According to the Mayans, the world was supposed to end in 2012. And despite clues that would seem to back them up (the emergence of Honey Boo Boo as a cultural icon, pink slime in our hamburgers and Tom and Katie breaking up) it didn’t. We’re still here Mayans! Take that!
What else did 2012 bring us? In pop culture, it was the year The Voice made me fall in love with singing competitions again, but “Call Me Maybe” made me want to turn off the radio for good after hearing it sung 500 times at a 6-year-old’s karaoke party. Still, I have to admit to watching the Harvard men’s baseball team’s takeoff of it a few times.
And then, of course, there was “Gangnam style,” which had us all dancing like drunken horseback riders to words we didn’t understand (chances are he was calling us drunken horseback dancers). But hey, it was catchy.
The world also went 50 shades of crazy this past year as women of all ages devoured the badly-written trilogy while their Kindle screensavers made it look like they were reading Jane Eyre.
Our American pride swelled as we took home 48 gold medals at the Summer Olympics in London, falling in love with the Fab Five along the way. And Kate Middleton ensured the obsession with the royals would continue after getting caught in the nude and then getting pregnant.
We lost Twinkies but gained Instagram, which allowed everyone to post pictures of their food and pets with vintage flair.
In real world news, The hope of the Arab Spring turned to the Arab Fall when Egypt turned largely back to military control and Syria became a bloody battlefield as the government slaughtered its own people.
At home, Jerry Sandusky and the Penn State child abuse scandal sickened us. Hurricane Sandy tore us down. And then the series of shootings ripped us apart, from the Batman movie massacre to the mall shootings and ending, finally, with the horror of Newtown, which cut to the quick of every parenting nightmare. As we ached for the parents and other survivors and the loss of young, innocent life, we hugged our children close, gripped by a feeling of helplessness.
And now it’s a new year, but the Newton shootings are still fresh in our minds and we are a nation in mourning. I can only hope that 2013 brings a less violent world for our children. But realistically, all I can do is try to make my little slice of life a better place, to be kind, loving and to help as many people I can in small ways each day. This new year, I wish you and yours happiness and health. Happy new year everyone!
Lauren Menis is a Dunwoody mother whose column appears in The Crier each month. You can reach Lauren at Lauren.Menis@gmail.com