I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions. In fact, I usually scoff at the very concept of suddenly making a decision to change some aspect of one’s life, especially after a night that, for many folks, involves staying up too late and losing important articles of clothing in public. The most crucial decision these people should be making is how to navigate their way to bed without ruining the carpet. But this year, I’ve decided to make some significant changes, considering that it’s noon on a Tuesday as I write this, and I’m still wearing pajamas.
Speaking of pajamas, my first resolution is to clean out my underwear drawer. We’ve all been there. It’s 6 a.m., our bodies and minds are barely functioning, and we just grab whatever’s on top in the drawer where we think we crammed our clean underwear the last time we finally put them away and stopped getting dressed out of the laundry basket. It might be a pair with enough holes to strain pasta. (Try getting that image out of your mind.) It might be a pair you’ve had since your senior year in high school and now fits like a giant pressure bandage. Or it might be a pair that has lost its elasticity and by the end of the day becomes an extra pair of socks. Life is just too short to wear uncomfortable underwear, and by golly, if I had to choose, I’d rather wear none at all — yikes!
My next resolution involves the way I spend money. In 2017, I spent far too much on pets for my children. Now, don’t get me wrong; I love animals. In fact, when I was a kid, my heroes were Grizzly Adams, Jacques Cousteau and Marlin Perkins. Sure, they were old, weird, and made questionable fashion choices, but they all loved animals — and so do I. But that’s no excuse for how I’ve allowed my finances to be disrupted by purchases involving a horse, a dog, a cat, two hedgehogs, a hamster and a mouse. I never dreamed that I’d be spending this kind of money for the privilege of constantly handling poop of various sizes. In 2018, I’m determined to avoid acquiring any new creatures that don’t know how to flush.
Next, I resolve to be more realistic about the condition of my own body. I try to follow the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services exercise guidelines, and other than maintaining the current contours of my love handles, it seems to have little effect. It’s about time that I resign myself to the fact that no matter how many reps I do on the ThighMaster, I’m simply not going to look like Jason Momoa, The Rock or even that guy who starred in the latest crappy King Arthur movie. Instead, I think I’m destined to look more like a close relative of Jim Gaffigan. (I see a wardrobe featuring pants with elastic waistbands in my future.)
My final resolution relates to politics. This next year, I’m resolving to stop getting worked up about what’s going on in Washington, D.C. It usually just makes me angry, and then I take it out on my daughters, insisting that they go bush-hog their rooms and threatening to sell their pets on eBay. When I turn on the news and hear names like Chuck and Nancy, Crooked Hillary, Rocket Man, Crazy Bernie, or Pocahontas, instead of being outraged, I’ll just imagine I’m watching an episode of the WWE — rather than witnessing the cage match that is the U.S. government. The absurd plotlines are similar, the poorly choreographed moves are equally contrived, and both are led by brash billionaires who’ve spent time in the ring and have an apparent obsession with tanning and hair products. I’m just glad the costumes are different. (I’m not ready for a shirtless Donald in a pair of flamed trunks and body paint.)
Along with all of my own resolutions, I truly wish a blessed new year to all of my family, friends, and people with nothing better to do than read this. I’ll close with a traditional Irish blessing for 2018:
“May your unmentionables drawer be full and fresh;
May your waistbands be flexible and non-chafing;
May your excuses for not purchasing a ferret be credible;
May your politics be harmlessly theatrical;
And may you find this column funny so that I’ll continue to feel good about myself.”
Amen, and Happy New Year!
— Jason Graves
Jason (Jase) Graves is a married father of three daughters, a lifelong resident of Longview, Texas, and a Texas A&M Aggie. He writes about home and family issues from a humorous perspective for the Cagle Cartoons syndicate and his blog. Other than writing, his primary hobby is sleeping as late as possible.