Besides modesty, the characteristic I love most about myself is the unbiased honesty about myself I have with myself. That’s why I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions — my pledges were either ridiculously lofty (lose twenty pounds, grow three inches, stop swearing) or were made solely to impress a woman (lose twenty pounds, grow three inches, stop swearing). No matter the motivation, the goals were doomed to failure.
I even tried rebel-resolutions (gain twenty pounds, stoop like I had osteoporosis, swear more) — also to impress women — after I read the magazine article Why Good Girls Are Attracted To Bad Boys, But Not Vice-Versa (Except In Utah). Not only did this strategy fail on all counts, but it caused my good cholesterol to go bad and my back to throb with the pain of a hypochondriac bucktoothed sword swallower. However, as far as I can determine, the increased swearing has had no ill effects except during Meet The Teacher Nights and job interviews.
For several years now, I have abstained from New Year’s Resolution making, but there has been a discernable void in my life, much like when a recovering gambling addict first hears someone innocently say, “I bet you can’t eat just one.” Therefore, I am back in the game. Only this time, I am positioning myself to successfully fulfill each and every promise.
- So as not to upset religious people and telemarketers, instead of saying goddamnit, which when said quickly apparently is interpreted as an insult to God, I will utter the phrase slowly so that it will be heard as God: damn it, and understood to mean what I intended: “Excuse me, God, I know you are probably either working in mysterious ways or resting. But I was wondering if you could do me a solid and punish this son-of-a-bitch like he’s never been punished before. Let him rue the day that he chastised Bob Iozzia for swearing in front of nuns, Saint Bernard puppies and former President Jimmy Carter. Thank you for your kind consideration.”
- I know that combining peanut butter and jelly in one jar has been a marketing failure, but the concept can be successfully applied to a more popular culinary combination: ham and cheese. I resolve to convince Hillshire Farms and Kraft Foods to pool their resources in order to develop a humane and delicious way to inject pigs with a cheese such as Swiss, Colby or Jalapeño Jack. The goal would be to have every slice comprised of equal halves of succulent ham and tangy cheese. When the process has had a decent track record (statistically-insignificant deaths and immorally lofty Third World sales), we can get fancy and add mayonnaise, mustard or horseradish. For those of you who are troubled by species crossbreeding, horseradish is not an animal.
I have finally learned to set attainable goals and am pleased with my first list; I’ll keep it to just the two items for this first year. We’ll see how it goes, but I’ll probably have a three-item list next year.
I am also happy to report that I no longer have shallow, self-centered goals — I realize that it isn’t important that I haven’t lost weight or even that I continue to swear. I am married and don’t care how I look and I’ve reached an age where my cursing is considered an element that contributes to others seeing me as “a character.”
Wow, I can’t believe it — I’m hungry again, goddamnit.