Most years, I usher in the new year in my pajamas with a glass of wine in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. I’m lucky if I can stay awake until midnight, and if I do, I usually give my husband a kiss, mumble “Happy New Year,” and thank god that I can (finally!) go to bed.
Truth be told, I’ve never understood the hype about New Year’s Eve. I don’t understand the appeal of getting dressed up in fancy uncomfortable clothes and spending a shit ton of money on cheap champagne surrounded by hundreds of my closest friends strangers when I could eat cookie dough and drink wine in my flannel reindeer pajamas while watching Love Actually for the 59th time. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, and I’ve never put much stock into the magic wand of a new calendar page. January 1 is just another day, albeit a day with a new number at the end of it.
So no, I don’t get all jazzed about the fresh start of a new year.
Except this year. Because fuck the dumpster fire known as 2016.
This year I’m definitely celebrating on NYE, not with fancy clothes or champagne, of course, but with two middle fingers and a strong shot of bourbon.
Goodbye and good riddance, 2016. You’ve been an epic shitstorm of calamities. You brought us the Zika virus, new cases of Ebola in Africa, and contaminated water at the Olympics. There was the Orlando nightclub shooting, Harambe the gorilla, and an alligator killed a toddler at Disney, which is literally the happiest place on earth. WTF, 2016! Is nothing sacred to you?
Hazmat suits were required if you dipped your toes in the filth that is the comment section of just about any article on the internet, and to add insult to injury, the FDA warned about eating raw cookie dough so we couldn’t even stress-eat our 2016-induced anxiety away without the fear of spending two hours in the bathroom pissing shit.
The election cycle of 2016 was like that scene at the end of Billy Madison when the principal says, “What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.” #Truth. We are all dumber for having lived through this election cycle, and may God please have mercy on our souls.
At least there was food, music, and movies, right? Nope. 2016 had to rip whatever comfort we found in entertainment by taking away icons like Prince, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Carrie Fisher, and George Michael and beloved TV parents like Florence Henderson and Alan Thicke, and replacing them with shit like Fuller House.
At best, 2016 felt like a yearlong case of menstrual cramps combined with a raging case of food poisoning replete with projectile vomiting, diarrhea, and night sweats. Ryan Lochte. Brexit. Creepy clowns. At worst, 2016 was a flaming pile of nuclear waste ready to combust at any moment. In fact, I can’t even make a dent in the worst of the awful shit that went down in the past year — things like police shootings and Aleppo and white supremacists — without collapsing in a heap of tears and reaching for a Xanax, so let’s save those topics for a different essay, shall we?
If there were a slogan or catchphrase for 2016, it would most likely be Fuck This Shit. Or maybe I Can’t Even. Or What The Actual Fuck. There were more days than I can count when I wondered if it might be backwards day or if we were characters in some kind of supernatural sci-fi movie that takes place in the upside down.
Okay, so maybe I’m being a little dramatic. 2016 wasn’t all bad. It did bring us the magic of Simone Biles and addictive shows like This Is Us, Westworld, and Stranger Things. Some families went on kick-ass vacations. Babies were born. Couples got married. And the Cubs won the World Series.
OMG, THE CUBS WON THE FREAKING WORLD SERIES! And yes, I’m yelling because when you’re a Cubs fan and your team hasn’t won in 108 years and the rest of the year is shitshow of awfulness, you scream it from the rooftops. In fact, part of me is more then a little bit pissed that the amazingness of the Cubs winning the World Series is tarnished by the giant festering turd that is the rest of 2016. Then again, this was 2016 (i.e., the year of crazy-ass unbelievable shit) and these are the Cubs (i.e., the lovable losers who were cursed by a goat) so it seems pretty fitting actually. Because of course.
But aside from that short-lived, six-day joy of the Cubs winning the World Series when all seemed right in the world, 2016 felt like a giant fuck you. 2016 was like walking in a storm and the wind keeps flipping your umbrella inside out until it is ripped from your cold, wet hands. 2016 was like falling down a flight of stairs on your ass in front of a crowd of people. 2016 was like getting shit on by a bird after leaving the salon with an expensive blow out. 2016 was like being subjected to a bikini wax over and over and over again while your aesthetician chatters on about the Real Housewives and cackles maniacally as she rips hot wax off your lady bits. Enough, bitch. ENOUGH.
Now it’s our turn to say fuck you, 2016. Goodbye and good riddance.