It was a beautiful sunny day in early January. A rare event during the winter when I could sit outside and eat my lunch. I remember it well – Shake and Bake pork chops, mashed potatoes, and a side salad. I was able to get about halfway through my lunch when ‘he’ showed up.
I’m literally sitting about 6 feet from my front door at a little table and chair. I’m the only person within 100 feet. Heck, I think he even gave me a little head nod acknowledgement as he walked past. He knew for a fact that I was right there. Then he started banging on my locked door. Then he started ringing the bell. Next he’s putting his nose against the glass to look inside. Then it’s more banging, more looking, more ringing, more banging and on and on. I’m just kind of staring at him, wearing my optivisor, my apron with all of the tweezers, and looking exactly like someone that would work inside that store.
After a minute or so of this nonsense, I couldn’t take it any longer, and I said; “I’m not in there. I’m sitting right here. Can I help you?”
“I’m 2020 damn it, LET ME IN!”
Sadly, I let him in. Not my proudest moment, I’ll admit.
We all have that moment in time where we’d like to go back and make a different decision – unless you’re like me and have about 100 of them! But I opened my door that beautiful January day and I let 2020 in. It’s a decision I’ve had to live with ever since. So have you, unfortunately.
As I look back on one of the weirdest years in the history of the world, I don’t really know if I have more bad memories or more good ones. I think I probably should only remember the good ones, because the bad ones were quite bad. Out of all of the things I remember about 2020, the one that sticks with me the most was the utter quiet during the worldwide shutdown. I remember all of the strange things that began to take place once humans were locked away.
Every day a new phenomenon was being discovered. Remember when the dolphins started swimming in the Venice canals for the first time in history? Remember all of the pictures of smog ridden cities suddenly being crystal clear? Remember the pictures of the 405 in Los Angeles completely deserted? It lets us all know that the world can, and will, survive without humans.
Another thing I found fascinating was the number of people posting about projects they’d been putting off for years because they could never find the time to do them. During the pandemic shutdown, we had nothing but time. Because I had just sold my house and moved into a temporary rental, I had to put most of my belongings into storage. On moving day, when we made the last trip to the storage unit, I was barely able to shut the door because it was so packed. I remember being absolutely overwhelmed. A week later, the world shut down.
With everything closed, and nothing else to do, I went through my storage unit every weekend. It was very therapeutic. I cleaned out and organized things that had been in my attic, my basement, and my closets that have needed attention for decades. The best part was I didn’t have to get in the attic or go down to the basement to do it.
I saw and heard countless stories of people doing the same type thing, and posting pictures and memories that they were uncovering one box and one closet at a time. It was a nice trip down memory lane for a lot of us.
Of course, we all knew it wouldn’t last forever, and eventually we would start venturing out and resuming a more normal level of activity. I remember the first week we were allowed to reopen our retail store. It was a little weird and a little scary. Now it’s just normal, except everyone is wearing masks. One of the funny things that sticks out in my mind was the first time I used a public restroom again. Tell me that’s not a weird memory to hang on to!
But here we are at the end of 2020. By the time you are reading this, we should be in round one of the new COVID vaccine. That’s a huge game changer in this whole mess, and the beginning of the end of the pandemic. I hope everyone stays safe until you can get the vaccine. And I hope by the time you’re reading this we have a definitive answer on who will be the President for the next 4 years. Like I said, it’s been a weird year.
But, that makes me realize that January is right around the corner again. I wonder what I’m going to do if it’s a beautiful sunny day in early January. A rare event during the winter when I could sit outside and eat my lunch. And what would I do if someone comes up and starts banging on my door. This time I think I’ll just quietly get up, walk to my car, get in, drive away, and never look back.
Stay safe everyone, and…if you’re looking for a gift for that person that has everything, order them a copy of my books, ‘It’s Supposed to be Funny’, a two part collection of my columns from the beginning all the way up until today. The book finally grew so big we had to break it into two volumes. You can find them at www.LuLu.com.
Also, Southern/Mid-America Jewelry News has started running some of my old columns in their e-Newsletter. They call it Chuck’s Greatest Hits. If you’re not getting the newsletter you can sign up at southernjewelrynews.com or midamericajewelrynews.com. Click on subscriptions and then newsletter signup.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year, and I’ll see everyone in 2021!