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It’s great to be a guy!

“Happy New Yeeaaarrrr!”

It fills the entire room and what little gray matter I have left between my ears. All three hands on the clock incriminate 12 as the reason for all the hoopla.
The start of a new year, the chance to start anew. January the oneth.

Now two minutes into January I’m breaking my wife’s New Year resolution (for me) as I trace a line with my belt buckle all around the top three inches of the midnight buffet.

She’s decided that one of my New Year resolutions was to cut down on my calorie intake. I countered by promising never to eat more than I can lift at any one time. Which my plate, at this very point in time was challenging me with.

Plate piled high (but moveable), veins in my forearms and forehead protruding, I carefully navigate toward a feeding area and trip over a sleeping grandkid. I attempt to stay upright, but fail. Now linear, I verbally express my disappointment at failing my first resolution. I then go on to express more disappointment about grandma’s country estate dish pattern now in pieces scattered across the floor. To which , the once sleeping angelic cherub, turns on me and announces that another dollar was to occupy the potty mouth jar. Now a second resolution broken.

In my defense, it wasn’t an adult swear word. I just happened to mention an immovable object that holds back water as my, not one, but three chins and midnight snack were hitting the floor.

Two New Year resolutions down and the hands in the clock were closer together than my thumb and index finger. How many more resolutions would end on this night? How many were there? She had made me a list, but I had left it at home. That in itself could be a violation of a resolution.

I have come to believe that New Year resolutions are a woman’s thing. Let’s face it, ladies, if it were up to us guys we would just keep going wayward in all our bad habits.

We could be 30 pounds overweight, walk naked past a full-length mirror, suck in our gut and with two fingers pointed at our reflection, like the bartender from The Love Boat, make a clicking sound between our teeth and gums and pity the poor woman who could refuse this.

If guys ever start to feel like they might be getting a bit too excessive in any one bad habit, we just look for an example worse than ourselves and  find comfort that we aren’t as bad as “that guy.”

And it doesn’t even have to be the same fault!

When a woman perceives  herself overweight, she is always jealous of skinnier women and will set goals to lose weight.

With guys if, let’s say, he’s 30 pounds overweight and might somehow feel less than perfect, he doesn’t look at a healthier male as a goal but rather finds fault in his buddy’s choice of vehicles to better his self image. “Phffft, the guy drives a 64 split window Corvette. Thing has a huge blind spot!”

So what if we’ve gone from eye candy to eye broccoli!  Accept us, ladies.

Happy happy happy is the couple when the wife has dropped that girlfriend promise they all make to each other: “I’m going to change him.”

You know that promise all you women make when you announce to your friends of  your intended betrothed. “If he asks me to marry, I’ll say yes. Oh I know he’s always kidding around, he’s overweight, has no sense of style and his hair is a disaster, but I promise you once we’re married, I’ll change him into the man I’ve always wanted.”

And with the start of each new year you revisit that challenge you’ve placed on yourself by encouraging him to look inward and make a resolution to do better.
Or, you take a more proactive approach and make him a list.

It seems like the only day of the year it’s appropriate. Oh sure you think a change is needed every time you look at him as he watches his Scooby-Doo cartoons. All in his sweat pants finery, with his matching ripped T-shirt. That once crazy head of hair now all wispy and thin as it clings on, fights the good fight to remain on his head. And it’s not like he can’t grow hair cause now his back, ears and nose all support some sort of exotic growth.

Well, at least he doesn’t laugh so much anymore. Life sorta solved that problem.

So ladies as you enter your “Stop-n-Start” season, we on the sidelines wish you well. As you stop the many things you perceive in your life as wrong or bad, and start to do better in mind, body and soul, go forth knowing we are somewhere behind you. We might notice your hair is cut different, or you’ve lost a few pounds or you’ve adopted a favorite frock rather than buy a new one.

We might. …then again, we might not. But please forgive us, we’re men. This is a rough season for us as you go about trying to better with your life and us along with it. You go, girl! Do your thing! But we’re happy minding the small things that somehow take up our time.

Men, take comfort as you watch the wife and her girlfriend power walk out of the driveway. They, and many women like them, all walking and jogging around the neighborhood while you, with coffee and doughnut in hand, survey their struggles from the comfort of your domain. To us January the oneth is college football, not a day to get all excited about changing things all around.

Relax.  There’ll be another list next year…or sooner.

— Bob Niles

Bob Niles, who answers to Robert, Bobby, Dad, Grandpa, Unit No.2 (his Dad could never remember all the children’s names), honey and super hero, is new to writing but not to storytelling. “I like to make people laugh and to think, with a secret desire make them dance and send me untraceable $100 bills in the mail,” says the happily married, retired father and grandpa from Richmond in British Columbia, Canada. He blogs here.

Reflections of Erma