Curley: Some humble suggestions for 2021

This is the most highly anticipated New Year’s Day since Y2K.
And considering I was only 8 years old in 2000, (at the time I thought Y2K was a rock band) this is the most significant “new leaf” I can remember.
Usually, New Year’s Day is simply a quick champagne toast and maybe a reason to wear sequins.
I almost always mull over the idea of buying a gym membership or maybe getting bangs, but I usually come to my senses before the clock strikes midnight. But 2021 is different.
This upcoming year has more riding on it than someone’s first post-breakup Instagram. The pressure is on and the expectations are high. What are we going to leave behind as we enter 2021? And what are we taking with us from this year that none of us will ever forget?
My first suggestion is pretty straightforward and is aimed at my fellow millennials: For the love of God, please stop filming yourselves crying over political issues.
If you find yourself apoplectic because of a Supreme Court justice nomination or a Trump car parade, there is no reason to take out your phone and start broadcasting your meltdown. Along that same vein, if you insist on documenting a moment of sheer instability — please pull your car over.
While I don’t think any of these recorded tantrums are a good idea, I’d much rather you rant and rave while your car is in park.
As for what I’d like to carry over into ’21?
First — more miniseries. Due to my short attention span, I’m a huge fan of the six- or seven-episode format. Whether it was “The Queen’s Gambit” on Netflix or “The Undoing” on HBO, I was hooked on the consolidated content.
Second on the Leave-it-Behind List … Karens.
Let me preface this by apologizing to all of the women out there named Karen. This year has turned your name into a punchline. You did not ask for this life. I’m sure there are plenty of Karens (and Karyns) who are cool people.
But there is no question that 2020 was the year of the finger-wagging know-it-all. To that person I say: If a lady at Dunkin’ Donuts has their mask on too low for your liking, start making your coffee from home instead of causing a scene.
In 2021, let’s make minding one’s own business a top priority.
Maybe you’re thinking: But Grace — you’re trying to tell us what to do right now.
Let me assure you, my New Year’s ideas are merely suggestions. If you decide to disregard my advice, I will not ask to speak to your manager.
One thing I loved about this year was the rise of bread baking. This trend was born out of quarantine boredom, but warm fresh sourdough bread is a beautiful thing and you should keep baking it, (Mom).
Speaking of food, it has been a brutal year for the restaurant industry. I can’t wait for the day when everywhere is reopened.
Cooking is fun sometimes, but my kitchen does not have the same ambiance as a bustling Mexican restaurant. Plus the margaritas at my place are subpar.
I look forward to eating out way more than I should in 2021.
One more thing we can leave behind in 2020? Politicians turned podcasters.
Whether it was Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, Pete Buttigieg, or Joe Biden — the swamp creatures were all over Spotify this year.
I’m sure the Obamas made a pretty penny off their lucrative business deals, but to quote Obama, “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.” Maybe these public figures should stick to hawking their coffee-table memoirs and leave the podcasting to Joe Rogan.
Finally, if I had one takeaway from this year it would be a newfound appreciation for the human spirit.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to list off the cliche silver linings of 2020. (I’ll let the non-stop barrage of painful TV commercials do that.)
However, I will say that so much of this year was unexpected. Even so, the thing that amazed me the most was not the presidential election or the pandemic shutdown or even “Tiger King.”
What I found to be the most astonishing part of 2020 was the people. So many people had plenty of reasons to complain or to lash out or to give up. And instead, so many people found reasons to help out or to give back or to forge on.
Trends come and go. But good people, like fresh bread, are always in style.

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