Today, I resolve to do many things. True, the rest of the world — except for those of course who’ve snarkily resolved to swear off resolutions — will wait until Jan. 1 to launch into the annual ritual known as “Feebly trying to change habits ingrained over several years with a strong dose of willpower and the drunken vows of last night’s toast.” In some parts, this ceremony is also known as tithing to the gym because most of the money committed to the annual membership will be doled out in monthly increments long after the motivation to climb stairs on a stationary machine has passed.
However, this year I am taking a different path and tackling a laundry list of resolutions New Year’s Eve instead if for no other reason than to have several options Wednesday when exhaustion, dehydration or simple day-after regret lead me to the road of self-improvement.
So today, I vow to ingest as many empty calories as possible. Bring on the lingering holiday sweets, the trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, anything smothered in sauce and a large helping of shortening. Jan. 1, 2014, might be the day for perusing the McDonald’s McResource employee website for helpful nutritional tips — key among them, don’t eat cheeseburgers and French fries — but today I’d like to supersize my size. Besides, after receiving flak for offering tone-deaf advice about how its low-wage earning workers should tip an au pair or pool cleaner, the company closed the site down.
I also plan today to take up smoking. Certainly a childhood of second-hand smoke from Marlboro-loving parents did keep any real desire to light up from ever catching fire in me but with the growing popularity and publicity of “vaping” there just might be a Wednesday resolution hidden somewhere among the flavored nicotine juice. Besides, I can always just claim that I thought I was signing up to be vapid. There are certainly days when I already have that quality down.
Just in time for a 2014 commitment to fiscal prudence, I better get some retail therapy out of the way stat. Target seems a good choice if only so that I can feel like I’m also risking my identity and can also vow to better protect my personal security. Two resolutions, one debit card. Done!
Liquor is a no-brainer vice but I’d better first make sure my better half is also ready to drain a bottle or two. A new study shows that couples with compatible drinking habits are less likely to break up. Or maybe less likely to end up in jail. A South Carolina woman allegedly beat down and stabbed a man with a ceramic squirrel when he failed to come home with beer on Christmas Eve because the stores were closed. Perhaps she was gunning for an anger management resolution tomorrow.
All of my language choices today will hopefully be if not quite short than at least nothing beyond a fifth-grade reading level. I’d shoot for monosyllabic but that won’t ensure mass understanding as “qat,” “xi” and a host of other two-letter words that through the power of Scrabble and Words With Friends I’ve learned actually exist. Tomorrow, I will bother to bolster my vocabulary by looking up all those verbal and written oddities rather than just being amazed they are accepted by the smartphone application — after all, the phone is the one in this relationship that is supposedly smart. But today my resolution is all about sentences with one noun, one verb and nothing compound and words that might just as well be “thingy” or “doohickey.”
Maybe today I’ll also resolve to be apathetic about global warming, health care, meditation, positive attitudes, cholesterol, car maintenance, daily dog walking, morning breakfasts and that treadmill-turned-clothes-rack in the spare room corner.
Today I will have resolve about them because tomorrow, when it comes time to actually commit to their reversal, it is very likely I won’t.
Michelle Durand’s column “Off the Beat” runs every Tuesday and Thursday. She can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (650) 344-5200 ext. 102. What do you think of this column? Send a letter to the editor: email@example.com.