2020 Holiday Letter

Historically, I’ve written this Holiday letter with an eye towards helping to balance out the negative reaction and sense of self-loathing you might feel when reading other, overly rosy end-of-year updates. By providing a look behind the curtain and some frank reality, I always hoped you’d feel a bit less frustrated and disappointed with the questionable personal decisions you make, dead-end jobs you occupy, loveless marriages you suffer through and children you’ve failed to cultivate in any meaningful way. Also, and I say this because this is a safe space where no idea is a bad idea…..you’re probably a bit fat.

With 2020 and Covid you don’t need my reassurance that you’re fine, it’s okay, you’re doing your best, and 5’8” / 190+ pounds is perfectly reasonable even if you aren’t a running back in the NFL. All you have to do is look around and breathe in the schadenfreude deeply. 

That friend who used to brag about how talented their 11 year old son is on the basketball court just found out that he can’t do math. And even worse, neither can they. (Seriously….they’re going to try and tell you that he’s just got ADD/ADHD and therefore Zoom learning is the problem, but the little prick is just dumb. And can’t drive the lane.)

That couple who Instagramed their life of travel leisure with a vision of becoming influencers is now trapped in a 480 square foot apartment using a green screen. And actually Susie killed Peter in September and has been running a ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ scam since. Think about that. Think about how cold she has to keep the apartment to pull that off. That’s gotta be unpleasant. You run out of sweaters. Their life isn’t perfect.

So feel okay. It’s okay. You’re okay. Unless you’re not. Alcoholism and suicide are way up. But I bet teen pregnancy is down. Not sure. I didn’t do any research. But it feels like things should balance out.

Like most of you, we had no highlights this year. It was a new horror every day. But to the extent you care:

Erin and I had an extended conversation one day about if she was currently on LinkedIn because I needed her to test something for me. Was her account active? Had she been on there recently? How many connections did she have? Later that day Harper, who had listened to this whole conversation, asked if LinkedIn was a dating app. So our daughter is comfortable enough with us as parents to assume we’re having a long – and frankly quite diplomatic – conversation about marriage infidelity in front of her.
But enough about our open marriage (DM me). Calvin got (was forced to get) a job at the local family-run orchard and grocery store. He is technically a front-line worker and therefore a national hero. All military, teachers, medical staff, grocery workers, Amazon fulfillment center staff, FedEx drivers, conservative talk radio hosts, Doordash delivery folks and Walmart greeters are now officially national heroes. And that kind of sums it up. 2020 was the year pretty much everyone became a national hero. The easy joke here is that you, on the other hand, are a national disgrace. But I won’t make that joke. You did your job to keep the country and the economy running. I mean, you aren’t getting the vaccine any time soon, but Barefoot thanks you.

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