Betsy Shebang - Column for 1/1

(Betsy has the day off, but will return to this space next week.)

Marty & Aidan's End-Of-Year Newsletter

(Those of you in a hurry can just skim for the highlighted parts!)

Dear Friends and Family:

Well, goodbye 2001, and good riddance! I don't know about you, but I think 2001 took the prize for SURREAL SHIT HITTING THE REAL FAN! How many of you, looking back at the events of the past twelve months, just plum forgot that Spring 2001 even happened? Huh? Well, I don't know about you, but I'm not gonna let my whole darn year of precious memories be replaced by a montage of repeating CNN footage! Stuff happened this year, and here's our newsletter to prove it!

Sometimes, the end of the year comes and I feel like I haven't accomplished anything. It seems like only this afternoon, for example, that I suffered a panic attack from the sudden realization that I had only twenty minutes left to do something worthwhile with 1993. I mean, what can you do in twenty minutes to redeem a wasted year? Leave a voicemail telling your boss you quit? Throw away your collection of old newspapers? Vow to live differently from now on? Drink?

This year, my wife Aidan and I set firm goals, and in the end, we accomplished many things! Let's check in:

First, we've met our goal of NOT DYING. When we put our heads together on what we wanted to accomplish in 2001, this was right at the top of the list!

Always eager to please, Aidan has clung enthusiastically to her favorite hobby of CHANGING HER MIND ABOUT WHAT TO DO WITH HER LIFE. I swear, life with this woman is like crossing the country in a car that only turns left!

Meanwhile, I've kept busy cultivating my own favorite pastime, COMPLAINING ABOUT MY JOB WITHOUT DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT. This has taken up most of my time for almost a year now! Unfortunately, I'm going to be officially laid off as of January 4th, so it looks like I'll have to find something else to complain about in 2002 - like, say, UNEMPLOYMENT! Watch this space!

When we got married in late 2000, I worried that my thriving social pool would dry into a puddle of warm goo, but with 2001 have come unexpected new adventures, such as AWKWARDLY INTRODUCING MY WIFE TO MY EX-GIRLFRIENDS AT PARTIES. I tell you, fella, you haven't confronted the mystery of life until your wife tells you your ex-girlfriend is very attractive and you wonder what to say in response while you struggle to remember what your ex looks like with her clothes on. Oh, well - it takes two to tango! As our first full year of marriage, 2001 has given Aidan and myself the opportunity to pursue many long-held interests, such as CONVERSING ABOUT DIGESTION, SHOPPING AS REVENGE and ARGUING ABOUT STUFF WE AGREE ABOUT. With the coupling of our emotional and financial lives has also come a strengthened ability to SPEND MONEY ILL-ADVISEDLY. When it comes to creatively rationalizing poor financial decisions, two heads really are better than one!

Those of us who we've tried to arrange a visit may have noticed yet another exciting demand on our schedules - we've been devoting some time to REPLACING THE CRAPPY CAR THAT WE BOUGHT WHEN WE REPLACED OUR CRAPPY CAR LAST YEAR. I even got in an accident on a test drive! To everything, there is a season, indeed!

Lastly, despite all that hullabaloo about suicide bombings and eternal religious conflicts and what's the point of living in a world populated only by bloodthirsty dogs and vengeful wolves and stupid cows and angry sheep, it has been refreshing to WATCH OUR FRIENDS START FAMILIES. It's weird how my friends' babies are coming in waves, as if they're going out of their way to breed, in a single generation, a super-race of babysitters genetically engineered to watch skillfully over my infant children while I'm off collecting my Oscars or whatever. Well, I must say, it's more fulfilling than WATCHING OUR FRIENDS DEVELOP PARENTAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH PETS, which occupied so many hours in 1999 and 2000.

Well, that's about it for us. From both of us to all of you, may your 2002 be more pleasant, and less interesting, than 2001. Keep in touch!


Copyright 2002 Raining Goldfish

Columns by Betsy Shebang