Every Christmas Eve, I do something that delights my friends and annoys my wife. But it’s a tradition, and traditions are important as the holidays roll around.
Starting from the moment I wake up, I will be part of a group attempting to get #withmydick trending on Twitter. And I’m doing so because eight years ago, this silly hashtag saved my Christmas.
#withmydick is the creation of the brilliant comedian Mike Lebovitz. Mike lives in New York now, but started his comedy career in Chicago and remains one of my favorite comedians to watch. He’s just a tornado of silliness and volume and laughs. He takes his comedy seriously by not taking it seriously at all.
I don’t know when it started, but Mike started using the phrase “with my dick” onstage. A lot. It became a perfect catchphrase for him. Here is an example: “I’m a romantic guy… I still like to finger women. Only, I like to finger them… with my dick.”
If you don’t find that funny, I can’t help you.
I don’t know what gave Mike the idea to try and get #withmydick trending on twitter on December 24, 2011, but it wasn’t hard for it to catch a quick head of steam from all of the Chicago comedians who love and adore him.
Including me. Which brings us to my story.
2011 was the first Christmas following the separation of my first wife, and things were not going well for Ol’ Papa Suburbs. (Note: In this story, I am “Ol’ Papa Suburbs”).
I remember being absolutely miserable that day. I knew that I would soon be going to my parent’s house for their annual Christmas Eve party, and I would have to be looking upon the faces of all of my relatives, knowing that they would all be wondering if I was doing alright. And I was not doing alright. I had to clean my house, as my cousin and her girlfriend would be staying with me that evening, and I hadn’t even begun wrapping my son’s presents.
And then, it happened.
While looking for some excuse to stop being productive, I hopped on my computer and head over to twitter, a site that I absolutely adore despite (and, in some cases, directly because of) the fact that it can be a wild dumpster fire.
However, that day, my entire feed was filled with people tweeting #withmydick. Comics I knew and loved. I knew I had to join in.
Just like that, my mood improved. I put on some music. I cleaned the house in-between tweets. I had a smile on my face and laughter in my spirit for the first time in months. The world just seemed better; it seemed lighter. When #withmydick became the number one trending topic in Chicago, I could feel the rejoicing from my peers. We had all gotten together and done it.
And I knew I would be able to get through the holidays… with my dick.
So now, every day before Christmas, I load up the twitter machine and fire away (#withmydick). #Withmydick hasn’t trended since that first Christmas eight years ago, and I honestly don’t care if it does (unless it actually does start trending, in which case, I WILL VERY MUCH CARE). It’s always fun to watch certain people join in every year. We’re the disciples of Saint Lebovitz. And we’re never going away.
In the years that have followed, I’ve started to enjoy Christmas more and more. As I write this, Christmas is two days away and I couldn’t be more ready to spend time with my family. And a big part of that is because I found something stupid and silly to latch on to. And doing so kept me going until I could see the real meaning of the holiday.
I had originally considered writing a Christmas missive to you all, but I think this is a better story. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, and that it brings you comfort and joy. But, I also know the holidays can be hard for people, and I get it. I’ve been there.
For those of you struggling, just know that you’re not alone. And it’s gonna be ok. And, most importantly, if it’s December 24th and you’re looking for something to do, you don’t have to go to church to feel like part of a community.
You can head over to twitter. I’ll see you there #withmydick.
Merry Christmas, everyone.