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Everyone's a Critic

The Observer's culture blog

Monday, January 9, 2017

NOTE TO SELF RE NEXT CHRISTMAS, by Mary A. Jones

Remember 2016 was hard. If you are a Hillary fan, a democracy fan, a fan of this country, a Wolverines fan, a Tigers fan, a Lions fan – just about everything you could root for lost. Defeat after defeat after defeat. But what about Christmas 2016? Well, that was hard, too. Some of it. Remember these things; notes to self:

Ask questions of your returning children early. You will think you have time, but the moment will have passed.

Have lots of food available.

Gas in the car.

Try not to take personally the crabby moods, the silence. You no longer know how to breach these things. They never let you anyway.

It's just the way it grew, the way it stayed. Will it be this way always? You don't know, so try not to dwell on it. The Christmas break will morph – the first few days to the next few days to days with their dad to days upon their return. It will feel like defeat. But it is not the same as Hillary or the Tigers. It is defeat and it isn't. Try to dwell on how it isn't. This is the way things are. Your sons are 18 and 20 years old. You are their mother. It's a big role, a starring role, but the character is required to sit upstage left in a straight-back chair and never say a word. It's kind of like that. It makes you sad, and that is a large part of Christmas, or was in 2016. We can blame so many things. The ways of love top the list, though you forgot to mention it initially. The ways of love.

Happy 2017.


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