Yes, last week I went full-on Debbie Downer, but consider it therapeutic. You know how you see the container full of oogie gook in the back of the fridge, and you just have to open it up and look at it one more time before you throw it in the trash? That. It’s that.
And then you wash your hands thoroughly, and the bowl too, and move on. The new year. It’s that.
Many folks love to make New Year’s resolutions this time of year, and I’ve discovered over time that this is just a setup for failure. It’s just too large of a chunk, and you’re going to choke on it.
An easier, more manageable path is to celebrate New Day’s Day … as in every day is a new day, so just imagine how you want that fresh new day to play out and what you hope to accomplish. Some days, the goal will be to take on the world. Others, it will be to successfully get out of bed and make coffee.
All that said, I did pick a trend for the new year: Get rid of what hurts me and seek out and maintain what helps me. Some days, the latter will be getting out of bed and making coffee.
While I didn’t make formal resolutions for myself, I did come up with some nifty ones for other people. I shall call them my Just Stop It New Year’s Resolutions for 2016 :
* Ladies who won’t sit down on the toilet seat in public restrooms, and spray tinkle all over the seat and just walk away for the next person to abruptly discover in the most unpleasant way imaginable: Just stop it. You are the most rude, discourteous, self-centered, vile creatures on Earth.
This year, if you can’t be bothered to make use of the paper toilet seat covers, at least be courteous enough to wipe the seat clean. And if you find that too disgusting to do, I assure you, it’s infinitely less disgusting than how the rest of us discover your loathsome lack of courtesy.
* People who lean over you to order and grab things while you’re sitting at the sushi bar: Just stop it. There is a place at the end of the sushi bar to do that. If you keep it up, I may “accidentally” fling an entire bowl of soy sauce onto your shirt. Or an elbow.
* People who let their dogs bark for hours on end: Just stop it. If you don’t love your dog enough to bring it inside when it’s barking, or reprimand it and teach it manners, get rid of it. Why is it that the only people who can tune out an incessantly barking dog are the ones who own it? You know what I discovered last year? A nifty little hand-held device that makes an ultrasonic sound to let the yapping beast know that this behavior leads to ear discomfort. I only wish the device worked on the dog owners.
* People who steal the Express from subscribers’ driveways: Just stop it. You are horrid.
* People who don’t subscribe to the Express: Just stop it. You are even more horrid. And you’ll miss us when we’re gone. Trust me on that. You can’t find out who the Future Subscribers are on the internet.
* People who talk to you while you’re on the stair-climber at the gym with your eyes closed and earbuds in your ears: Just stop it. “On exercise equipment with closed eyes and earbuds in your ears” is the universal symbol for “Leave me the hell alone.” Apparently, there needs to be a T-shirt to go with it, imprinted with “Leave me the hell alone” on the back. I think I’ll flip mine around forwards for when I’m writing too.
* People who name their children last names for first names: Just stop it. Hunter, Taylor, Porter, Fletcher — it’s not edgy anymore. It was edgy when all the girls were named Ashley and all the boys were named Justin, or some other J name. Now it’s just annoying and makes people roll their eyes behind your back.
How about gods and goddesses of antiquity? That’s untapped ground. How about Little Osiris, Thoth, Bastet and Hathor? Dionysus, Hera, Poseidon and Hecate? It’s time to retire the “last names as first names” thing. No one thinks it’s clever but you.
Yeah, yeah, I know, all the parents with kids who have last names for first names have their panties in a bunch right about now and are all fired up to disagree with me: Again: Just stop it. In fact, everyone who disagrees with me about anything: Just stop it.
There. I think I’ve covered all the things people need to change to make me happy. Why didn’t I think of making resolutions for other people instead of myself before! My life will be so much more pleasant if everyone else just does what I want! Everyone and everything bending to my will. I’m totally cool with that.
Maybe I’ve been spending too much time with cats.
IN OTHER NEWS: Thanks to all who sent birthday cards to Charley. His wife Sherri said that they really cheered him up and actually made him smile! He probably had the best birthday ever, and discovered there were all sorts of Wet Spot birthday babies to commiserate with him, as well as those born on the actual holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. They feel minimized, and lacking a special day.
Besides giving Old Grumpy Pants a birthday smile for a change, it also cheered him up because he said he didn’t realize how many people read his column.
Don’t tell him.
It’s our little secret.
— Email Debra DeAngelo at email@example.com; read more of her work at www.wintersexpress.com and www.ipinionsyndicate.com