New Years and A New Leaf . . . Good Grief!
by Marjorie Dorfman

Is it that annoying time of year again already? You know, that moment when you decide to never do this and always do that forever more. Well, stop right there and read on. It's time for a change, a revolution in resolutions and a few laughs as well!

Two questions are always on everyone’s mind as the new year comes closer and closer. The first one concerns what we shall all do on New Years’ Eve and the other speaks of what changes we plan to make for the oncoming year. The main objective for the first hassle noted is to get through "The Eve" without pulling the bedcovers over your head. If this means counting champagne glasses until the dawn comes peeping through your windowsill, then so be it. Speaking for myself, I won’t travel because I don’t want to be a statistic and I won’t stay home because it’s too depressing. And so, you ask, what do I do? I compromise by going out but only somewhere within walking distance of my home. My boyfriend and I usually dine at a local restaurant and return early enough to watch that famous ball drop from Times Square.

I might be tempted to give up my night on the town for a party, that is, if my neighbors were having one. The problem is that if they aren’t, it's too late for me to make one of my own. I usually end up yawning with the ghost of Guy Lombardo and go to sleep with visions of noisemakers warding off evil spirits circling in my champagne head. (I don’t like champagne. I don’t know why I drink it. I feel the same way about turkey and every Thanksgiving finds me eating it anyway.)

So much for the night before. At least that’s gone by the next day, not like your mind that’s here to stay. If you are one of those people who every year makes many resolutions quite sincerely only to discover a week later that you’ve broken all of them, you’re just like me. This year I’ve decided to make a resolution to make no new resolutions. If my soul cannot be saved at this point in my life, I’m sure it’s gone forever. If it can be, then why should I bother making things more difficult for myself? Everyone else seems to accept me for what I am. So why can’t I?

But why, you ask. Foolish knave, for aye, there is the rub. For years, my one resolution was to stop smoking. I finally did it ten years ago, but like May West use to say about goodness, New Years had nothing to do with it. Even with the concentrated focus of just one resolution it wasn’t easy and the experience of failure can really make a well-rounded, All-American person feel bad.

Who’s to say when a new year begins anyway? Why does it have to be January the first? For the Chinese it’s named after some animal I’d rather avoid and falls sometime in February. It really could be any day in the year, couldn’t it? It could commemorate anything, pleasant or unpleasant. For example, the day I brought home a new cat from the pound could be an anniversary as well as that distressing day so long ago when my parakeet, Julio, fell in some chicken soup and gasped his last. Monday the tenth of March to the tenth of March the following year is still 365 days and a year by any other name is still a year! If the dumb swallows can remember to return to Capistrano every year on the same day, why can’t we make that day (March something) the beginning of a new year?

Why don’t we consider making our own calendars? No one needs tell the Gregorians who have been dead too long to hold a grudge. I wonder where they went anyway. Are they like the Incas and the Druids, a lost forgotten people? Wherever they ended up, I’m sure they get through the new year. They’ve had ample time to practice.

No resolutions, no promises and maybe a few more green vegetables. Those are my plans for the new millennium, that is unless you know of a good party to go to.

Did you know . . .

Copyright 2002