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Holiday Cheers

  Holiday Cheers   Read this essay as published in the 12/22/22 edition of Watermark. Signing off of Zoom meetings with Canadian or British clients is always fun. “Cheers,” they dryly accent with their version of salaam or its cognate shalom or their chill cousin aloha— all words for all seasons. At first this was jarring, but lately the idea of finishing every interaction with a feigned champagne toast or swirl of gin—or a nip of eggnog, as the calendar may dictate—has become a fantastic midday, any day fantasy. Jarring has evolved into shaken-not-stirred. Cheers to virtual shots with people I’ve never met in person.   Tonight, the night that Joe Biden signs the Respect for Marriage Act, I received a random text from my Christian fundamentalist godmother. “Maybe after forty eight years,” I thought, “she’s calling to acknowledge my gayness in light of the legislative coup, or maybe,” even more incredibly (I posited to my handsome spouse), “she’s calling for advice on how to ac

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