On Christmas day, my brother-in-law saw the Grinch getting arrested. He lives in a city much bigger than our Whoville-sized Carbondale, and he said a crowd watched as the police handcuffed and loaded the Grinch into a patrol car.
“And you didn’t get a picture?!” I exclaimed when I heard about such holiday shenanigans. “What a great Christmas card that would make…”
Incidentally, guess how old the Grinch was when he stole Christmas? Fifty-three. Yep, I’d say 53 years is just about how long it takes for the sparkle of the season to start to tarnish. I’ll be 53 this year and I am working harder than ever to stay positive and see the good in people. I am also fighting like mad to stop my body from taking on the actual shape of the Grinch’s: spindly arms and legs with sloped shoulders and a bulging belly. Super attractive — all I need now is some Manic Panic Electric Lizard hair dye.
This year we went to dinner with friends on Dec. 25 and sat around the table with everyone answering the questions from our wee crackers — fun holiday party favors that pop when you open them to reveal a paper crown and a random question. The best present was spending time with friends, laughing out loud. When asked what we would do if we could do anything risk free, the answers were varied and highly entertaining: rob a bank, free solo climb, go into space, mess around with Jim… the sky was the limit because dangerous consequences were not a factor — kind of like that mob at the capitol a couple of years ago.
No, we are not going to let it slide, because lack of accountability is a slippery slope, ending at the bottom of one of those Dr. Seuss-sized mountains. The Grinch may steal our presents, our ribbons and bows, even our roast beast, but there is one thing we can’t let him take — okay, two things: our joy, sure, but also our rule of law.
The rest of the stuff can be replaced (if it was even necessary in the first place), but without integrity this country will not be the same. Even the Grinch can find his way back by remembering that integrity doesn’t mean always being right, it means righting our wrongs once we realize what we’ve done.
I have this wonderful fantasy that Trump has done everything he can think of to bring the GOP to its knees; that his whole presidency was a farce, and his true intention is to bring about “big changes, the best changes.” I picture him sitting at Mar-a-Lago, wearing a Santa hat and no pants, exasperated by the responses to his attempted treason and thinking to himself, “What will it take for these guys to cut me loose…?” Whether intentional or not, Trump has changed the Republican party irreversibly and if they don’t make a sharp turn, they will find themselves going over the edge of the snow-covered cliff.
In these first fresh days of the year, I am focused on remembering to step out of the curmudgeonly routine and daydream about trying something new. Instead of resolutions, I am looking for meaningful motivations to bring me back to my inner child; singing and dancing around Woody Creek in the 1970s (talk about growing up in Whoville).
So far, I think I’m doing pretty well with my Life Goals List. I have already found true love, been skydiving, and swum with a penguin. I haven’t been to Antarctica or seen the Northern Lights, but just entering my 50s, it feels like I still have some time.
A bucket list full of joy and adventure is the perfect way to start this January, and whether it’s jumping out of a plane or jumping out of a cake to serve someone a subpoena (I really hope this is how they’ll get him), the beauty is in the imagination. For my grand finale goal of 2023, I will find a Grinch costume that fits a 6’3” man and convince my brother-in-law to jaywalk in front of a cop — watch for the consequences on next year’s Christmas card!