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Dec 28, 2022

To me, holidays are merely exercises in tradition, or traditions. Sometime in my 40s, I began to question all of them, reliving the “why” phase of my childhood for some unknown, yet admittedly irritating reason. Why do we eat turkey on Christmas? Why is everything closed?

And it isn’t just the holidays. When did we start naming unpleasant weather events, and why is it just the unpleasant ones? Shouldn’t an unusually beautiful day be named Mona Lisa or Brad Pitt?

If we must name bad weather, can we at least name it after we have gotten to know it a little? “Elliot” sounds more like a companion to share a pleasant cup of coffee with, not a horrifying monster. The most recent freeze should’ve been named “Polar Freeze-illa,” or even more simply, “Holy S*it, It’s Cold.”

Likewise, Ian sounds more like a date for a shared spot of tea. Hurricane Ian turned out to be no tea-date for anyone, though. Any new parents in Southwest Florida naming a child Ian for the foreseeable future might have some explaining to do later.

With continued disregard for tradition, we had our first holiday celebration this year over sushi at a crowded restaurant with my younger son and his girlfriend on the 23rd. One of the restaurant managers appeared to be having a crowd-induced nervous breakdown. Her anxiety made me anxious. We were seated on the corner of the packed restaurant, so I felt her breeze blow by several times even before we met our server. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. She had a look on her face that communicated, “if there is one more problem in here, I’m going to clear the room.”

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