We like to make New Year’s resolutions, but we don’t tend to keep to them much beyond Groundhog’s Day. So instead of making resolutions this year, we’ve made a list of personal experiences we all might look forward to in 2021:
1. Rubbing a sore arm. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a sore arm and maybe even some flu-like symptoms are the price to pay for getting vaccinated against COVID-19. It sounds like most people will need two shots for maximum effectiveness, so we are doubly looking forward to this experience.
2. Being annoyed by overly energetic kids. We love children, but, like the COVID-19 vaccine, they come with side effects that include headache (in the adults, not the loud, overly energetic kids). Since we mostly have obeyed the restrictions on social gatherings, we didn’t see these precious grandchildren, nieces and nephews enough in 2020, making our lives just a little too placid. So we are looking forward to — excuse us for a moment, “Hey, don’t hit your sister!” — being around our loved ones a lot more when it becomes safe to do so.
3. Laying over at San Francisco International Airport. The restrooms have lines, the prices are way too high and when the weather is crummy, you can sit for an hour on the tarmac and barely move 500 yards. And the last time we visited this particular airport, something was broken on the plane and we ended up being hours late to our destination. Yet we miss the freedom of travel, the feeling of sunshine in the middle of winter and seeing people we haven’t seen in far too long. We even volunteer to take the middle seat.
4. Multiplying by 18 percent. We are way too out of practice at calculating a gratuity for a sit-down meal eaten in our favorite restaurant, bistro, bar or cafe. Let’s see, the tab is $34, so 15 percent is $5.10, and 20 percent is $6.80, so perhaps leave $6? Maybe we’ll have to remember how to use the calculator function on our phones.
5. Smelling obnoxious (or over-applied) fragrance. Maybe we were in an elevator or walking at the mall. Wherever we were, we could smell it. It made us wonder if a floral delivery van had crashed, or if a convention of skunks was in town. The odor was pervasive, and not socially distant. But bring on the orchids. It will be good to be in a crowd again.
6. Ducking a foul ball. Take us out to the ball game. Any ball game. The Ridgefield Raptors were a fun ticket in the summer of 2019. The Little League of professional baseball is just the ticket for an enjoyable summer evening. Because it’s played in a small venue, fans sit close to the action and have to watch out for errant baseballs at all times. On the bright side, we may score a souvenir even if we spill our beer.
7. Paying to get the news. Presidents always have a fraught relationship with journalists. That’s to be expected — reporters see themselves as bound to hold powerful people to account. But President Donald Trump frequently bypassed the briefing room, making major statements and policy announcements via Twitter, often in the middle of the night. We prefer to get the news from journalists who check the facts and report the full story.
8. Sitting through a long meeting. We admit that virtual meetings are efficient, especially when we hit the mute button and/or turn off the camera and just sort of monitor what’s going on while we eat a large chocolate eclair or brush the dog or do something else productive. But we’re tired of multitasking and just want to see and chat with our co-workers.
After a year like 2020, surely these eight simple expectations are not too much to ask of 2021.