While watching college football over the holidays, I was treated to a humorous Match.com commercial titled “A Match Made in Hell.” The short plot went like this: Satan (a highly costumed actor portraying the lord of the damned) had gone on the site and filtered out “joy, happiness, toilet paper, and reason and met his match.” His match was a woman named “2020,” and love was in full bloom. Satan gushed, “She gets me,” and 2020 exclaimed, “It’s just … a perfect match!” Indeed it was.
But now, 2020 is history, and we get to see how attractive 2021 is going to be. What might we want from our new mate?
First—and this one is going to sound strange to pre-2020 humans—we want to go to work, and we want to go to school. Oh, dear, sweet 2021, is it too much to ask to be able to leave our homes? Please, at some point, let it be so!
Second, let’s talk about this mask. OK, OK, I get it: We’re in a pandemic, we have to slow the spread (nota bene, the next person who says “flatten the curve” in my earshot will be flattened), and it’s supposed to help. Fine. Wonderful. That’s all well and good. But here’s the problem: I’ve been working with some people for a while now, and I don’t know what half of their face looks like. Plus, I wear glasses when I don’t feel like popping my contacts in, so what view I do get is oddly frosted.
Even worse, this thing creates a roving atmosphere localized to my own skull. When I exhale, my breath vents up past my nose and eyes and condenses on my forehead; later, it runs down like rain. I already struggle with the indignity of a growing forehead, and I can do without this little feature. So, anything you can do to let us toss these things in our sock drawers, never to be seen again, will be much appreciated. Think about it.
Third, no elections this year … oh, wait, that’s pretty much taken care of. Check! There’s a point in the 2021 column and one less potential source of friction in the office.
Fourth, do a favor for me regarding these videoconferencing applications. Not to sound ungrateful because they’ve been an invaluable tool to keep things running this year, but I’d like for 2021 to remind us of the virtue of working together alongside each other. In many industries, we’ve proven we can work remotely if we must.
When it’s not a necessity, though, the creativity we gain from bouncing ideas off of each other, overhearing conversations in the hallways, and the like is lost when we are remote in our homes. So, 2021, if you really want me to raise a glass in your honor, bring us back to our colleagues.
That’s it for now. We’re willing to give you a chance, 2021. Will you hold up your end of the bargain?