If the sudden arrival of Christmas was a sneak-up-and-slap-me-across-the-face kind of surprise, then the arrival of Two Thousand Twelve is the back-handed slap that immediately followed the first slap. The indignation at the first slap is still fresh, so the backhand leaves me a spluttering a stream of nonsensical swear words; "dock trugger saint whacker!". Now that I have had a few days to transition I am feeling somewhat optimistic about 2012, in the dangerous "it can't be much worse than 2011" tempting fate kind of way.
So, in the interest of setting myself up for triumph, I share with you my goals for 2012, AKA:
Resolutions for the Unmotivated:
"Dictated But Not Read"
Last year (during one of my bouts of emotional instability), I visited my 93 year old grandmother, Martha, in her cruise-ship style retirement home. I was telling her about teaching and possible depression, and she was telling me about teaching during the depression...you know, that old chestnut. In the middle of her story about the seven marriage proposals she received while teaching out in the prairies (she is my grandma in every way but biologically, I clearly did not inherit such magnetism) Grandma interrupted herself to ask me if I needed any cards. It went something like this...
"...and he proposed as well, but I grew up on a farm and there was no way I wanted to be a farmer's wife! No way in - do you need any cards, Hannah?"
Not one to miss an opportunity to rummage through a vintage card collection and suffering perpetually from the "yes, pleases", I immediately said "Yes, please, Grandma!".
Grandma proceeded to bring out a box filled with some of the most awesomely amazing retro stationary ever seen by these eyes. The best find by far was the hot pink "Mirth from Martha" cards, which may have caused me to shout "solid gold!" when I pulled them out of the box. There was no date stamped on the back to tell me when these cards were printed, but I'm fairly certain the the word "mirth" has not been used in everyday speech since around 1947. I also snagged "Hello from BC" with butterflies, some gingham print floral motif, and some classic "Swiss Alpine View". Thanks, Grandma!
One of my resolutions is to send more Spinster Correspondence, to communicate with people in a way that shows them they are worth 59¢ and a trip to the mailbox. In the age of digital communication, I think it is a pleasant surprise to find a colourful card among a pile of bills. That, and I like to force myself upon people unsolicited.
Keep and eye out, "Mirth from Martha" may be gracing your mailbox in the near future.
Not Eating Like an Ass*ole
I know that many, many, many people make New Years resolutions about health and fitness. Most of these people have wight loss plans, gym passes, and a strong sense of motivation. I have none of these things. I simply wish to not die of scurvy. When I was living with Kim, she was pretty amazing about making meals. For the nine months that we lived together (and for the two years we lived together the first time) I consistently ate meals that included vegetables, protein, and some delicious starches. Don't get me wrong, we also ate "half of Japan" when we went for sushi, and may or may not have eaten an entire orange meringue pie in one sitting during our university years. Overall though, Kim planned meals and steamed vegetables, and in general took amazing care of me. Thanks, sweetheart!
I am not completely useless in the kitchen. I can follow a recipe and am a pretty good baker. I am also, however, inexcusably lazy and a terrible planner in the world of culinary preparedness. I routinely show up and the grocery store, grab my spinster-sized pull along basket, get milk for my tea, and then (lacking list or meal ideas) proceed to wander the aisles aimlessly hoping for culinary inspiration.
The only food I am consistent about is oatmeal and berries. It is pretty much guaranteed that I have oatmeal and frozen berries at all times which sicks Vanessa out to no end as the very thought of oatmeal gives her the gags. Speaking of Scott and Vanessa, I could write a Shakespearean style love sonnet about all the things I ate while living at their house. Vanessa is an extremely good cook and Scott is a trained chef, so you can probably imagine what eating at their house is like. In case you have a terrible imagination, here is an example: One day when Vanessa and I came home from work Scott had made pasta tossed with fresh tomatoes, basil, and pan seared scallops, home made potato salad (including different coloured potatoes and shredded purple carrot), and a fancy green salad. It. Was. Delicious. That meal will be vividly emblazoned in my mind for many many years. I may remember more about that meal than I do about the last time I had sex, but I accept that as a logical consequence for shot-gunning Strongbow.
Vanessa likes to ask me what I've eaten on any given day, I think it's kind of a morbid-curiosity thing for her. Some of the answers she has received are as follows:
- "A variety of cheeses and a special K bar"
-"Macaroni and cheese" (I once answered this every day for five days)
-"A can of peaches and some pickles"
-"tea and popcorn"
-"Pancakes again...but pumpkin pancakes this time. Vegetables!"
-"Three oranges and some toast"
-"A whole tray of fig and goat cheese puffs"
-"a banana and peanut butter straight from the jar"
-"roasted beets and carrots"
Wear More Party Dresses
As straight forward as it sounds. I want to dress up more, damn it! Someone throw a fancy party!
It is a truth widely acknowledged that I am in possession of a minor emotional limp. It is imperceptible to many, but glaringly obvious to the people who know me best; for it has been discussed/analyzed/scrutinized/wept over ad nauseum. "Water off a duck's back" is not a well understood or commonly practiced saying in my world, I am more of a "water dumped over a denim tuxedo" kind of girl - whatever someone says or does that hurts me stays with me for a ridiculously long time, leaving me cold, clammy, disgruntled, and very likely, chafed. In the words of Florence and the Machine "I'm always dragging that horse around".
2012 shall be the year that I strip off the soggy denim tuxedo and walk it off! (you're welcome - for the sexy visual). I am going to work really hard on acceptance and forgiveness, for both myself and others. I shall accept wholeheartedly that rather than the sexy,smooth, seductress I have always secretly imagined myself to be I am actually a rather nerdy and awkward ginger who sometimes accidentally mentions Star Wars on first dates, plays hide and seek with her cat, quotes Pride and Prejudice in everyday conversation, snorts when she laughs, sings loudly in the car, loves young adult fiction, gets hiccups at inappropriate times, writes a blog about spinsterhood, loves with her whole heart (even though it sometimes comes back to punch her in the face), hates shitty hugs, vacations like a senior citizen, and eats more cheese than is right or acceptable for any human being. I know it's crazy, but so far no man has found this worth fighting for; and maybe it's because I will turn "old" on my birthday this year, but I have come to the realization that fighting to prove I am worth fighting for is a rather pointless and disappointing endeavour - like hoping to see a polar bear in Hawaii.
Forgiveness will be the tougher nut to crack, for while forgiveness is within my capabilities, forgetting is not...but perhaps it is possible to still remember, but with more benevolence than previously applied to some painful situations. Less snark, more compassion. I mean, maybe some people just don't think Star Wars is awesome...yeah, no, I still don't want to hang out with those people. *
Horoscope for 2012
*unless you are Kim - pre-existing friendship clause