Meet the new year, hopefully not like the old year


By Amy Fenster Brown, Special For The Jewish Light

Well, hello there, 2022! We are so happy to see you, but we need to welcome you at arm’s length.

You can understand that we are a little hesitant because last year we rolled out the red carpet for 2021, and it kind of did us wrong. It started off with promise, made a hard right turn Jan. 6, tricked us several times throughout the year, and then pulled a fast one at the very end with Betty White right before her 100th birthday. What a cruel finale. Zero out of 10 stars, 2021.

A new year brings fresh possibilities

Starting the calendar year anew seems to put us in a mindset of beginning with a clean slate. Do you think making New Year’s resolutions is helpful to get you working toward your goals, or a trap to put pressure on yourself to do the things you “should” or “shouldn’t” be doing? I’d say both. We start with good intentions and end up “shoulding” all over ourselves when we fall off track.

Back to the shiny hopefulness of the New Year. I predict all sorts of great things over the next 12 months. I am not a psychic or scholar, so I have no basis or merit or special powers to know what I’m talking about. But I once accurately predicted that my then-toddler would have a vicious meltdown when he found out what was for dinner. So I can kind of see into the future.

I predict that this year, we will learn even more things we shouldn’t say at risk of being offensive. I hear people lamenting about how they just can’t say certain words or phrases these days because someone will be offended. If only I could list them here. When you watch a blockbuster movie on a network or basic-cable station, off-color words are bleeped out and replaced with nicer words. It used to be pretty easy to figure out what the real words were, because most bad guys don’t yell, “Cut the sugar or I’ll forking kill you!” However, with so many more words and phrases being “canceled,” I’m having way more trouble figuring out what the actors originally said.


Recent reports say we should replace our cloth masks with more protective KN95 masks. This leads me to predict some more changes in masks for 2022. Be on the lookout for masks with bold printed messages to keep others from standing too close, things like, “I can see into your soul” or, “I’m naturally gassy.”  That’ll keep others six feet away, at least.

We also will have masks with sensors so when people wear them improperly a warning will sound. In places where masks are encouraged or required, sirens will start blaring when one slips below a wearer’s nostrils. If it happens at the movies or synagogue, however, police lights will flash for a silent option to allow us to still hear the movie or the rabbi.

Being boring becomes the new lifestyle trend. We had a taste of it in the original COVID lockdown. Puzzles, baking bread and doing house projects were the norm to keep us from getting bored. But then we embraced the boredom, and I think many of us miss it. I see a trend on the horizon in which we embrace the boredom and we all just chill out. Relaxing is the new to-do list.

On The Comeback

Peloton bikes will make a huge comeback. Not that they went that far away. The high-end exercise equipment had a blip in the stock market after (spoiler alert) “Sex and the City’s” Mr. Big met his demise on the “And Just Like That …” sequel. But now that the #MeToo movement has been revived after the actor was accused of forcing several women into nonconsensual sex in the city, a reboot for Peloton seems realistic.

The trend of famous people going into space will hit fever pitch. Lots of us non-Hollywood folks would like to be shot into the universe so we can be as far away from Earth as possible. Stars, they’re just like us. I predict the public will soon get to have a say in it. An observant TV producer will start a game show in which contestants get to choose which celebrities become makeshift astronauts. They’ll get to choose two actors who would be a buddy comedy dream team, or perhaps a romantic matchup of two celebrities set up on a date in orbit to bond without earthly distractions like paparazzi. Or gravity.

This year, vaccines and boosters will be available on fast food drive-thru menus and delivered via services like Door Dash to encourage even more people to take part.

Finally, scientists will discover what it is about “Saturday Night Live’s” Pete Davidson that allows him to bag some of Hollywood’s biggest babes. In a related story, this newspaper will receive several complaints about me using the word “bag” to describe Pete’s seemingly magical ability to date the most gorgeous women on the planet.