Cinco de Mayo and Other Reassuring Post-Pandemic Thoughts
Are we getting to a happy place? Okay, a less awful place?
By Ed Goldman
Today is Cinco de Mayo. It seems to come out on May 5 every year, and 2021 is no exception. I find this reassuring.
Finding things to reassure us has become a mandatory quest following The Year of Living Pandemically. I realize we’re still not entirely out of the woods, frying pan or hot water (pick your operative cliché) but at least, if we’ve been vaccinated, we don’t size up everyone we pass on the street as a member of a dystopic horror-movie race of zombies called The Carriers.
DEEP-VOICED MALE ANNOUNCER: In a world… where you can now get arrested walking into a bank without being masked…where the most popular party favors are eight-ounce pump bottles of PURELL®…where even newlyweds have to maintain a safe social distance…there arose a nation of creatures who could terrorize a crowd just by sneezing (even if they sheepishly said immediately before, during and right afterward, “Allergies”). These people were neither Morlocks nor Borgs. They were…The Carriers.
CLARITY-VOICED, DISCLAIMER-SPOUTING FEMALE ANNOUNCER: Possibly.
DEEP-VOICED MALE ANNOUNCER: The Carriers. Coming soon to a mall, school, bistro, office, hailing service or Capitol riot near you.
Here are some other things I find reassuring during this spring reawakening:
– A cop has actually been found guilty of a murder we all saw him commit on our TVs and smartphones—while at the same time, the “Defund the Police” movement has turned out to be a nonstarter. I understand the anger that propelled the latter. I also know what the expressions “cutting off your nose to spite your face” and “throwing out the baby with the bath water” mean. If I ever find myself in physical danger, I don’t want to call a marriage-and-family counselor—unless the person I marry and the family we create are the ones putting me in physical danger.
On the other hand, I think I’d still prefer someone with a badge number instead of someone with an MFT to show up—though I’m sure that after the peril had passed, the latter’s master’s thesis, “Families Who Have Their Own Bowling Shoes and Why They’re Happier,” would be fascinating to discuss over a triple venti, half-sweet, non-fat, Caramel Macchiato.
– The adults who took over the federal government in the fall 2020 rebellion (also called The Presidential Election) continue to avoid Twitter.
– There has been no toilet paper, paper towel or Smirnoff shortage since 2020.
– There is still no “I” in team—nor new evidence that Congressman Matthew Louis Gaetz II has procreated.
– To date, neither nutritionists nor medical researchers have discovered carcinogens in KitKat bars.
– While it’s probably only a matter of time, I’ve yet to be hacked. Lizzie Borden’s parents are reported to have made an identical statement.
– Despite a recurrent nightmare, I have no biology final in the morning for which I didn’t study.
– Similarly, I’ve been told that at my age, my cumulative GPA will not factor retroactively into my being interred at the gravesite I paid for many years ago.
– It’s no longer probable I’ll be drafted into the United States Army—nor asked to leave my seat in the audience, step onstage and sing the aria “Queen of the Night” from Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” because the advertised coloratura soprano suffered an attack of laryngitis on her way to the theater.
– I’m comforted to know that after living at my condo for more than four years, the garage-door opener still works 86 percent of the time.
– It’s good to know that my years of handwashing prior to the advent of COVID really paid off because I didn’t need to learn a new skill.
– Finally, I’m reassured, especially on this date every year, that no one has come forward to refute one of the very few historical facts I know—that Cinco de Mayo isn’t Mexico’s Independence Day. ¡Teveo el viernes!
Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).
A Weekly Blog by Virginia Varela
President and CEO, Golden Pacific Bank
photo by Phoebe Verkouw
I can’t imagine living in a world without music. Music is my secret tool to help me deal with problems. From a young age, when in the midst of a dilemma or discerning some critical decision, I wait. After time a song pops into my mind with a message perfectly suited to my issue. Music is my gut. It helps me think. It does others, too.
This is one reason I proudly serve as president of the Sacramento Philharmonic Symphony and Opera. I believe in its music and the organization’s mission.
Classical music has survived generations and is the universal language. The arts, and music most harmoniously, provide the connection that brings people together and raises them up to a shared meaning and passion.
The arts are a familiar blanket in times of crisis, uncertainty and loss. They hold us up and soothe the human condition. Classical music and opera are packed with tenderness and teachable life lessons
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