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When my children got holiday presents, we had a rule that they had 48 hours to thank the giver or said gifts would be confiscated. With only hours left in 2017, I guess I should get my thank-yous out of the way too.

Dear 2017:

Thank you for trying. Even though (for the most part) you sucked, you did bring us April the Giraffe’s baby. Since my mama raised me polite, I’d like to take a few moments to say how much I appreciated some of your efforts.

    • #MeToo. You were actually kind of awesome at this one. A game-changer really. I couldn’t possibly list the abusers who had to issue those “apologies”—which, BTW, almost never actually apologized. Maybe baby 2018 could offer abusers a few tips on how to apologize instead of blathering on about how they are so sorry people took it the wrong way, and how much it will affect their family, and how they never dreamed they could possibly be doing anything wrong… How about saying, “I apologize for groping/harassing/assaulting/raping you? I shouldn’t have threatened your family/career/self in order to ensure your silence. I was wrong, and I’m deeply sorry for what I actually did.”

      Take that Bill O’Reilly. My daughter Melinda had offered to fight O’Reilly the year before when he dissed a story filed by her sister Amanda for Vox.  Apparently, Mr. O’Reilly was more comfortable making $32 million payouts to women he’d harassed than facing those willing to spar publicly.

    • Alabama. You rock.

      [image credit: kanyetothe.com]

    • Solar Eclipse. Actually, I missed it, but here’s an accurate re-enactment.

  • Weather vs Climate. The good news? Although he doesn’t quite seem to grasp the difference between climate and weather (and despite scientific and government research to the contrary), President Trump has declared climate change to be a hoax, possibly by the Chinese. The bad news? He’s wrong. The worst news? Mother Nature is not amused. 


But actually, dear soon-to-be-history 2017, the real reason I have to thank you is the readers who came to my blog in the past year. They rock! I hadn’t actually looked at blog stats this year, so I was absolutely gobsmacked when I realized that so many people stopped by in 2017.  Here are the top posts they visited.

Typos, Sex Taub, and Boob CakesFor reasons which I only recently figured out, every day (and especially on weekends) there are searches—a lot of searches—for some variation of Sex and Taub. Those are two words I would not usually expect to occur in the same sentence. Or even the same house.  [image credit: Minni di Virgine or St. Agatha’s Breasts]  [ 
read more here…]

Fifty Shades of Earl Grey: A friend who was visiting from America put a teabag into a cup of water and stuck it in the microwave. As I was explaining to her all the ways that was wrong, I mentioned that I accidentally committed a tea party once. A real one, with cucumber sandwiches and a proper aspidistra.  [read more here…] 

Most important tool when moving to a new house.I have a daughter who speaks fluent Engineer. Sadly, she’s not here as I’m moving to a new house and staring at the little androgynous furniture assembling figures miming how to assemble the flat packs. Or how to to build the next renewable space rocket. I really couldn’t tell you which.  [read more here…] 


The Day I Killed Mom.When she turned fifty, my mother took up a new career: dying. It was a family tradition, she explained. “People in my family don’t make it out of their fifties. So we have to be ready to go.”  [read more here…] 

Okay, kids: that’s $2,025,304 you owe me. I’ll take a check. Or maybe a grandchild… When I told my sister we were completely remodeling our bathroom, she asked me if we were rich.
I told her two things.
Thing One: Rich people rarely have this as their “before” picture. (Do NOT make me tell you about the bucket. Let’s just pretend it’s a decorative accent in our early-armageddon theme…)
Thing Two: We committed parenthood. Four times, actually. If the cost of raising a child is $506,326 per kid, that comes to $2,025,304. Before taxes.  [read more here…] 

Spiders and Other Top 10 Reasons for Men to Get Married:In addition to making men richer, healthier, and older, there are other advantages to marriage. Here are my ten top reasons for men to get married:
10. Sex. You’ll get regular sex without paying for dinner or pretending to enjoy chick flicks.
9. Guys can’t find things. Wives can. Y-chromosomes keep men from being able to move their eyeballs away from the item directly in front of them (unless it is wearing a bikini) or locate items covered by other items. [Image caption & credit: ‘It became fashionable in the 1970s for the humiliated Thai wife to wait until her husband fell asleep, then sever his penis with a kitchen knife.’Photograph: Alamy]   [read more here…] 


Etiquette lessons for Attila the Hun I remember when our first male teacher—a graduate student from Berkeley trying to maintain his draft-exemption—arrived to sub for Sister Mary History because she had a Religious Crisis during third period.   [read more here…] 

How an American ended up in the Castle.Like all my important life decisions, it was an accident. When we decided to move to England, I just knew I would live in a cottage with an Aga, and it would be named something like Rose Cottage of Upper Long Chipping on Buttsfield.   [read more here…] 

Well, that’s it for my thank you note, 2017. I know you did your best, but I’m still bitter about the 427 mass shootings in the US, pumpkin spice everything, how to spend a Bitcoin, and the way nobody noticed Hurricane Maria. And don’t even get me started on that little elf-on-a-shelf creep.

So this is goodbye, 2017. You can keep the eclipse glasses and the fidget spinners. And we’ll always have Charlottesville. But I’m going out with a new year tonight, and I hope 2018 is everything I’ve been waiting for.

Love, Barb