“In these uncertain times…” is a phrase I’m really starting to hate. “Now more than ever…” is another group of words I’d like to punch in the face. If Hulu serves me another ad that starts with a deep-voiced narrator saying one or both of these things, I am TURNING OFF FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, GODDAMMIT.
(Who am I kidding – there’s no way I’m turning off FNL at a time like this. But it helps to pretend like I might.)
In the first days of this ever-evolving COVID hellscape, I was a user of these phrases myself. Do you remember how strange it was to send emails that first week? I realize that the End Times are upon us, but I just wanted to check on those next steps from our lunch meeting. If we couldn’t open with an acknowledgement of the “fucking terrifying,” then “uncertain” seemed like the next best thing.
But now that we are elbow-deep in this collective anxious existence, the next best thing just isn’t cutting it. This is still fucking terrifying. Only now, we’ve been in it long enough to get tired of the commercials.
If you too are feeling ready to light some pitchforks*, here are a few alternative endings to everyone’s new favorite phrase. Maybe try one out in a professional email this week. Let’s keep ‘em guessing, shall we?**
In these uncertain times, we can always be grateful that zombies aren’t involved.
In these uncertain times, you’re probably wondering if COVID-19 is cosmic retribution for that time you did that thing. (It is.)
In these uncertain times, do not forget to remind your friends that social distancing allows them to drop one of those goddamn fresh-baked loaves of bread on your doorstep. Do not forget.
In these uncertain times, you will want to call your ex. It’s probably not a good idea, but neither is eating Tostitos, Kraft mac ‘n cheese, and two Hershey’s bars for lunch. (No advice. Just those two observations.)
In these uncertain times, you will be distracted by your own mannerisms on Zoom.
In these uncertain times, have pity for the marketers. They are the ones who had to write the intro to this email, and they’re almost as pissed about it as you are.
*Hannah does not endorse the use of pitchforks as anything other than a key plot element in Beauty and the Beast.
**Hannah does not actually recommend adding any of these words to a professional email. This list was a cathartic exercise. These are uncertain times.