I am not going to wish you a Merry Christmas. I am not going to wish you Happy Holidays, a Happy New Year, or even Happy Ass Slap from an Expensive Hooker. No matter what we say anymore, someone’s out there to complain. So, I won’t offer you Xmas cheer, a Happy Hanukkah, Joyeux Noël, Feliz Navidad or a Happy Solstice.
I wish you more than this. So much more.
When someone says to you: Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Have a nice Tuesday or a bitchin’ Saturnalia, I wish you the clear-sightedness to see when another human is saying something just to be kind, affable & cheerful. I wish you enough common decency to choke down your pettiness, smile & respond in your own kind, affable & cheerful way. I hope you’ll be reasonable enough to comprehend how one person phrases something shouldn’t diminish your joy; that most battles never need to be fought & that being offended is a meaningless thing.
I hope that in the coming year, you’ll have at least one pair of really comfortable shoes & that you’ll wear them on many long walks outdoors, with the sun and wind on your cheeks while holding hands with someone you really like holding hands with.
I hope that this year will be the year you get a grip on the fact that you will never get any free shit from anyone simply by liking & sharing photos of jewelry or lottery tickets on Facebook.
I’m wishing very hard that this year will be the one where you start saying “twenty-thirteen” instead of “two-thousand-thirteen.”
In the new year to come, I hope you will go to a doctor, or visit a drugstore when you are sick instead of asking me to pray for you. If you are a believer, then believe, but please… believe that God(s) work through people. This year, when a catastrophic event occurs (& it will), I hope you will donate your time, food or money rather than making public announcements informing the rest of us that you are sitting on the couch praying for the grieving, wounded & hungry.
I hope that when you do feel the need to pray, you will pray to your god(s) rather than Facebook. (Matthew 6:6, anyone?) I will do my part by not making you listen to me talking on the phone. Yes. It is the same thing.
I wish that this year, you’ll tell someone a story. A happy story. A painful story. Any story at all. The story you’ve never told, but always wanted to. That story you’ve kept stuffed down deep inside you like a dirty, embarrassing secret. Write it down. Tell it in a song or a painting. Whisper it to the person next to you. I wish you the courage to give someone that piece of you.
May you develop an awareness of how deranged you sound when referring to yourself not only in the third person, but as “mommy” to other adults & may you keep this bizarre habit among the sewing circle of mommy bloggers who find this to be normal & healthy. The rest of us are not toddlers. You are not our “mommy.”
This year, I hope none of you will have to listen to any ignorant old white men publicly going on about rape. But, if you do, I hope a massive army of angry vaginas finds a way to shut that whole thing down.
I wish you the pure, unconditional love that only comes from a special bond with a creature that isn’t human. Spooning with a big dog & rolling around with them on the carpet. Cradling a purring cat while sharing a warm rotisserie chicken. Holding hands with a monkey.
I wish that when you check your Twitter feed, you will be informed & amused; that you will engage in entertaining & interesting exchanges with people all over the world instead of being spammed, trolled, or shouted at to buy something, or have to sift through an endless stream of retweeted fragments of someone else’s book reviews.
I truly hope that in the coming year, you learn that Internet memes & macros will give no one the impression you are witty, informative, funny or entertaining. These things are to comedy & communication what lips, hooves & assholes smooshed together & stuffed in packages marked “bologna” are to kobe beef.
May you find yourself able to look at two people, & truly see them… the emotion in their eyes as they gaze at one another & only see the love that one person can for another instead of two men, two women & the limitations of your own ignorance.
May you finally come to the understanding that other countries & other people are not failed attempts at being you; everyone does not want what you want, or what you have. In fact, most people probably don’t. Try to be happy knowing you’re a successful attempt at being you & everyone else is quite successful at not being you.
In this new year, I wish that you will take a few goddamn seconds to think about #thirdworldproblems before making #firstworldproblems jokes because – & someone needs to tell you this – you are not funny. You might even be an asshole.
I hope you will better yourself. Learn a new language or an instrument that you’ve never touched before. Study a craft unknown to you. Try a strange new food before saying you don’t like it.
I hope whenever someone says to you that you can’t do a thing, you find yourself able to laugh at them, then do that thing better than either one of you had imagined.
I hope you’ll stop worrying about your thighs. You look fine.
May you remember in this year to come & all the years to follow that when you choose a side in a war & root for them to win, that these aren’t sports teams. These are real people who feel pain & laughter just as you do… that when you pray for one side in a war to be victorious, you pray for others to suffer in torment, to bleed, to cry screams of grief & agony. You pray for them to die.
I wish for you to be moved to tears by a piece of music, shaken by someone’s story of survival & punched in the gut by another’s suffering. I wish you tears of empathy.
I wish you anger. Rage. Enough dissatisfaction to pull your ass up out of your chair & throw you into something constructive besides pissing & moaning about the unfairness of the world.
I wish you all this… & so much more.