A new year has begun. A fresh chapter waits to be written. And this column should have been penned a couple of weeks ago.
I like goals, but I’ve never been big on New Year’s resolutions. For the most part, they don’t seem to work. If I were, however, this would be a prime example of what I, as a responsible citizen, should make one about.
Yes, my friends, I am a procrastinator. In fact, I’m the leader of the local chapter of PA (Procrastinators Anonymous). Our rallying cry is, “Procrastinators of the world, unite – tomorrow.”
This issue is just ripe for a firm, strongly worded resolution. Interesting things happen when it shows up in the laundry room, for instance. Let’s say ‘someone’ is getting ready to go to work at a local restaurant and suddenly realizes that none of his uniforms have been washed. Panic sets in. Inside of 30 seconds, he has convened a one-man tribunal, and the head laundress is tried, convicted, and court-martialed. Never mind that he is a muscular, able-bodied young man. I’m about to be hung.
Or let’s say Mr. Schrock is getting ready to run and discovers that his favorite running suit is still in the hamper. Oops! Clearly, his recycling tendencies come to a screeching halt in front of the washer. When I suggested he try this, he stared at me as if I’d sprouted a third eyeball. And when I offered him a fresh pair of jeans to run in, he simply went back to waving his arms in the air, which, I noted, were whole and unbroken.
Another perfectly good reason to resist the urge to resolve is my parents’ health. See, I’m afraid if they start getting their birthday cards on time instead of 11 months early, it could trigger another myocardial infarction for Dad. While Mom has never had one, the shock of it could set her off. So out of love, I must refrain.
Mr. Schrock, on the other hand, has made two resolutions – to lose weight and to get more sleep. If I were into resolutions, this would be a great place to start. After all, if toddlers start crying and small dogs set to barking when you back up, something should be done. It’s exhausting, too, shopping with one eye peeled lest some diligent county worker tries to sneak up and post a ‘wide load’ sign on your back. I wish I were into the whole resolving thing.
A really good resolution, if I were a resolver, would be to closet my broom far more in 2009. Ask the boys – they can tell you. Mom’s a witch sometimes, right down to the hairy wart. You should see the aerial maneuvers I can perform when they get me going. It’s lucky for me that they’re such quick forgivers. Otherwise, I’d be ousted and they could hire that Proverbs 31 woman. I’ve always wanted to look like her.
What would really be fun is if, for one year, we could make resolutions for other people. Now, I could get into that. Here’s how my list would begin.
“I resolve that heretofore sons one, two, and three shall quit running the 50-gallon hot water heater dry. Effective immediately, all showers shall be of moderate duration. There’s no need to shower through another birthday. I simply refuse to serve cake and ice cream under the showerhead. Furthermore, all baths shall be no more than six inches deep. This is not Sea World and you are not dolphins. Besides, your dad is tired of showering beneath an onslaught of ice cubes, and I’m tired of hearing him bellow about it.
“To make this whole deal more fun, I resolve that you shall adopt your cousins’ strategy and make a contest out of it. Using their trusty stopwatch, they have set a record of two men racing through the shower and presenting downstairs in their PJs in 2 minutes and 17 seconds. If you want to see your mother speechless for once, beat that.
“For our fellow countrymen whom we have elected and sent up to the Hill, I resolve that while you’re brokering bailout deals for the banks and the auto guys, you shall speedily send me one of your printing presses so that I can print a steady stream of cash to bail myself out when my mocha fund gets low. Oh, and I have a clothing fund that needs a fresh infusion, not to mention a house I’d like to build. So I’ll be looking for the UPS truck to come forthwith.
“Lastly, I resolve that Mr. Schrock and his eldest son and heir shall, using their four perfectly good arms, learn to run the washer so that I no longer have to face the firing squad should I forget to launder certain very special garments. This would also allow me to park the broom in the upstairs closet. I could be far more Proverbs 31-like if these resolutions were adopted. Thank you for cooperating. You may sign right here.”
As no scratch-n-sniff test was applied to the nephews, their level of cleanliness cannot be verified. At least they got wet, and that’s the point. Rhonda’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.