2006: The Year That Sucked For Pretty Much Everybody


One of my resolutions this year is to just go ahead and be sappy if I feel like it.

The house is empty all of a sudden. It’s just become the second of January, after three days of nonstop friends-socializing, after five days in three states of family-socializing plus associated air travel. The room is suddenly very, very quiet. I can still hear the last couple people outside getting into their cars, in fact — yes, folks, that is how quickly I jump to fill empty time with the internet these days.

No, but really. I took a little tour through every room except the one Emily’s asleep in, shutting off lights and collecting bottles, and it all looks different. Somehow days of houseguests and parties has turned the place not into a mess, but into a gallery of rooms suited to perambulation: plates of leftover cheeses and snacky foods are within a few steps of any point, music is still playing quietly in several different rooms, Frank is completely worn out and immobile in the middle of the floor. (As is Emily, of course, though at least she had the foresight to make it to her bed first. )

I’m surprised by how much my house changes shape when it’s been filled with people; maybe mostly because it’s a reminder of how infrequently that is. (And how wrong that is.) But on the other hand: in future, when I’m tempted to be disappointed that my life hasn’t turned out into the 24/7 artsy bohemian dotcom sex party I always secretly hoped was inevitable, I need to remind myself that today I got to see geometric games played upstairs and kooky ones downstairs, tarot readers speaking a secret language in the TV room, dogs of vastly different size circling one another, an electric baby pushing a ball bigger than her across the living room, and filmmakers editing a pornographic film about cheese puffs, with music composed by one of the guys playing the kooky board game in the dining room, that they shot in the upstairs bathroom at last night’s party. All in my house.

That I got to be one of those filmmakers is just gravy on the cake. (That I think it might actually be a genuinely good short film is even more so.) ((That I suddenly feel the need to mitigate that statement and start making excuses and de-superlating adjectives is, frankly, something I need to spend some time working on. One thing at a time.))

Point being: I’ve done worse. All put together, this is pretty much as much as I ever hoped for, in fact. Which is the sort of thing that’s easy to lose track of, and I’m glad to have been reminded of it this new year. Because I had forgotten. Completely.

And to momentarily abandon the pretense that this site is read by millions of lurkers worldwide, and instead that of the people reading this right now, at least 80% were in this room not much more than twenty minutes ago, and most of the rest should have been, especially if I’d just been more organized about invitations — Thanks. I needed that.

(One of my resolutions this year is to just go ahead and be sappy if I feel like it. There are gonna be a bunch of resolutions this year. I need to number them before I start forgetting which are which.)

Based on a carefully sampled poll of people who looked likely to answer the question, 2006 was the year that sucked for pretty much everybody. I’m hoping this next one will be better for you guys, too. At the moment I’m feeling pretty optimistic for myself.