I noticed something spectacular the other day when walking by a mirror: the mask I like to wear makes my nose look smaller! OK, maybe it just gently diverts attention from one of the most obvious gifts inherited from my father. I’m not self conscious about my schnoz, but it is sized big enough that I can make fun of other Cyrano-types without the guilt of being too judgy or petty, because I am definitely a member of the club. Thanks, Dad.
See, there are some good things that came with the awfulness that is 2020. There are a few more.
I received a holiday card from a friend this week. It was one of those great photos of a beautiful family in a Christmas setting that reminded me of Whoville. The picture was the highlight, of course, but the greeting on the postcard was fantastic. It read: “It’s fine. We’re fine, Everything is fine.” That encapsulates 2020 as well as anything I have seen. There was no “Joy to the World,” “Happy Holidays,” or even a more comedic, Grinchly-type message sent straight down from Mount Crumpit. In fairness, best wishes were included in the smaller font sub-message, but if ever a Christmas card needed sealed into a time capsule, this one is it.
We are in the peak of the “year-in-review” pieces being produced by virtually every publication. I do one every year myself, though technically, this is my second one this year. But in this one, I am committed to following the great advice given by those great life coaches from across the pond, Monty Python, specifically in their song, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”
One of my favorite political newsletters, Adam Wren’s Importantville, put out “Top 10 Hoosier politics stories of 2020” on Wednesday. Number 10 on that list was “Attorney General Curtis Hill’s law license suspended after groping case.” That the state’s top lawyer was punished at all for what he did in March of 2019 is a good thing. It’s actually a great thing. While I contend that Hill committed a crime and should have been prosecuted for it, he didn’t get away with it either. Kudos to the court for doing the right thing on this one.
Sticking with newsletters, I also get Axios AM, by Mike Allen. The team there has produced a graphic the last four years on Google Trends, which shows what Americans search. It’s a fascinating chart that gets into the weeds a little bit–forcing us to remember things that feel like they were “a thing” even before we referred to hot news items that way. Remember the horrifying “murder hornets?” It was a hot Google search in early May. Killer bees were scaring a quarantined country into believing that even if we go outside with a mask on, we might be destroyed by a menace Alfred Hitchcock might have conjured. I wanted to fight them with an army of Fort Wayne Mad Ants, but the team had too many players potentially allergic to stings. The good news is that the Asian giant hornet is not going to kill us like their nickname implies. The bad news is that they do endanger our existing bee populations, which are vital to our ecosystem. So, the murder hornets still need to be eradicated.
Speaking of things to be killed, the office meeting might not be dead, but it has been maimed. This is good news, possibly the best news. I am a communicator by trade, so “less” communication is not what I celebrate here. But almost all office meetings do not feature true dialogue, so why have them? Apparently so more coffee mugs could be sold emblazoned with the message, “I survived another meeting that should have been an email.” The reboot of the office meeting, post-pandemic, should be organized more thoughtfully so that its purpose differentiates itself from that email, text or its most closely related sibling, the Zoom call. Otherwise, my planned 2021 wardrobe of jacket, tie, shorts and flip flops might become more permanent.
Expect Zoom fashion to be the next big market. It’s fashion for a world without concern for wrinkles, lower halves, colognes or perfumes. It is a two-dimensional world where the background is more important than pants. Oh, and profile camera angles are easy to avoid.
Those of us in the mega-snout club have finally achieved equality.
Thanks, 2020. And Happy New Year!