“Quando Dio vuole castigarci ci manda quello che desideriamo”—When the Gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers.
Go ahead, raise your hands. I won’t hold it against you: how many of you, on or about Dec. 20 asked for snow? Had enough, yet? (Yes, by the way, my hand is up.)
And, while we’re at it, how many of you, toward the end of last September, made some offhand remark about wishing the Colorado Rockies would just stop playing baseball. I mean, they were bad last year—not as bad as predicted, but still, very bad. And, to add insult to injury, they traded their best player away, and—somehow—got their trade partners to take an additional $50 million off our hands. I mean, sure, they were an embarrassment on almost every sporting level, but wouldn’t you rather be getting ready for Spring Training and pitchers and catchers reporting right now, than staring at the next month of sports after the Super Bowl with nothing but meaningless basketball and hockey games (which you can’t watch, anyway, thanks to Comcast and Kronke) until March Madness?
It’s cruel, isn’t it, the way the calendar is set up? We hit Jan. 1, and, of course, what is foremost on everybody’s mind? New Year’s resolutions. And what is the number one New Year’s resolution? Some variation on losing weight, or eating healthy, or getting in shape. So many people “pray” to lose weight. And yet, come Jan. 1, what’s laying around the kitchen? Leftover candy and cookies and Christmas goodies. Then, when you finally manage to sort through all that junk, what populates the first aisle of every grocery store and drug store? Valentine’s Day candy. Okay—tough nut, but doable. Just survive to Feb. 14t. And, finally, you walk out of the grocery store, proud of yourself for not loading up on candy, and, BOOM. There’s the Girl Scout, right outside the store, with boxes and boxes of cookies. And… it’s all for a good cause, right? But, those only last for so long, and then, finally! You’re…AUGHHH it’s time for Easter candy!
Really, it’s almost like the whole weight loss resolution needs its own day, completely separate from the calendar year. Maybe, like, April 9. It’s after the holidays (most years, Easter is before then), the weather is starting to turn, so there’s that whole “Summer body” thing starting to creep up on you, and, maybe, there’s enough guilt from St. Patrick’s Day celebrations to motivate some discipline.
Okay, we got the masks off our kids in schools. Yippee, right? But for two years now, teachers have had the luxury of knowing that, after lunch, the kids in their rooms would be hidden behind masks; or, more to the point, their breath would be, er, masked. Not any more. Parents, you may want to stop packing Funyuns in your kids’ lunches. Just sayin’…
And, finally, I’ve been trying to find the humor, the snark, or just whatever in relation to the (seems to be approaching) end of the pandemic, or at least to it dominating our lives. It’s taken two years of “prayers” for us to get to this point, but it seems to finally be here. There’s the meme about people getting fired for losing their ability to mask their facial expressions when people say dumb things in live meetings (for the record, was a weakness of mine long before the pandemic); or, perhaps, the jokes about impending catastrophic shortages of real pants, now necessary since we won’t be so able to hide our lower bodies behind Zoom screens.
But, maybe it’s all much more mundane than that. This weekend’s experience for me was a ridiculous and unfathomable density of traffic around every single shopping establishment. Cuz, sure—a little road rage will be exactly what the doctor ordered after the last two years. Have a great week!
Michael Alcorn is a former teacher and current writer who lives in Arvada with his wife and three children. His new novel, “Valkyrie’s Kiss,” a finalist in the ScreenCraft Book Competition, is available now at email@example.com. His opinions are not necessarily those of Colorado Community Media.