A Middle Aged Woman Laughs at New Year’s Resloutions
By: Mary Fran Bontempo

It’s time for the New Year’s Resolutions column.

I do one every year. Sometimes it’s somber, sometimes funny. Given the state of the world, this one should probably be somber. But there’s plenty of that to go around without me adding to the muck. Still, it’s hard to be funny in this climate, so I figured I’d ask my daughters, always full of ideas about what I could do to improve myself, what they thought my New Year’s Resolutions should be. Sure to be a laugh there.

“Girls, I’m writing my New Year’s Resolutions column. What should I resolve for 2011?”

“How much space do you have?” asked Laura, my oldest girl.

“Yeah, this might have to be a pretty long column,” from Meg.

“That’s really funny. Now give me some ideas,” I said.

“Well, for starters, you can stop peeking in my room to check and see if I’m still breathing every morning. It drives me crazy and it’s a little creepy,” said my youngest.

Guilty. I do check to see if they’re breathing. But in my defense, during Christmas break, they sleep eighteen out of twenty-four hours. They get up after 11 in the morning, eat breakfast, watch TV for an hour and then take a nap. The scenario repeats in the afternoon and sometimes even after dinner. How can anyone be that tired without having mono or narcolepsy or something?

“Sorry. I’ve been watching you breathe since you were born and I can’t stop now. Next.”

“How about this?” from the eldest. “How about you stop rolling your eyes every time I have an idea and I tell you about it?”

Again, guilty. Also, again in my defense, most of their ideas are goofy. For example, Laura, still in search of a full time, meaningful job, has run the potential career gamut from teacher to bartender to nutritionist to sign language interpreter to playing Tinkerbell in Disneyworld and flying on a zip line from Cinderella’s castle to Tomorrowland during the nightly fireworks show. Really, I thought rolling my eyes was a mild reaction.

“Well, I’ll try, but lots of your ideas are goofy, so I’m not offering any guarantees.”

“Okay, maybe you can stop moving stuff around in our rooms and cleaning up our things, especially when I come home from school,” the youngest offered.

Picture this: Five adults in one house. Clothing, shoes, accessories, personal products, towels, papers, laptops, books, and I haven’t even started on the dishes, glasses and silverware constantly in the kitchen sink. Now picture all of it strewn throughout the entire house, garage, cars all day, every day. Trust me, I’m not interested in messing with their stuff. I’m just trying to make sure the stuff doesn’t consume the entire house, blob-like, until there’s nothing left but a huge pile of junk with one desperate hand (mine) sticking out the top grasping helplessly for salvation.

“As far as that goes, girls, are you planning on putting your ‘stuff’ away any time soon?”

They looked at one another. “Probably not,” they answered.

“Then don’t hold your breath on that one,” I countered.

“So let me get this straight, Mom,” Laura said. “You ask us for resolutions, but no matter what we say, you basically tell us you won’t do it because you’re always right.”

“Hmmm…maybe this was a bad idea. Maybe my column should be about resolutions for you kids,” I said.

They looked at one another. “Mom, come to think of it, you don’t need resolutions to change anything. You’re just right the way you are,” said Meg.

“I had the same thought, honey. Glad you agree,” I said.

I’m not sure, but I think they both rolled their eyes. Happy New Year, everyone!

What were some of your worst New Year’s resolutions?  Click “comments” below, in red, and share!