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Celebrating Festivus 2022

The Airing of Grievances

I’ve never been one to celebrate the secular holiday of Festivus, brought into the public consciousness in the 1990s by Seinfeld. Festivus includes several components: an unadorned aluminum foil pole, an airing of grievances, and a physical strength challenge, along with a meal and labeling easily explainable events as “Festivus miracles.” Fabulous, I say.

Still, none of this has really resonated with me in years past. And yet, in the year of our Lord 2022, the airing of grievances is feeling particularly … appealing to me. Go figure.

So I’ve decided to spend a little time on the evening of December 23 — Festivus itself — composing a list of grievances from the year. Many will be deliberately vague, for reasons*. This feels like the right kind of ritual cleaning out of the old to invite in new, positive, joy-bringing, life-giving energy in the year ahead.

  1. Community college students should have options in class format & duration. I am frustrated when people who’ve never had the lived experience of a community college student think they know what students need to learn and be successful.
  2. The loss of our beloved band director, Robert Nelson, was unacceptable, world.
  3. I’m pissed at the tumor that stole vision out of my dad’s right eye. Thankfully, it has shrunk a bit … but totally not cool, tumor. You’re on my list. (Literally.)
  4. I believe strongly that March in Maine should be puffin season.
  5. And while on that topic, I don’t understand why I don’t live in Maine.
  6. Systems that take the side of the oppressor and make it nigh on impossible for the oppressed to fight the wrongs — those make me mad.
  7. I have been betrayed by several people this year who I thought were my friends and confidantes. Some of them I knew were betraying me at the time. Others I’ve only recently seen evidence of the depth of their betrayal. I will never recover from the disappointment of this.
  8. Spelling my last name wrong is forgiveable the first time. Mostly forgiveable the second time. Truly careless after that. But if you are in a position of power or authority over my life, you should take pains to get it right the first time. I certainly do for you.
  9. Whoever set up my parents’ wifi misspelled prairie, and this means I’ll never know their password for sure and that’s either really secure or really insecure, because it’s written down EVERYWHERE.
  10. I want to be angry at God for things that happened with my dad in April, but to be honest, I’m still giggling about it and so I gotta give the Big Guy a pass on that one. Although, the surgeon who operated on his shoulder the first time could’ve done a better job, fwiw.
  11. COVID is an asshole. Especially when it meant my stepson couldn’t participate in his college commencement ceremony. Screw you, COVID.
  12. I have run out of passwords.
  13. The Art of Living Retreat center needs to do some soul-searching around accessibility and air conditioning.
  14. The fleas that took up residence in my parents’ basement were a scourge on our lives.
  15. Tennessee voters made the wrong decision on Amendment 1.
  16. I wish more MHHS band alumni had come to play with us in the fall. I missed you all.
  17. I bite my thumb at anyone who questions my choices when it comes to driving in winter weather. I’m the biggest worrywart about ice, but I know my talents when it comes to snow.
  18. I no longer have space in my life for people who are hell-bent on bringing down others. My energy and talents are here to do good, not to suck the life and joy out of this precious little time we have.

* Said reasons are embargoed for legal reasons.

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