Glad we're done with that stinker.
As in 2009. Worst year most of us have ever been through. Though my 89-year-old dad would say he's seen worse.
That would include most, if not all, of the 1930s, when he hopped freight trains and learned that eggs and potatoes could be good eating for breakfast, lunch and supper, especially when that's all you've got to work with.
Then there was that minor matter of a two-front world war that his generation fought and endured through the first half of the succeeding decade.
Sort of makes both the current recession/jobless recovery and the endless war on terror seem less world-shattering, doesn’t it?
Having to take your shoes off at the airport? Oh, the humanity.
As for the decade just concluded, the 2000s weren't wall-to-wall hardship, either. We had our iPods, didn't we?
Still, I have a difficult time imagining the 2000s will evoke much nostalgia years from now. That is, unless you're a masochist who yearns to relive the days of yellow alerts, Katrina and a popular culture epitomized by the likes of "American Idol" and "Dancing With the Stars."
What, "Idol" has a new season starting up soon? Maybe the 2010s aren't starting out so hot after all. But a lot can happen in a decade.
Americans began the 1960s with 99 percent of them having never heard of the Beatles or a country named Vietnam. And by the end of that decade, popular culture had been transformed by the music of the former, while the war in Southeast Asia helped fracture our politics for generations to come.
In 1970, no one had heard of a gas line, other than the pipe that hooked up to your furnace or stove. But by 1979, after two oil shocks, they'd become common sights at the filling station.
You can come up with your own examples for the 1980s and '90s.
But the same thing holds true for the America of 2000, which bore scant resemblance to the post-9/11 era we live in today.
Except, no, that's not exactly true. Some things never change. Then as now, liberals and conservatives were at each other's throats, the Royals and Chiefs sucked, and the suburbs did and still do a better job than Kansas City in clearing the streets after a snowstorm.
Still, count me among the 82 percent of Americans who, according to a new poll, are optimistic about the year ahead.
Presumably, that optimism holds for the rest of the decade.
Not basing that on anything other than the fact that Americans, by nature, tend to believe that things will only get better.
Which is why, when it doesn't work out that way, we feel like saps.
If that's you a year from now, then drop me a note. That way we'll both have company.