I rank the whole making New Year’s resolutions up there with other fairly terrible ideas — fascism, abstinence, Crystal Pepsi and the man thong round out my top-five.
What in the world takes place between the end of October and the end of December that triggers the epidemic of low self-esteem that feeds this whole New Year’s resolution nonsense? One moment we are carefree, running around the streets costumed as anal thermometers, and then before you know it Jan. 1 is upon us replete with a hangover and an impossibly over ambitious lifestyle-makeover-do-to-list.
At the very moment when we are feeling poorer, fatter and vaguely resentful of friends and family who got us crappy gifts, is now really the time to put down in writing all the ways we as individuals suck? You want to assume personal responsibilities for all of your shortcomings and semi-genuinely pretend to do something to change them?!
Oh, hells no.
Your New Year’s could not have been so horrendous that it is really worth rethinking yourself and your life too seriously. At worst you ended the evening making out with a toilet bowl on your knees and at best you rang in 2005 making out with someone else on their knees.
The majority of the year we wander around feigning superiority complexes and projecting our flaws onto others. If there is a true resolution to be made, it should be to make a full time, 12-months-out-of-the-year-commitment to deferring blame to others: you are not the problem, everyone and everything else is the problem.
Let us walk through the basic top-five New Year’s resolutions and take a more ‘outside the box’ approach to enacting positive personal change:
1. “I need to lose X number of pounds.”
Look, unless you are going to do it the old fashioned way by shoving a straw up your nose and riding the white horse till both those pounds and your sanity melt away, then it is time to realize that curves are back and if they are not — well, then they should be. I’m not talking the BS. “I’ve kicked my eating disorder and went on the pill”-B-cup-kind-of-curves. I mean the good old T and A that really gives you something to hold onto and ride — or hold onto while you make love without having sex.
2. “I will stop mistaking ‘physical/sexual affirmation’ for the true emotional fulfillment I am seeking and deserve.”
Yalies are a bunch of dorks — half of whom spent our adolescence sexually frustrated and half of whom remain sexually frustrated. We should all be aiming to get more play. “Getting some” can be challenging, pleasurable, and kind of counts as exercise. Give your undivided attention to your true emotional enlightenment when your body begins to sag and wrinkle like a raisin.
3. “My roommates are right. I need to pull it together because partying so hard is really dragging down my grades.”
The only thing that should be dragged down is your pants as you drunkenly moon your roommates. Has your liver gone gangrenous? No. Can you break through the smokey haze to see your computer and finish the paper? Yes. Your roommates are probably just jealous they could never look as good as you stumbling home in stilettos and a thong, dragging Banana Republic chinos along the dirty sidewalk as you go.
4. “I will really try to be less judgmental of others. I am far from perfect. If I don’t have something nice to say, I will not say anything at all.”
Go on and say it! Honesty is rarely the best plan, but often the most hilarious. You may be far from perfect, but take solace in the fact that most others are even further from it than you. Believe me; everyone is silently judging someone. See — you are probably judging me right now.
5. “I spent way too much money last semester. I’m so broke. Financial frugality is so the name of the game this spring.”
If you’ve got it, spend it! And while you are at it, if you’d like to spend some of it on me that would be greatly appreciated. Most of you are just faking budget cut backs anyway. Stop pretending like you do not come from economic privilege. Soon enough you will sell out to corporate law or I-banking, so enjoy this fleeting moment when you can have both your Starbucks and your soul.
Give yourself a break. It is truly the rowdy revelry, ice cream indulgences and pant-less nights that make us the gloriously idiosyncratic and odd people who are so difficult to love and even more impossible to forget.
To hell with New Year’s resolutions. If you are not going to celebrate your shortcomings — who is?
There is a reason people are always telling us to go out and change the world. It is because changing the world is about a thousand times easier then actually changing ourselves. Now, riddle me that.
Jana Sikdar did not make out with a toilet on New Year’s. She may have, however, wandered the streets of Mexico without pants.