December Men's Room column
Dear Humans of America,
I’ve been taking a bunch of guff from you guys since I was just two months old. But, now that I’m on the way out, I’ve had just about enough of the blame game.
This whole pandemic? I know you only started paying attention in March, but this thing actually started last December. But, do you see anybody blaming 2019? I just inherited this mess, and you all have managed it about as skillfully as a drunk teenager at a driving test. Stuck in a ditch and rage tweeting that it’s all my fault. #2020SUX, my behind.
Did the Native Americans blame 1492 when Columbus showed up? Did those poor women in Salem, as they were burned as witches, cry out “Curse ye, 1693!” Did Guns N’ Roses blame 1991 when Nirvana launched grunge and made GNR irrelevant? So, why blame me?
Plus, after all your fantasizing about getting to work from home, you finally got your chance. And, just because you hate it, that’s on me? You can’t manage to shower before cocktail hour, your husband trails behind you all day like a lost child, and Nigel from human resources never remembers to unmute himself on Zoom, but I’m the villain?
And, don’t pretend you haven’t privately threatened for years to take Riley out of that “sterile institution” and homeschool her. Well, you got your shot. And, what happened? You bailed on Riley’s math problems after like twenty seconds and organized a parent petition for more scheduled Zoom lessons from poor, overworked Ms. Blandersnap.
But, we’ve had some good times too, right? How about that show with the crazy big cat enthusiast convinced that Carole lady fed her husband to tigers? Wasn’t that fun? And, what about the documentary on the guy who’s best friends with an octopus? Never thought you’d cry during a nature doc, did you?
Sure, there was that dreadful video with those celebrities butchering “Imagine.” And, Thanksgiving kind of sucked, and you had to risk your life to vote, but think of all the boring neighborhood get-togethers and random superficial conversations you got out of.
I know what you’re thinking: “I’d do anything to have those kinds of social interactions again!” Trust me, you didn’t like them back in January and February. It’s only because you can’t have them that they feel special. They’re like that boring guy you ignored all through high school who only became attractive once he died in a freak snowboarding accident.
And, what about those memes about how much I suck? Haven’t those been cathartic? For you guys, I mean. You haven’t agreed with your uncle about anything since 9/11, but he loved all those dank memes you shared about how I’m the worst, so I brought you closer together, right? It’s called “trauma bonding.” It’s a thing. You’re welcome.
Anyway, this whole mess will, unfortunately, be around for a while after I’m gone. Try to give the new guy a break. It’s not his fault either.
Dylan Patterson is a writer and filmmaker who teaches English at Cape Fear Community College.
To view more of illustrator Mark Weber’s work, go to markweberart.blogspot.com.
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