Ah, the season of gift giving. This glorious time of peace on earth, goodwill to men, except... not on the roads, in the shopping centers, or in lines!
Ever notice how relatively “normal” people change like the Wolfman at this time of year? They do everything except grow fangs and sprout hair on their bodies; yet suddenly these normally good citizens are opening windows to extend their middle finger in tidings of comfort and joy. They will run red lights to get ahead, not caring whom they endanger, give rude retorts to salespeople who are being paid lousy hourly wages to take this guff, and become naughty, not nice.
I don’t have a real long gift list; and most of it I get done throughout the year (yeah, I’m one of those...I even have a “present closet” where everything is stored, then cataloged on the computer). So I’ve had some time to think of others out there whom I might wish to gift the following:
1. For Ken Burton and his small, but dedicated group of volunteers who provide flags for every holiday, keep them secure, and always respect them… a great big thank you and the hope that others will join your efforts.
2. For the Westerly Town Council… a gift of unselfish resolve, so every meeting is conducted with only one agenda — that of the people — not of the individual councilors.
3. For the Jonnycake Center… ongoing donations, so that no family has to go without food nor heat this winter. Why do donations always peak at the holidays, then fall off? These good folks are here for this community year ‘round… why not support them to the extent you are able year ‘round?
4. Rob Simmons has served his constituency well in the House, ran unsuccessfully for Senate, and still serves Stonington as first selectman. It appears that here is finally an honest, dedicated, unselfish politician who never says “no,” and is at every ribbon cutting, dedication, parade, or event. Hell, Rob would probably go to the opening of an envelope! To him, a gift of rest and relaxation this holiday season, peppered with appreciation from the people he serves.
5. For the Chorus of Westerly… a Santa sack chockablock with donations. What you have done for this community, the name you have made for yourselves worldwide, and the standard of excellence from which you never veer, deserve way more than you get. Summer Pops gets more and more costly every year, but we never hear a complaint nor a whine when the bucket is passed in the park. May you have a place on everyone’s “bucket list” before summer to keep your coffers overflowing.
6. For Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Bill O’Reilly, Kevin Spacey, and that disgusting laundry list of others, may you see nothing but white space in newspapers, on the internet, and on broadcasts when it comes to your name, reporting your activities, or any followup. Your holidays are long over; climb back under your rocks and just go away.
7. For all the “Me Too” folks who have come out and continue to do so, you also need a rest. There are those who have legitimately been damaged; but sadly there are those jumping on a bandwagon in search of notoriety, money, or both. It’s hard to believe that an incident from 1983 was so traumatic you somehow waited till now to let it spill. Take a holiday break… get rid of the dirty laundry and smile again.
8. For our governor: a guidebook to the state of Rhode Island. She spends so much time running around the country fattening her war chest that she forgets what’s happening right here at home. While we’re at it, let’s gift her a pair of prescription glasses so she can see all those people standing out in the cold waiting for benefits… the ones affected by the more than year long debacle of UHIP.
9. For every hopeful dog and cat living in a cage or pen at our local shelter, may you soon find your forever home. May Stand Up for Animals continue to flourish, for they deserve to be rewarded for what they do for these little souls.
10. Finally, for Colin Kaepernick… a knee replacement.
Yes, I know there are many, many more I could have mentioned, but consider this a starter list for your gifts. Maybe I’ve hit a nerve… if so, good. I gift everyone a sense of humor.
Rona Mann has been a freelance writer for The Sun for 16 years, including her “In Their Shoes” features. She has written three books: one about the towns and villages in our area, one about growing up in the ’50s, and one that recounts untold veterans’ stories from WWII to the present. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 401-539-7762.