It is January, and naturally I am fussing over my New Year's resolutions. Specifically, I am fussing because I don't have any. Quite a few years ago I resolved to eat more vegetables and to exercise regularly. And then I started doing those things. So with the iconic New Year's resolutions lapsing into personal irrelevance, I find myself at a loss.
Well, that's not entirely true. I did make one resolution the other day, boldly, in front of my children. "This year," I announced, "I am going to make more of an effort to work the expression 'polishing the turd' into conversation."
It's a fine expression, and a good resolution. 2016 will surely improve with more references to polished turds. But there are only so many turds one can polish in a year's utterances. It still seems to me I'm leaving something on the table, New Year's Resolution-wise.
Really, though, while there are undoubtedly a lot of things I personally could do to make 2016 truly fabulous, there are so many more things the rest of the population could do to improve my quality of life. In a truly communitarian spirit, then, I have decided that this year, I am going to make my New Year's Resolutions for other people.
So here goes:
- On behalf of my family, I hereby resolve that this year, they will hang up their coats when they enter the house. Really, it takes all of five extra seconds to put the thing on a hanger rather than dumping it on a kitchen chair. Just hang it up. You'll be the better human for it. And your wife/mother will be so much more cheerful.
- I hereby resolve that the college of my daughter's choice will admit her. Thank you, college of my daughter's choice.
- I resolve that Whole Foods will stock their shelves amply with items they frequently run out of right when I need to buy them: to wit, Original Flavor Organic Valley Soymilk, kosher salt, rye flour, and Bengal Spice tea.
- To tell you the truth, I heartily dislike Bengal Spice tea; but it's a favorite of my husband's and also of one of my dearest friends. So on behalf of my husband Steve and my friend Linda, I hereby resolve that if Whole Foods does not start re-stocking its shelves with Bengal Spice, they will find a new favorite flavor of tea, so that I can stop feeling guilty for not having Bengal Spice on hand.
- On behalf of all of the drivers in the Boston area, I resolve that they will stop honking their horns when other drivers are waiting for oncoming traffic to pass before making left turns. This rude behavior has reached epidemic proportions (which means that I, personally, have experienced it at least twice). Really, friends: it may be the case that in your judgment, there is ample time to execute a quick left turn without having oncoming traffic slam into the passenger side door. But you are not driving my car, now, are you? So your judgment is not really relevant. I hereby resolve that you will learn patience. Meditate or something while you're waiting. And put that middle finger back in your glove.
- I resolve that my book group will choose shorter books. Right now we are reading a trilogy by Evelyn Waugh (Sword of Honor) and it's damn near killing me. My Kindle has been at 69% for three weeks. Of course, it doesn't help that Waugh makes liberal use of arcane British military terminology, with no footnotes or explanations, and thus I'm missing out on a significant number of plot intricacies.
- On behalf of Evelyn Waugh, I hereby resolve that he will stop using arcane British military terminology.
Of course, Waugh died fifty years ago, in 1966. But it is in the spirit of New Year's Resolutions to believe that it is never too late to turn over a new leaf.