As the year draws to a close, I would like to issue thanks to the following:
Dear Everybody Who Knows and Understands How Very Much I Detest This Time of Year, and Recognizes That Holiday Depression is a Real Affliction,
Thank you for taking the time to email me all your kind words of hope, appreciation and reassurance. I wish I didn’t need that sort of thing. I wish I could will the crappy feelings away, knowing as I do that they come and go every year, but I can’t. Your kindness and tolerance of my grinchiness means more to me than I can adequately express.
Dear Time Warner,
Thank you for sending some guy out yesterday to shut my internet juice off at the house while I was away at work. I know I’ve been a loyal customer (read: internet addict) for sixteen years now and that this does not net me the courtesy of continued service when I overlook a $57 outstanding payment. Whatever pissed offedness I feel to you has been quite offset by the urgent texts from my neighbor who let me know, as I was driving home from work, that maybe my house was being broken into (again). I take so much comfort in the fact that I have such a great neighbor, a comfort I might’ve overlooked had it not been for your thoughtful efforts to get my attention (because I know that without my $57 you’d be teetering on the edge of bankruptcy). I wonder if Grande will treat me similarly when I switch over them as a tangible signal of my gratitude? I can’t wait to find out!
And speaking of utility companies…
I want to also thank you, for giving my other next door neighbor such crappy service. When his phone went out yesterday, he had to come over and use mine, which turned out nicely, since I’ve been meaning to check in on him for weeks but got too busy with my own depression bullshit. His need of my phone and your insistence on putting us on hold for twenty minutes gave us a chance to catch up some. I just love my neighbor— he’s the best I ever had— so this unexpected together time was a real treat. It was also a chance for me to teach him, a 78 year-old technophobe, the wonders of the iPhone. He was able to figure out the elegant GUI in no time flat, and we had a good laugh over that. Plus, since you can’t repair the phone of an elderly man until “at least Monday,” I’m anticipating that we’ll have more time to catch up when he comes by to use mine again. It’s going to be hard not to show him Angry Birds, but I’m not sure if I want him hanging around until he gets to the ten gazillionth level.
Dear Steve Jobs,
Thanks for being the man behind the iPhone and even more for granting Walter Isaacson access to your inside story. I just finished the bio he wrote about you and damn, you really were a supreme asshole, weren’t you, dude? I learned a lot from your life story and I have to say that, given a choice between creating addictive technology that has so many of us constantly absorbed by our shiny little pocket computers and being nice, I really do think I would choose the latter. Powerful lesson, dude.
You big silly Labrador, thank YOU for shitting big runny shits from one end of the kitchen to the other last night while I was at an overnight babysitting gig. I realize in hindsight, after filling four poop bags, that I wasn’t even remotely irritated at the task. This was yet another reminder of how much I love you and the other dogs for all the unconditional love you bring into my life.
Dear Other Dogs,
Don’t get jealous over that personal shout out to Dante—I love you, too, and yes I did find those substantially smaller, drier poops you left in the laundry room. And no, those didn’t make me mad, either.
Dear All You Parents Who Allowed Me to Spend Time with Your Kids this Month and Who Acted Like I was Doing YOU a Favor,
To you I say au contraire! What a kindness you did me in allowing me the distraction of making arts & crafts and playing Wii and Lego and everything else. This helped me get outside of my head, the one that was filling up with self-pity and holiday gloom. I mean it when I say I will gladly watch your kids anytime.
Dear Super Cranky Postal Worker Lady,
Thank you for earlier today when I came in to pick up a package. All the times you’ve been a total bitch to me and yelled and were all talk to the hand when I protested your discourteous behavior? Those were, I must admit, slightly mitigated by the fact you were only mildly bitchy today when you mumbled an irritated and insincere Merry Christmas to me. Here’s hoping in the New Year we can both stop glaring at each other.
Dear Darling Son,
Thank you for asking, in a truly hopeful fashion, if I was going to make cheesecakes this year. You know, I really wasn’t going to, but since you put it like that, as I type this, I am making precisely one batch of two cheesecakes. Remember when I used to make thirty or forty each year and the joke was, “Keep the Oven Full at Christmas So There’s No Room for Your Head”? Well as I made those two cheesecakes today, I wondered how the hell I ever mustered the energy to make so many, and I started thinking how, wow, maybe therapy did work, and maybe I am slightly less OCD these days, so that’s cool. I also realized the house smells pretty damn good when I make cheesecakes—all that cinnamon. (But let’s get this straight: you WILL be taking the damn cheesecake home with you tomorrow because I need to stop eating crap.)
Dear All of You Who Inexplicably Seem to Enjoy this Miserable Time of the Year,
While I would ask that next year maybe you lay off the reindeer antlers on your car roof, I want you to know that I am trying (really, really I am) to understand that we all have different perspectives and that you are entitled to like this overblown, commercialized holiday. To you I say Merry Christmas, and honestly, my tone is at least slightly less irritated than that of the Super Cranky Postal Worker Lady.
Dear Santa Claus aka Carl Anderson,
Let me say to you, and not in a begrudging fashion, that what you said at the Dick Monologues show about your job for the past thirty years as the most popular mall Santa in the universe really did fill my heart. I seriously appreciate your insight.
Dear the Rest of You Who Share My Disdain,
I totally understand, I know it’s a total double suck you/we are going through, to not only hate the holiday but to be subjected to so many misguided people who want to “cheer you up!” and make you “get into the spirit!” Please believe me when I tell you that I’ve been going through this for nearly fifty years now, and we really, really are going to get through it. Less than two days to go.
GODSPEED through the fog,