Sunday, December 20, 2020

The Christmas Ruiners

I recently posted this picture of myself to my Instagram page. The caption alludes to the fact that my Busy Black Woman Holiday Giving Guide has been delayed. Last year, I was so proud of myself for posting items before my birthday, but this year (10 days or so later) I am still waiting for half of what I ordered to arrive. And I began placing orders before Thanksgiving! This is all thanks to delivery delays and increased shipping costs, so I dare not order much else if I hope anything will arrive in time for me to put it all back in the mail for Christmas/New Year/Valentine's Day delivery. Such is 2020...

Yeah, because of COVID, no holiday travel this year, so everything will be in the mail or dropped off on your doorstep. And since I'm not going to any indoor malls or holiday bazaars, I have to find inspiration from Instagram ads and Etsy. I am still waiting on the Christmas cards that I ordered two weeks early so that also delays my timeline for shipping gifts as well. I know that I could just order everything from a certain big, bad corporate behemoth that delivers whatever you need in two days, and if I get that desperate, I know that is an option. But I have at least three more days until that becomes necessary. (<--I wrote that sentence five days ago.)

Mind you, I am not upset that Christmas is already a disaster this year because that was the one guarantee we could anticipate. Call it the ying and yang of life--the price of exiting the Hell that has been 2020 is the opposite of a Hallmark Christmas movie. It's Die Hard

Which is why all of these calls for Trumpelthinskin to concede with dignity have me scratching my head. As if! Nah, I'm glad he's continuing to show his entire man-baby ass for all of the world to see. It isn't like he has any shame to begin with, so spare us the farce of him being a gracious loser. I know, it undermines the dignity of the transition process (blah, blah, blah), but we're so past the point of expecting anything less than a drawn out clusterfuck. He is King Midas's little brother Fredo--E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G he touches turns to straw, so the only sane thing to do is to watch him implode and hope that Satan brings a Roomba after he extinguishes the embers.

(I know, that was a lot of randomly mixed metaphors. Keep reading, I'm sure I have more.)

The 74 million who voted for him--those same self-righteous folks who storm the malls every year to demand that the over-worked and under-paid cashiers wish them a Merry Christmas instead of a Happy Holidays? They are all ruiners too. They are Meghan 'Jesus-is-white-and-Santa-too' Kelly questioning what's so wrong with blackface (because Robert Downey, Jr. did it) level ruiners. They are I caused a 10 mile long car pile up on the freeway because my dog knocked my phone out of my hand and I only looked down for a minute, but you shouldn't have stopped so suddenly in bumper-to-bumper traffic, so it's not my fault level ruiners.

I feel that I should pause to define what I mean by ruiners, since that is quite a broad swath of people that I am branding as terrible. Well, because they are and I have reached that point of my middle age where I refuse to extend compassion or to seek reconciliation with anyone who thinks that being called a Karen is worse than calling the cops on a kid for selling water on the street. I don't believe that goodness and virtue are political ideologies but I do think that the intentional choice to side with evil for the sake of personal expediency is an indication that maybe there are some very bright lines.

For example, I started writing this a few days ago, but as usual, when I get distracted I am like a cat following a laser. I came back air my various grievances because it is so freaking hard to get anything done in these COVID times. As in basic shit, like getting my Mom excused from jury duty. She cannot serve, and despite the fact that I provided a written explanation on her survey, supported by the required doctor's certification, which was faxed to court in a timely manner, and have attempted to contact them to verify that her form was received...she is STILL scheduled to show up in January! Honestly, it might be easier just to wheel her in than to go through all of this trouble because apparently NOBODY IS AT WORK.

Mind you, customer service was bad even when we weren't in a pandemic. And I blame the ruiners who would rather that things be cheap and efficient instead of done right. We don't want to pay one person to answer the phone and connect calls so everyone has an automated system that is supposed to be more helpful at directing you to the right answer to your question. How often do you still need to be connected to an operator after listening to a menu of inapplicable options or after having a computerized voice insist that it cannot process your request? If you have been to a McDonald's lately (don't judge me), there are kiosks instead of cashiers. Your food doesn't come out any faster because you didn't place your order with a human, by the way, it just saves the corporation $8 an hour per person who was replaced. Not that those were good jobs, because they weren't. It just seems fundamentally wrong to tell young people to get a job but have nothing to offer because no one thinks they are worth the investment. But at least your order was accurate and you didn't have to repeat yourself to the Latinx cashier with the heavy accent.

The ruiners are the people who saw Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and shared spoilers on social media (luckily I saw the play 20 years ago, so not too ruined). The ruiners are the folks at Mattel who shipped the Barbie Dream House in a box that clearly indicates what is inside, and as I ordered in a timely manner (because it is a hot ticket item), it arrived on my front porch while my Kid, who is still at home doing virtual school, could see it. Her Dad announced that it had come, so he is a ruiner too, but for a bunch of other reasons including his inability to think on his feet! The ruiners are also all of those parents who insist that we should all drop the pretense, and even though that Larry David episode was hilarious, it sucks when those people try to justify being a ruiner because they don't believe in the fantasies we sell our children.

Again, 74 million of you wanted more Trump though.

This Christmas was already trash back in September. Because the ruiners who didn't want people of color to vote couldn't get away with the usual suppression tactics in the middle of a pandemic, they messed up the mail. Packages are piling up at the post office, since shopping at the malls is risky. Or at least I think the malls are risky...I wouldn't know; I've been in the house social distancing like Dr. Fauci advised. And I'm guessing that by now, all of the cashiers have been replaced with self-serve kiosks, which I refuse to use because I can just stay at home to shop on my own computer. But allow me to caveat that the mail isn't entirely messed up since all of my bills still seem to arrive on time. 

Of everything I have highlighted as ruined, there are the more obvious and serious losses of life that I have yet to mention. I cannot begin to fathom what Christmas or any other holiday (and yes, my fellow Christians, there are other holidays that occur this time of year) will be like for the millions of people whose loved ones died in this pandemic. I spent a year mourning the passing of a good friend from cancer, and as we approach the anniversary of her transition, I am still a mess. The cancer that claimed her life took three months to diagnose, then an agonizing two weeks of watching her suffer. So I can only imagine how anyone who has dealt with death from COVID must feel with a disease that only needs two weeks to inflict its lethal damage. This pandemic is THEE reason why this holiday season will forever be remembered as one of the worst ever. 

If I have not yet called your name or included your specific nonsense on this list, no worries, because you have two weeks to ruin what remains of this year:

  1. You decorate more than one Christmas tree in your house.
  2. You insist that writing 'Xmas' instead of 'Christmas' is disrespectful.
  3. You renege on participating in one of those gift-giving pyramid schemes. (✋ raises hand)
  4. You post conspiracy theories about the coronavirus vaccine.
  5. You re-gift a present back to the person who gave to it you.
  6. You go broke buying stuff for yourself, so your gifts to everyone else come from Costco.
  7. You use terms like 'mask-shaming' or 'virtue signaling' with no sense of irony.
  8. You've gone back to church amidst the surge in cases. (my Dad)
  9. You criticize intelligent people with whom you disagree by saying that we are better than this, as if after 9 months of lockdown we care what you think.
  10. You voted to confirm another Trump judicial appointment, but refuse to vote for another relief package to give people a measly $1200.

And finally, a special middle finger, sit on it, and may you itch in inaccessible places with no relief to the person (s) who broke into our car, and our neighbors' cars last night.

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