Do you know what I’ve discovered? Reality star Khloe Kardashian has announced that she is exiting 2013 wanting a fresh start after the divorce from the disappointing marriage with Lamar Odom. She can hardly wait to turn the page on 2013. I feel your pain, girl. Life can be a bitch, and rarely do we get to exit the previous year without getting a little banged up—sometimes completely banged up depending on our individual choices or the ramifications of the choices of other people beyond our control.
Use by Permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star
I was meditating on this thought as I was watching “A Very Muppet Christmas” with my five-year-old grandson. Whoopi Goldberg was on the screen playing a “godlike character”—siting on a couch in a field of flowers. As I drifted off to sleep from the overeating of a standing rib roast, overstuffed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and lots and lots of exquisite wine, I remember thinking that once again another year was slipping by without me losing enough weight so I could be mistaken for Halle Berry in the make-up section of Target. Suddenly, somebody very Whoop-like was in my TV room and no longer sitting in a fragrant pasture giving advice to a Muppet rep.
Whoopi Goldberg Meme (apologies Whoopi for the name misspell of the meme generator)
WHOOP-LIKE: Hey, girl. I see another year has passed and you’re still moaning about your weight. Aren’t you a little old for that? Check out my style—I’m lettin’ it all hang out these days and I’m feelin’ fine.
ME: Whoop-like, what the hell are you doing sitting on my couch? How did you get out of the TV? I know it’s a Smart TV programed to do just about anything, but transporting you out of a Muppet movie is an entirely different subject. It looks like the alcohol has started to mess with me.
WHOOP-LIKE: I looked out from the scene into your living room and saw that no one was watching the movie. Your grandson took off upstairs twenty minutes ago. I think the reason he left was because you kept alternating between snoring (you snore like a freight train, girlfriend) and moaning the phrase: “I must get back on my diet—must look like Halle in New Year . . .” What the . . .?
ME: I’m positive that I did not say that! The last thing I remember before I fell asleep is my grandson patting my belly and asking me if I had a baby in my tummy (everybody’s a critic these days). I was so mortified that I mumbled something like, “let’s watch the Muppets, kid” as I pulled his teddy bear in front of my fluffer-nutter tummy and cuddled with him on the couch.
WHOOP-LIKE: Well, now that I’m here—let’s chat. 2013 is coming to a close—what disappointed you the most about 2013?
ME: Oh, that’s easy: Our damn Congress—specifically the heartless, cold-blooded bastards of the Tea Party wing. Ayn Rand is alive and well in the halls of Congress and Jesus is weeping.
Used by Permission: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune
WHOOP-LIKE: Understandable. That’s it?
ME: Oh, no. I hate that we adopted the words “selfie, twerk, and hashtag” into our vocabulary. I can’t believe they have been added to our dictionary—Webster must be turning over in his grave, because I’m ready to commit hari kari if I read and hear these words ever again. Also, I wish I’d never joined Facebook, and I’m surprised I didn’t go screaming into the night during the Presidential election season—especially during President Obama’s reelection. Some of the people I know have lost their fuckin’ minds, and they never found them again. During 2013, some of them dug into their racist and homophobic holes and never came out. I’m about one click short of posting a note on their FB pages that says: “Did you notice that the one black friend you had is actually black?” And then one of the worst things about 2013 was the Affordable Care website glitches. The poor Prez. The Tea Party was doing cartwheels. Of course, there was the one-year anniversary of Sandy Hook, and the reminder of all the people—especially children—who have died from guns in our inner cities, and yet Congress continues to fiddle while Rome burns . . . there is still no decent national gun control law! My heart is broken for these families and in total fear for the safety of my own.
WHOOP-LIKE: I hear you, and I’m crying with you. But what are some of the things that surprised you about 2014?
ME: Pope Francis (love, love, love the dude) when he started kicking ass about income inequality and not judging our gay brothers and sisters; Bill De Blasio becoming mayor of NYC with his progressive outlook and his gorgeous interracial family, and the outpouring of affection from all over the world for Nelson Mandela. Newt Gingrich surprised me (can you believe it?) for his very elegant and courageous pushback against hateful remarks from conservatives when he wrote a tribute to Nelson Mandela. When Newt got attacked, he came out swinging with a tight, historical assessment of who Mandela was and why he admired the man—why we all should admire the man. My jaw fell onto my ample bosom. Go, Newtie—it’s your birthday! And then there was Antoinette Tuff—the black woman from Georgia who compassionately talked a white gunman off the “ledge” and not only saved all the students’ lives in her school, but saved the gunman’s life as well. I could hear the angels doing a “whoop, whoop, whoop” from the heavens in her behalf. I could hear them laughing at Wayne LaPierre’s stupid gun defense: “The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Ms. Tuff made me realize that I must never give up hope of doing the right thing and striving to be someone that God can count on whenever I’m in a situation that calls for courage, grace, compassion, and wisdom.
Cartoonist: Chan Lowe/ Sun Sentinel
WHOOP-LIKE: Hum, that sounds like a good list for a starter. Keep working on your list while I get back into the movie before my next scene. It will take your mind off your fluffer-nutter tummy. One more thing: did you accomplish anything this year that you’re proud of?
ME: Yes, yes, yes . . . I published my first book, Monsters’ Throwdown (http://www.amazon.com/Monsters-Throwdown-Odyssey-Discovery-Series/dp/1493616099/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1388556177&sr=8-1&keywords=eleanor+tomczyk). I became a writer in 2013! Can you believe it? The book is selling well and getting great reviews. This was a lifelong goal, and I did it! Oh, and now that I have you here, would you mind giving me a shout-out on The View?
WHOOP-LIKE: Don’t get greedy, kiddo. You accomplished your lifelong goal in 2013 and you did it all without being a size six or looking like Halle—go figure! Are you and WW still in love?
ME: More than ever!
WHOOP-LIKE: Than 2014 is starting off to be a very good year for you—a very good year, indeed.
I am discovering that each year of our lives has a mixture of good and bad. We must embrace the good with all our heart while we have it. As to the bad, we have no control over much of what happens to us, and part of growing up is to never lose hope and never give up as we press on to seize the day. Of course there are some things we need to let go of—things that are not worth our energy—and that is trying to look like Halle Berry when one is 65 years old and has the figure of a Whoopi Goldberg. Things like that quest have to be given up—not because they are unattainable—but because they are foolish, and foolishness is the tripwire that keeps us from crossing the finish line on any given day of the year.
Used by permission: Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant
“Never, never, never give up.”—Winston Churchill
“My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.”—Maya Angelou
“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”—Harriet Beecher Stowe
“For a writer, I’m not sure that feeling of knowing you’ve just written something good and strong can be trumped. Not because it means I did something right. But because it proves how many wrongs I pushed through to get there.” ― Cara Rosalie Olsen
“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”—Michelle Obama
“God grant me the courage not to give up what I think is right even though I think it is hopeless.”—Chester W. Nimitz
Used by Permission: Bill Day, Cagle Cartoons
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