The summer of 2020 is now in the history books, but I must admit, June, July and August felt like a recreation of a different time in history for me. For my family, the summer of 2020 felt like an extended cosplay of the ’50s.
To be clear, I mean the 1950s.
I know we were so divided as a nation this summer it felt like the 1850s, but I’m talking about the boring, old 1950s.
Like most of you, my family and I spent way too much time on screens this summer, but otherwise, we lived like we were a boring, generic 1950s family!
I realized it when I was taking my sons on their weekly “fun trip” to the car wash. Yes, going to the car wash was like Disney World for my young sons. Because for all intents and purposes, Disney World or amusement parks didn’t exist in the summer of 2020.
It wasn’t just the kids that were living in the ’50s this summer. For most of us, the most exciting – dare I say, dangerous! – form of entertainment this summer was attending a thing called a drive-in. Yes, that movie “American Graffiti” was not a nostalgic nod; it was a foreshadowing of what the summer of 2020 would be like.
Face it: This summer, it was the ’50s. The most fun many of us had involved baking, gardening, or walking. I’m kind of surprised Netflix didn’t announce a reboot of “The Lawrence Welk Show.”
Like Ward Cleaver, the highlight of my day would be having dinner with my family. Pre-pandemic, I used to struggle and juggle my schedule to ensure that I could have dinner with my family every night at 6 p.m. This summer, every day, I spent most of my time preparing and cooking dinner for my family. Why? Because it was the 1950s!
Wait, if I was preparing and serving my family … I was a 1950s suburban housewife? I was Betty Draper! (I can see the resemblance.)
Don’t worry: The 1950s were followed by the ’60s, and they were very peaceful. Right?
Week 1: Family life under lockdown
Week 2: Life in quarantine is like a sitcom
Week 3: Spring arrives!
Week 4: Lessons of “distance learning”
Week 5: Kids, quarantine and sanity are not compatible
Week 6: Consuming all news, all the time
Week 7: Jim Gaffigan discovers he misses strangers
Week 8: On sharing dinner with the masses
Week 9: On living in unprecedented times
Week 10: Are we REALLY all in this together?
Week 11: On not knowing what comes next
Jim Gaffigan on what dads REALLY want on Father’s Day
Jim Gaffigan on getting the whole lockdown thing wrong
2020, please turn your notifications off
Jim Gaffigan on his first drive-in standup show
On living in a time warp
On acquiring a green thumb
Back to (home) school
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Story produced by Julie Kracov. Editor: Emanuele Secci.