As Jerald and his wife Matilda watched the New Year’s Eve countdown on television, they talked about the year that had just passed and how happy they were to have each other.

Jerald recalled how happy he was to have an office to go to in the morning, even if it meant that sometimes he would have to have less than pleasant encounters on the train — but it was these encounters that sometimes reminded him of how lucky he was in life.

The crowds on the television screen made them think of the people they regularly encountered every day who would have the most peculiar conversations from strangers, ranging from their intimate sex lives to what they were planning on eating for dinner.

Jerald and Matilda almost always knew what they were going to have for dinner as they had a nearly perfect nightly routine programmed down to the minute.

They were quite grateful for living in housing that had been quite safe from Hurricane Sandy and that they, unlike some of their friends, did not have to evacuate their homes — nor did they lose their electricity at any point in time.

Jerald and Matilda were quite happy to have their friends — even though they had to admit that at their age, it was a bit harder to make new friends than it had been when they were in college — but the friends that they had now were definitely closer to them than the ones they knew back then.

Matilda reminded Jerald that they should try to make another dinner for their friends, similar to the one that they had on Thanksgiving — the meal where the food was all fantastic and there were no suffering animals to pay the price for it.

Jerald had a good giggle and remembered that this was the year that he learned to be grateful for ingrates — because they reminded him to be nice for its own sake.

Jerald joked that quite a lot of the world was extremely grateful that the United States had made the right choice in re-electing President Barack Obama — it certainly made it easier for Matilda to sleep at night.

As they kissed at midnight, Jerald was happy to look forward to a year in which he would no longer tell his friends and colleagues how great he was in high school — and maybe a year in which he could convince his coworkers to stop using styrofoam!

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