Well, that sucked

January 1, 2009

An open letter to 2008:

At the risk of sounding ungrateful, I’ve decided to let you go. You’ve done enough damage, thank you very much, and it’s time we parted ways. Don’t let the door hit you in the butt on your way out.

I’m not saying you were the worst year I’ve ever experienced, but there have been root canals that caused me less pain.

I went through three jobs during our time together. In the past, I’ve spent entire decades in the same office — loyal, punctual, never sick, never claiming for overtime. But thanks to you, 2008, I was unemployed more than I was employed over our lousy 12-month relationship. That left a sour taste in my mouth. And a black hole in my bank account. You can teach old dogs new tricks but, c’mon now, you need to hire them first.

And, hey 2008, what was up with that whole global economy meltdown thing? Was that really necessary? You really disappointed me with that one, let me tell you.

Just because Americans decide to play silly buggers doesn’t mean the rest of us have to suffer. When my neighbour burns down his house, it behooves to me to watch where the sparks land. But when American bankers and investors and other assorted nimrods suffer from a combined greed cramp, there is absolutely no reason for it to have any kind of ripple effect way down here in the South Pacific.

We only have four million people in New Zealand. Surely you could have found bigger fish to fry, or torture. But apparently not. Some of us learned to play fair in kindergarten, 2008 — were you absent that day?

Speaking of New Zealand, yes, 2008, you did mark our return to this tiny, strange, sheep-filled outpost after a three-year absence. But it appears 2005 forgot to pass on my memo about what I was expecting when I came back: a broadband connection that actually moves faster than the Pony Express; episodes of Survivor shown on Channel 3 within a reasonable time of them screening everywhere else in the world so I don’t see the winner’s names on the Internet the same week the series debuts here; a satellite TV service that offers pay-for-view movies actually released after 2006; a litre of motor oil priced at less than $24; Cherry Coke.

Or any Coke, actually, other than Classic, Diet and Zero. It’s carbonized water and syrup, for chrissakes. I’m reasonably certain it won’t go bad while it’s being shipped to our shores.

And another thing, 2008 you slacker: I’m also pretty sure I told you way back on Jan. 1 that I wanted my book published again during our time together. I know — you did hook me up with Jeff Buick and, yes, he was kind enough to offer to read Brown Girls and perhaps put in a good word with his publisher. But that was April. To this day, he still hasn’t read the darn thing.

(For the record, 2008, Jeff has since explained how my book is now on the very top of his reading list but you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t hold my breath. I did a lot of that during our relationship and it always ended in tears. And a blue face.)

I’m just going to add that particular broken promise to this large heap of broken promises over here. I owe them all to you, friendo.

So scurry off, 2008 — shoo! — back to wherever old years are stored when they’re used up. I can assure you, during those future instances when I harken back to “the good old times,” your name will not be mentioned. You will cease to exist — that’s how much you hurt me.

My parents cautioned me about years like you, how you’d use and abuse me, how you’d leave me a broken husk of a man.

Well, that’s it — lesson learned. Never again. I may be wounded but I am also wiser.

You listening, 2009? Don’t make me kick you in the ass every single day. You’ve been warned.


2 Responses to “Well, that sucked”

  1. Your story has touched my heart ut I figure if you wake up on January 1st and go to sleep on 31st Decemebr the year could not have been all bad

  2. Lily said

    wonderful as always.

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