By this time of year, everyone has made a New Year's resolutions for a yearlong campaign of self-improvement and personal growth. Bah humbug, I say.
I didn't make any resolutions this year. I turned 62 on Jan. 4, and I am pretty sure I heard somewhere that from 62 on I had a free pass to sit on the couch eating bonbons for the rest of my life. It's like applying for Social Security at 65, only better.
"You heard it in your head," Doug said. Then he sat me down with a pencil and pad of paper, and told me: "Write down what you want to improve this year. You'll be glad you did."
No I won't, I thought. Every year, I make resolutions. And every year, no matter how hard I try, I break them all by Feb. 1. It's an exercise in futility. "If you think resolutions are such a great idea," I grumbled, "how about you make some. Here, I'll get you started: Learn to open dishwasher and place dirty dishes inside." Doug gave me that look, the one I'd like to make the basis for his second resolution: Don't give Cathy that look, because it makes her want to scream.
I did manage to come up with some ideas for self-improvement, including that time-honored New Year's Resolution which always appears on everyone's list (except, maybe, for one German super-model who's perfected the art of living solely on air, sunshine, and mascara): Lose weight.
I know you're thinking that's a pretty bold goal, given that I've never met a Christmas cookie I didn't like and have a serious chocolate addiction.
I'll admit, I've put on a pound or two every year since I turned 50. Yes, I have a little spare tire, but only big enough for a tricycle's back wheel. And I know that if I keep going at this rate, my spare tire will fit an 18-wheeler by the time I'm 108. So "Lose weight" topped my list of resolutions for the 12th year in a row. Hopefully, twelve's the charm.
I showed Doug my resolutions list. "Happy now?"
"Delirious," he replied. Was that a hint of cynicism I detected? That made me even more determined to succeed. "I'm going to get down to my high school weight," I vowed. That, by the way, was 93 pounds soaking wet, because I was only 4-foot-11 and hadn't developed any ... I was only 4-foot-11! Yes, I was doomed from the start.
Still, I gave it a try. I eliminated all of my favorite food groups — sugar, snacks, dessert, and ice cream — and replaced them with celery. I even gave up my midnight nosh of hot buttered popcorn with chocolate chips.
I was losing alright … but I was losing the battle. On day three, I mistook Doug for a giant bag of Peanut M&Ms and had to blink twice and spit out his shirt button to make the mirage go away. And whenever I fed the kittens, it was all I could do not to lick the spoon.
I caved on Jan. 9, when the desiccant packet labeled "Do Not Eat" fell out of my vitamin bottle and I seriously considered eating it. It was time for a hot fudge sundae.
I'm not sure how Doug's doing with his resolutions, but I do know this: He hasn't figured out the dirty-dishes-go-in-the-dishwasher thing yet; and he's still giving me that look.
By the way: If anyone tells you that fat-free frozen Greek yogurt tastes exactly like ice cream, don't believe it.