the kitchen with the Spatula,) you had to drop this one. It’s always a good sign when Gail says, “Did you read Cheryl’s blog, it’s a goodie.” What a wonderful, comedic, cheerful yet poignant synopsis (My editor said not use the word “apercu.”)
    Loved your description of Shaggy’s intestinal distress, though I confess it had me checking on our beloved Truman. Seems to me you should listen when Shaggy speaks. And it also appears that Larry has a “nose” for avoiding trouble.
    Tidbits
    California…for a state that has every natural advantage, it seems to shit on itself as often as possible. I would say that the last person/business leaving should turn out the lights when they leave, but no worries, I suspect there will be no power.
    Chris Wallace?! Epic fail, no matter where you are on the political spectrum.
    Brady Bunch Zoom analogy…. You killed this.
    Duke’s Mayo! I had never heard of this and then you posted this blog all the while the Badgers were dropping The Duke’s Mayo Bowl trophy….. You are too prescient. Mind blown!
    Ice Run = No Netflix and chill! Time to get an Ice Machine?
    Love the Joe Rogan quote.
    The Missouri in me has to ask “Why the f*ck would anyone live in Kansas, let alone regret leaving?”
    Anyhow, this post had me totally laughing.
    Thanks for putting a beautiful hilarious bow on the year.
    Bottom line…2020 was tough, and there where quite a few rough spots. But what a blessing to grow closer to family, and appreciate the gift of every moment of life.
    Goodbye 2020, time to Turn the Page.

    The Metallica video version of this song is Killer, but is for adults only, and kind of inappropriate so I could have used it as a reply to the sex in the kitchen blog.
    Happy New Year!
    See you all soon.

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    1. Good morning Mike! Always good to hear from you! Clearly, the boredom in the bedroom post was food for thought, or at least it led you to the kitchen! Living with a guy like Larry who gives me so much material to write about how could I not share the news? It was irresistible, my kids were not thrilled, and my sister was concerned! Bahaha. Okay, we’re nudging, some of us are storming, the 2021door, and I have to say it feels as if we have a shot (pun intended). Our herd mentality, or is it immunity, seems like some far-fetched futuristic Sifi, and I fear even entertaining the thought, “how can it get any worse?”

      Gald the Severance’s enjoyed the year in review, as I was researching each month (so much more happened than I reported) I was amazed at how significantly our lives were disrupted in such a short time, and the other thought was how it just kept getting worse? I was trying to inject a little humor but it’s like walking a tight rope when crossing humor and tragedy. It was politics as normal and the rest of us were dealing with anything but normal, except for the California fires! Okay, love that word apercu!

      Larry excels at avoiding trouble, it’s his gift, Shaggy is doing much better than California, that as you say keeps “shitting on itself.” Ugg, it’s as if a Calixit, everyone is leaving, and no one wants to align with an aging, burnt-out, golddigger. We lived in Kansas from 1987 to 1990 while Larry was working for Baxter, we were transferred back to California by a stroke of luck, and eventually, Larry moved out of medical and into tech.

      It was a privilege to introduce you to Duke’s Mayo! Wait until you try it! Yum! And catch this – Larry gave me an industrial ice machine for the lake house for Christmas. He just blew his cover! I can’t wait to say, “Ice run? Oh, honey, we have plenty.”

      Perfect song, let’s turn the page, I’ll have to check out the various versions! And I agree there were many positives in 2020 and although we had rigorous restrictions it did open our eyes to humanity’s resilience and a new appreciation for the depth and breadth of life.

      Missing you two, looking forward to a 2021 gathering with the Severances, hugs, Cheryl

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi!
        Love your response!
        Great minds think alike. (Gail and Rachel gave me an Ice machine also.) Looking forward to a lime slushy at the Lake.
        “An aging, burnt-out gold-digger.” Well said.

        Like

    1. Hi GP, thank you for reading and taking the time to join me in the comments! Pete is such a generous guy, he welcomed me when I first got to WP, and I’ve been a fan ever since. He recently wrote that no one took up his offer to guest post so I jumped in because I meet so many amazing people on his site, like you! Thanks again GP, I look forward to many future exchanged! Warmly, C

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Fraggle! Shaggy is fine, driving me crazy wanting to play ball while I’m teaching 30 some kids on Zoom, they love him more! Thanks so much for the follow! You can’t see but you put the biggest smile on my face. Warmly, C

      Liked by 1 person

  6. 80% UK lockdown again as we all search for moments of joy. I count your blog among the blessings. Happy New Year Cheryl to you and your loved ones. Wishing you flowing abundance, love and peace. Hugs, my lovely. ❤ Xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jane, oh no, 80% is a kill joy for sure. We are in the same situation here in California. Happy New Year Jane, and thank your for the kind words, that’s where I find my joy. Blessings on your New Year, may we find our way through these crazy times, and come out all the better for the experience. Much love, C

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a disturbing year! I was holding my breath the last week in fear of something else happening. Thanks for sharing your ups and downs with great humor. Good wishes for the new year 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ana, it has been a “disturbing year” as you say, and 2021 is not off to a great start either! I was thrilled to see your new post and now you joining me in the comments, I’ve missed our exchanges. Let’s hope this vaccine does what it needs to do to get us back in the game! I’m so ready. Warmly, C

      Liked by 1 person

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