This time of year I amuse myself by looking back at last year’s resolutions. Ones I made with the best intentions, like learning an instrument or a foreign language. Last Chanukah I had my husband buy me a guitar. I had all the confidence in the world that by this new year, I would balk at a request to play Stairway To Heaven, saying something dismissive like… “Please, that’s so cliché, but why not?” or “Por favor, es muy cliché, pero porque no? Unfortunately, my guitar collects dust while my Spanish collects rust.
So for this year, I have made some resolutions that are a bit more achievable:
1. Nag More
For 10 years my husband has not picked up a wet towel, washed ketchup off of a dish, changed a light bulb, or remembered trash day without a friendly, “How many times do I have to tell you?” I vow to be relentless in my nagging. I will lay immediate blame using words like always and never. As in, “I always, and you never.” I will play the martyr by saying, “Forget it. I’ll do it myself.” I will amp up the guilt with, “I do everything around here.” Or something unarguable like, “It’s obvious by your refusal to change a light bulb that you don’t love me anymore.” If all goes well, I’ll be nagging him to go to couples therapy by 2010.
2. Gain weight
I will add carbs to my diet with reckless abandon. I will start each meal with a generous helping of bread and rolls onto which I will spread an obnoxious amount of butter. I will stuff food into my mouth with such fervor it will make other eaters uncomfortable to watch. I vow to eat everything a la mode including ice cream.
3. Work out less
This will actually take serious effort. The only thing harder would be to shower less. If I need the proverbial cup of sugar, I will drive to my neighbor’s garage and beep until she comes out and hands it to me. I will take elevators in two-story buildings. Lastly, I will drop my membership to the gym and use the money I save to buy more carbs.
4. Forget an old language
This year, not only am I not going to learn a new language, I will let my brain atrophy to forget the one I already know. I will watch endless episodes of Sponge Bob and Chowder. I will stop doing crosswords and speaking in complete sentences. I will break all grammatical rules; I will misplace modifiers, dangle participles, and end sentences in prepositions. I will express my thoughts through that African clicking language, modern dance, and a set of bongos that I will wear around my neck.
5. Stay out of touch
This time of year, I am reminded of the many friends I have let time and space interfere with. I intend to further that distance. I will start by rejecting any new Facebook or social network requests. I will also attach a note that reads “I never liked you in the first place.” I will cuss out and hang up on people who call in hopes of fulfilling their own resolution to rekindle old friendships.
6. Be less patient
I will be aggravated, exasperated, and ready to blow my stack at the slightest misstep. The next time my son wants help with his homework I’ll say, “That’s it! Clearly this whole Elementary Education is not for you. If you don’t know how to spell December by now, you never will…Now go get a job! Oh, and take your sister with you, she sits on the potty way too long.”
7. Hold grudges
This year I will forgive no one. I don’t care if you step on my toe, or pay me the five bucks you owe me, a day after the assigned due date. I vow to hate you forever and never forget how you wronged me.
8. Stress more
I will lose sleep thinking about planning parties, redecorating my house, trying to budget, missing appointments, teacher conferences, and health issues. I will laugh an evil cackle while erasing all the plans from my PDA, and then cry over what I have just done. I will empty our bank account on frivolous investments and watch it dwindle away. Oh, wait…that already happened. Well good, more for me to worry about.
9. Become addicted to something
Smoking, alcoholism and Starbucks are so trite. I’m thinking something unique like nasal spray or hand sanitizer. Or at least something beneficial to my endurance like crack. Look, I already have a shopping addiction, maybe I could offset the bills with a robust gambling problem.
10. Gossip More
I vow to talk about everything you do in the new year. If I see you at the pediatrician for so much as a flu shot, I will tell everyone your child has hand foot mouth, so you can be verbally assaulted when you show up at a birthday party the next day. If you look too skinny, I will assume it’s a divorce or an addiction. If you look too hot, I’ll call it a torrid affair. If you look too young, it’s an addiction to surgical procedures because you’re getting divorced due to a torrid affair. I will start a rumor phone tree and a blog called “WhatYourNeighborsAreReallyUpTo.com.” I may even have a megaphone installed on my “Gossip Mobile,” so I can drive through local parking lots amplifying the skeletons in your closet to all within earshot. Oh, wait… I’ll just write about it in my next column.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!