Most of you probably think of December 23rd as just another day while some of you might think of it as Christmas eve eve, but not me, because for me, this day holds a special place in my heart. As any other faithful follower of the TV show Seinfeld knows, December 23rd is the holiday known as Festivus. Created by George’s father, Frank Costanza, Festivus is one man’s rebellion against the commercialism of Christmas, the origin story most beautifully told in the Seinfeld episode titled “The Strike” which is season 9 episode 10 for those of you who would like to be enlightened. There are several rich Festivus traditions, but my absolute favorite is the airing of grievances, where, after dinner, you gather your family around the table and tell them all of the ways they’ve disappointed you throughout the year. While I’m not going to speak ill of my family, I do have some grievances to air about the past year, so gather around and get comfortable, because this may take a while.
While sports have always been one of my favorite things in life, this year the teams that I follow have disappointed me quite a bit, so this first grievance is dedicated to them. The St. Louis Cardinals, who have won multiple World Series over the past decade failed to make the playoffs this year for the second season in a row. There were ups and downs throughout the season, but it ultimately got so bad that I completely lost interest in the Cardinals midway through the summer, one of the things I can usually count on to carry me through those long, hot, and miserable months. This year there was no solace. The Dallas Cowboys, my favorite football team, gave me hope last year after finishing 13-3 and making the playoffs, hope that this might actually be our year, but a three game losing stretch midway through the season dug a hole for the team that is probably too deep to climb out of. Statistically there’s still hope that the Cowboys can make the playoffs, but they have to not only win their last two games of the year, one against the best team in the league, but must also depend on other teams losing multiple games, so my hopes aren’t too high at this juncture. The Memphis Grizzlies, my hometown basketball team entered this season with an air of mystery, as nobody really knew what to expect after losing two of our longtime favorite players in Zach Randolph and Tony Allen, the heart of our team. They started off hot, winning games against the best teams in the league, even at one point rising to the status of a first place ranking in the NBA, but ultimately it was a false hope given. Since one of our top players, Mike Conley, went down with an injury more than a month ago, the Grizzlies have only one two game, and if that hasn’t been painful enough, we fired our head coach, David Fizdale, who I really liked. Maybe things will turn around in 2018 for my teams, but as for this year, they’ve all been major disappointments. Shame on you all.
Next on my list of disappointments for the year is our president, our fearless leader, Donald J. Trump. I was disappointed last year in the American people for electing someone to the most powerful office in the world, who clearly shouldn’t have even been considered for the position, but that was last year, and I hoped that once he took office that maybe he would tone things down, but sadly, he has done quite the opposite, tweeting too much, insulting various countries and world leaders, proving what I and many others knew last fall, that he isn’t competent to be president. I fear, and I’m sure that I’m not alone in this, that his harsh words, seemingly spoken without thought, along with rash actions, will lead us into a war at some point during his ridiculous presidency. I’m very disappointed in you Donald J. Trump. I hope you can accept your grievance with dignity, something I’m afraid you have very little, if any, within you.
Lastly, but certainly not least, I would like to air my grievance against the apartment complex where my wife and I live. There have been little things that have disappointed me, such as raising our rent this year and maintenance workers parked in our assigned parking space, but there are other things that have taken place, that are a lot more difficult to overlook, like for instance, all the times the water has been shut off this year. These apartments, use as a selling tool, the fact that they pay for all of the residents’ water, which is nice, but is it really worth it when they shut the water off so much? This past week, the water was shut off four out of five days, which is absolutely absurd. Maybe I could look past all of the other things, maybe if that was all that was wrong at this apartment complex then I wouldn’t be so disappointed, but sadly, there was the squirrel incident. Earlier in the year, I woke up to a hole in my bedroom wall, a hole made by the squirrel that was living inside of it, the squirrel that I on multiple occasions spoke to the office about after having to listen to its incessant scratching on the wall at all hours of the night. They did nothing, and one morning the hole appeared. Someone should have been sent over immediately to fix the problem, really it’s the least they could have done, but it took them more than a week to send somebody over to nail a board up over the hole, and a month longer to actually get somebody in here who could actually repair the wall. I’m very disappointed, and frankly can’t wait until my lease is up so I can get out of this poorly managed apartment complex. Shame on you.
That does it for all of my grievances this year, and I’ve gotta tell you, it feels pretty good, almost cathartic, airing them on this Festivus holiday. My hope is that 2018 will be a wonderful year full of wonderful things, where nothing bad happens and nothing is disappointing, but I’m a realist. There hasn’t been a year in my life where that has happened, so I’m fairly confident that the streak won’t be broken in the coming year, so come back next December 23rd, and I’ll be more than happy to tell you about all of the things that have disappointed me. Happy Festivus everyone!