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‘Jeans? I don’t know her…’: Things we all want to leave behind this year

By December 26, 2020No Comments

As 2020 draws to a close, Esther O’Moore Donohoe writes about what we need to leave behind…


2020 has broken life as we knew it wide open and delivered us more than a few sharp kicks to our collective buttocks. While many of the lessons and experiences we’ve had have been incredibly valuable, some of them need to be Marie Kondo-ed post haste. Join me as we tell the following to log off, jog on and get in the sea.


‘Surely not? We are lucky to have had Seamus Heaney walk amongst us in our lifetime.’ I hear you say. ‘His work was a gift to the world, elevating the beauty of ‘everyday miracles’ with craft and skill.’ I one hundred percent agree. Whenever I see a spider in the house I think ‘what would Seamus say?’ and then I whisper to myself ‘Nolle timere Esther.’ However, regardless of Heaney’s genius, if one more person sticks ‘if we winter this one out, we can summer anywhere’ into a speech I’ll catapult a mask full of hand sanitiser in their general direction. In 2021, Irish speechwriters need to switch things up and look to other great poets to add colour to their missives. Why not slip ‘the neeeeeck of this virus’ á la Aoife McGregor into a rallying New Years message? Luann’s iconic line from Real Housewives of New York “Don’t be all, like, uncool’ could be used to remind people to social distance. All I’m saying is, I wouldn’t hate it if Tony Holohan opened a press conference with ‘I’ll tell y’how I’m doing: Not well b*tch’.


Once we’re all vaccinated up the yin yang, I plan on using only barely detectable levels of caution at every opportunity. I will wear pristine white tracksuits daily and carry take-away coffees with no lids on. I will fling myself down bus stairs within the 2.2 seconds allocated by bus drivers and alight with unhinged abandon, terrifying fellow passengers with my speed. And when they ask me in Boojum what level of heat I want I’ll reply ‘Make it so hot that it fuses my tongue to the roof of my mouth’. As far as I’m concerned, caution can take a long sea swim because the rest of the ‘20s WILL BE ROARING AND FILLED WITH (gentle) DANGER.


Remember the early halcyon days of the pandemic when we saw tiny children not as rays of light and hope but as virus carrying vectors? So cute! Grown men and women lived in fear of chaotic Peppa Pig wearing toddlers with poor spatial awareness, waddling near them in a park. Thankfully, we have all moved past that. Now, all that fear and anxiety has been silently absorbed into our bodies as a collective trauma which will continue to affect us for years to come. YAY!


I strongly support the existence of bread. In fact, I am 63% bread. If you see me out and about and are peckish, simply tear off one of my fingers and you’ve got a great little snack. Unfortunately in 2021, extensive bread talk is being put in the bread (sin) bin for a bit. I hope we all continue to bake and make in the privacy of our own homes but we just can’t discuss it with anyone or post it on social media. All going well, 2022 will see a return to public displays of affection for baps but until then, keep your love of the loaf on the D.L.


If I had a euro for every time I heard the ‘Shakespeare wrote King Lear during the plague’ line since March, I’d be sitting on a cash haul of approximately €23 right now. But look, I’m delighted for Shakespeare and grateful for his literary legacy. No doubt his wife Anne Hathaway managed to knock out a few poems too at the time, as well as making masks for their entire family and cooking a meal every night. My greatest pandemic achievement was watching the entire seven seasons of Nurse Jackie in three days while cleaning out dirt from the grooves in every device I own with a pin.


Jeans? I don’t know her. Okay fine. Maybe I knew her once but that was in my old life. Now, I dress like a tracksuited toddler, 24/7, Mon to Sun. At all times I am both ready for a race and bed. It’s jeanius.


If you were to lift the roof off my house most days at lunchtime, you’d see a woman bopping around to something by Beyoncé or Bowie or Bananas in Pyjamas. ‘What a sad little life Jane’ you might muse to yourself. In fact, you’d be wrong and what you’d be witnessing was a woman being an absolute legend. Whenever the final restrictions are lifted, we must all endeavour to turn our lives into a real life musical, dancing, twisting, bopping wherever we go.


Did I understand why my parents didn’t get me a Mr. Frosty ice maker when I requested it one Christmas? No. Did I respect it? No. Will I ever let it go? No. But they held firm and I admire their resolve even in the face of overwhelming cuteness (young me was an indisputable Cutie Pie). As we proceed into ‘21, I’d like (not all etc) our political leaders to stop being W.A.Ps (Weak Arsed Politicians) and curtail the touchy feely tweets and Instagram posts showing us how they ‘get it’. Stop trying to be Cool Dad/Mum, ease off on the media training and no more Tik Toks please. We’ve suffered enough.


Just buy a batch loaf and mash a banana on top. Enough now. Enough.

And now. The end is here. And so we face. The final curtain. We’ll never. Mention sea swims again. Ha. Who’m I kidding? We will for certain. We’ve aged 10,000 years. We’ve walked along each and every local highway. The hugs, oh those we miss. But next year will be okay.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash