The New Year is right on our heels. Since we're now awash in resolutions and predictions for 2010, I thought I'd look back at 2009 and wish a Merry Happy Holidays to the people and things that made 2009 a fabulous, exhausting, scandal-filled year. Consider it my version of a New Year's letter.
Happy New Year, Tiger: It's been a rough holiday for you so far, and even though I compared you to a drunk donkey, I feel sorry that you're now the center of so much media attention. Even if you started this juggernaut of gossip with your own actions, it is clear that our tabloid culture, led by US Weekly and TMZ, demands scalps. It must seem that they will not stop until your life and career are in ruins. But take heart, another scandal (involving someone else) is just around the corner. I remember reading once that you scuba dive. Here's some free advice: take that money you no longer need to shell out on mistresses, buy an island, and do some diving—maybe underwrite a treasure hunt. Let the world forget about you—work on your swing and your goal to be a better person. Sooner, rather than later, they'll find another celebrity to go after.
Happy New Year, Jon and Kate Plus 8, Octomom, and Mr. and Mrs. Salahi: Y'all court this kind of media and paparazzi attention (Be careful what you wish for!). So, allow me to let you in on a little secret…do what you can to keep the gravy train going because I doubt you'll end 2010 as famous as you started it.
Happy New Year, Congress: Have a really, really great winter recess! Because if you still have health care on the table come February, I fear your approval ratings may actually reach zero.
Happy New Year, Facebook, Twitter, and Wordpress: Thank you for the new verbs and for an additional layer of guilt when I fail to update my current status. Oh, and with your help, I've noticed that I've got absolutely nothing going on in my life worth blogging or tweeting about except for my toddler's shenanigans. My New Year's resolution is to live an exciting life worthy of communicating my every move to the world at large.
Happy New Year, President Obama and family: Whether it be your elaborate and diverse family tree or fending off accusations of "You lie!" while addressing Congress, you have given the country the ultimate teachable moment on race relations in America. It's probably yucky and intrusive at times, not to mention a complete pain in the ass, but you represent the best chance for our country to have the kind of nuanced and understanding conversations about the impact of one's epidermis that we really need. (Shout out to Henry Louis Gates and the Beer Summit for doing much the same thing.)
Happy New Year, New England: Let's declare a truce. I know, I called you cold and unfriendly and was very snarky about your beautiful leaves. But I kid because I love. Come September, there's no place I'd rather be…just don't ask me to rake!
Happy New Year, Climate Change: Please give us a little more time before you drown the coastal lowlands, finish off the polar bears, and fry our skin—we'll figure out soon whether we’re to blame or not.
Happy New Year, Microsoft: I don't pretend to understand the ins and outs of the browser wars, but I hope you get it settled soon. I don't know if my computer can handle another window to the Internet (I have four now: AOL, Internet Explorer, Google's Chrome, and Firefox).
Happy New Year, DNA: You've got a lot on your plate—whether it be exonerating long-ago wrongfully convicted prisoners, like poor James Bain who was exonerated after 35 years in the pokey, or finding the genetic component to illnesses like cancer and multiple sclerosis. Rest up, I doubt 2010 will get any easier.
Happy New Year, National Geographic: Thanks to you, you helped me manage to get One Perfect Gift for my husband with your Complete National Geographic on a 160 mb hard drive.
Happy New Year, Millennials: I know I called you the most narcissistic generation anyone can remember. But we need you. You're paying for my Social Security.
Happy New Year, NEWSWEEK: My gift to you in exchange for this fabulous job is this last column of the year so filled with heavily searched keywords that it may bust the Internet, just like the death of Michael Jackson. But just in case, let me end by saying, Happy New Year, NFL, YouTube, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Hulu: you know what you did.