Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

January is the time of year when Mr. Lucky goes out to walk the dogs as usual, only to find he barely has room to maneuver because of all the hordes of humanity out there jogging, walking, cycling and rollerblading.

Then he goes to the gym for his daily workout, only to discover membership has suddenly quadrupled, and now he has to wait in line to use any of the equipment.

But he remains patient, for he knows by the end of January, those crowds will have thinned out and come February, everything will be back to normal. The streets will be desolate and the gym so deserted, he can go there and dance in his underwear, lip-syncing to Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll” while using one of the barbells as a pretend microphone, and no one will ever know.

When will people learn what he and I have long since figured out—that it takes more than hanging up a brand new calendar and opening one’s annual greetings from the IRS to keep resolutions?

For my part, I need rewards, threats, and blackmail.

Like the time a few years ago when I had trouble getting started on a new book. Julie Leto said if I didn’t write the first three chapters by a certain date, that I would have to apply for a job at Wal-Mart. I wrote those chapters by the specified deadline, and to this day I remain off Mr. Walton’s payroll.

On the other hand, when I was in my twenties I smoked, and every January I made the same futile resolution to quit, but to no avail. Only after Mr. Lucky, an avowed non-smoker, indicated an interest in marrying me, did I finally have the needed impetus to quit. And I didn’t need patches or Chantix or twelve-step programs, or to be strapped into a chair and my eyelids forced open like Alex DeLarge in A Clockwork Orange while I was subjected to a slideshow of blackened, cancer-ravaged lungs.

All I needed was the promise of True Love and Happily Ever After.

New Year’s Resolutions? Ppfft! If I relied only on that new calendar and greetings from the IRS, then I’d still be single, smoking, and working at Wal-Mart.

And I would still be just as snarky as I am here, if only because it would take more than a mere resolution to cure me of that.

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