Now, that the new year is almost here, I’ve begun thinking about all my New Years resolutions for 2018. I don’t know about you, but I seem to have the same ones every year, and they usually only last about a week or two. I looked up New Year’s resolution, and it said, “It’s a tradition, most common to the western hemisphere, in which a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behavior, to accomplish a personal goal, or otherwise improve their life.” Undesired traits or behaviors? That’s all I have. If I get rid of all of them, I’ll be nothing more than a lifeless mannequin, propped up in the corner!
I also learned that only 8% of people keep their resolutions. The most common are: to exercise more, lose weight, eat healthier, drink less alcoholic beverages, stop smoking, save money, and spend more time with family and friends. I always have trouble with these resolutions. First of all; getting me to achieve a healthier lifestyle, by putting down that big piece of chicken at the Old Country Buffet, is like rescuing an unfortunate seal from the jaws of a ravenous polar bear. Of course, with a kid in college, I won’t be saving very much money, and that family and friend thing scares me. To be honest; my wife is my best friend, and my mother-in-law is……. Let’s just say, I’m not sure if I’m quite ready for “more” quality time with either of them.
I think that this year, I’m going to try some resolutions that I haven’t tried before. I, Patrick Dykie, resolve to eat less meat this year, in order to improve my health, and help save the environment, and ultimately the planet from the effects of global warming caused by methane and carbon dioxide produced by farm-raised animals. This could be a tough resolution, due to my extreme love of meat. Every year I get a Christmas card from the owner of Outback Steak House, have a reserved table at my local KFC, and at last count, have put at least three Chinese buffets out of business, by creating a nationwide shortage of boneless spare ribs, and General Tso’s chicken.
You know, you might indulge in too much meat during the year, when your Christmas gifts from friends and family includes: a new grill cover with two spare propane tanks, four, kiss the cook aprons, gift certificates to Ruth’s Chris, Texas Roadhouse, and Longhorn Steakhouse, three George Foreman grills, cases of meat tenderizer, and A1 steak sauce, a side of beef, and a recipe book called, “Cooking for Carnivores.” I’m ashamed to say, I sometimes eat more meat in a day, than you’ll see consumed on a typical episode of “The Walking Dead.”
This next resolution, could be one of the toughest ones to keep that I’ve ever tried. This past September, my wife and I, celebrated our twenty-third wedding anniversary. We’ve experienced a few tough times, but after all these years we remain committed to each other. A few weeks ago, we had just finished putting up our Christmas tree, and were relaxing with cups of strong hot coffee. Like most long-term married couples, we’ve become comfortable together, and enjoy an easy banter, which often involves gentle teasing. I asked my wife if she’d decided yet, whether she’d keep me for another year, or trade me in for a newer model. She smiled, but didn’t answer my question. Sitting next to her on a nearby coffee table was a book she had recently purchased.
My wife loves to read romance novels. She can spend hours, enraptured by stories of handsome young men facing incredible obstacles to earn the love of beautiful women with troubled pasts. I know she often dreams of what it would like to have a knight in shining armor, sweep her off her feet, and carry her away to a fantastic, and magical world. It’s safe to say, I’m not exactly what you would call romance novel material, though I try to be a good husband. The only time I’ve ever swept her off her feet, was that time she was almost hit by a bus, and I grabbed her and threw her to safety.
Sometimes, I wonder why my wife chose me. I once said to my her. “Honey, why did you choose me over other men?” After thinking for a moment, she replied, “I don’t know. I guess it’s because you’re sturdy, dependable, solid, and hard-working.’’
I said, “That makes me sound like a washing machine!”
She laughed and said, “Okay, how about you’re a good man, generous, have a great sense of humor, and I love the way you laugh.” “So now you love me, because I remind you of Santa Claus?” I guess I should be thankful she didn’t say I was trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. I’d then have to squeeze into my old Boy Scout uniform, help elderly women cross the street, and earn merit badges by preparing romantic dinners, massaging her feet, and doing extra housework.
After thinking about our conversation, I’ve decided to make a tough, but I think, achievable, New Year’s resolution. For 2018, I’m going to do everything in my power to become just like those men on the covers of women’s romance novels. I’m going to join a gym, eat healthier, pull my three or four, dust-covered abdominal machines out of the garage, hone up on writing poetry, try to be more sensitive, and romantic, and possibly get some major plastic surgery. I’m just kidding about the last one, though, the new body sculpting treatments I’ve heard about, don’t sound too bad. By this time next year, when I ask my wife what it is that she likes about me, I’ll hear,
“You’re exciting, spontaneous, sexy, fit, have six-pack abs, are ruggedly handsome, have magnificent hair, a great chest, dark, penetrating eyes, and are mysterious, dangerous, and unpredictable.”
Or, better yet; she may say nothing at all. She may gaze deeply into my eyes, throw down her romance novel, gently grasp my hand, and lead me slowly toward the……….. Sorry, but this is a family oriented blog. You’ll just have to use your imagination. Have a wonderful, happy and successful New Year – and wish me luck.