You’ll have to forgive me for being a little bleary-eyed this morning because Ken and I were up a bit in the night. At around 2 this morning, we both woke up to “Beep!…Beep!”
Me: It sounds like the battery in the smoke alarm is dying.
Ken: I’ll pull the battery out and get a new one in the morning.
5 minutes later: “Beep!”
Me: Is it the carbon dioxide detector? I thought it plugged in.
Ken: It has a battery back-up. Hang on, I’ll go unplug it and pull out the battery.
5 minutes later: “Beep!”
Me: I think it’s the one in the living one.
Ken: I’ll have to go outside and get the ladder.
Me: Can’t you just stand on the coffee table?
Ken: No, the ceiling is too high. I’ll be right back.
10 minutes later: “Beep!”
Me: What the actual f*ck?
Ken: It’s either the smoke alarm in the back room or the carbon monoxide detector downstairs. God, I’m still freezing. Hang on—I’ll pull both of them.
5 minutes later:
Me: I guess it must have been one of the ones downstairs. Did you put the batteries back in all the other ones?
Ken: No, why?
Me: We’re completely vulnerable. What if there’s a fire or a gas leak while we’re asleep? WE’LL NEVER KNOW, KEN!
Ken: Sigh. I’ll be right back.
Anyway, that isn’t the topic for today, but it might explain why I’m so tired. Today’s topic is actually about New Year’s Resolutions, which I do not make, mostly because if I want to change something about my life, I do it when I think of it, not on some arbitrary and imaginary date line. But still, the moving forward of time does give one pause, and by “pause” I mean “let’s stop and think about what the f*ck we’re doing and do we want to keep on doing that?” So here are a couple of things I will or will not be doing in 2019:
1) I will no longer be distracted by things when I’m having a serious conversation with someone. For example, a couple of weeks ago, I was speaking with a colleague in my office when I realized that there was something in my boot, like a small piece of gravel or a large piece of lint. Mid-sentence, I reached down, took off my boot, shook the gravel out, looked inside the boot, put it back on my foot, and continued with the conversation. I’m extremely fortunate that I work with people who don’t seem to care about things like that, but still, it must be disconcerting to find yourself in the middle of a performance of Waiting for Godot. Or maybe she was impressed by my multi-tasking skills. Another time, I was in a meeting, and someone said, “It’s like an icebox in here” and I started thinking about what if we were actually holding the meeting IN an icebox, and would there be sides of beef just hanging there, and could we see our breath and whatnot instead of focusing on performance measures. I didn’t say anything out loud–I’m not that weird (or maybe I am–don’t judge me). Either way, I feel like it’s a slippery slope from boot examination to toenail clipping. Ken said he had a similar situation once when he was talking to a woman who, during the conversation, reached up under her skirt and hoiked up her pantyhose. I asked what he thought, and he said, “I guess it was really bothering her. I mean, you do what you have to do, right?”
2) I will continue inventing words. You may have noticed that, in the previous paragraph, I used the word “hoik”. I use this word all the time. It means “hoist and yank”. I thought it was a real word until I used it the other day when I was telling the very nice gentleman I work with about my roommate and how she had broken my toilet:
Me: She must have really hoiked on that handle!
Very Nice Gentleman: Did you say ‘hoik’? What does that mean?
Me: Hoik? You know, like this! (*mimes hoisting and yanking and makes the appropriate hoisting and yanking sound, which is ‘hoyk’*)
VNG: I’ve never heard of that word.
Me: Well, I didn’t just make it up.
Turns out that I did. I googled it and there’s no such word. But it’s a damn good word, useful for many occasions, and since I am very good at the made-up words, I will continue to invent them. My latest is “stabscara”, which is when you poke yourself in the eye with a mascara wand, as in “Oh my god! I just stabscara-d myself!!” or “I love your new eyepatch.” “Yes, I happened to stabscara myself but it all worked out in the end.”
3) I will stop being so bad at potlucks. We have potlucks at work all the time, and I don’t have a lot of fancy cooking equipment and whatnot at my condo, so whenever we have a sign-up, I just put “Drinks”. And while you might think that would make me popular, I learned my lesson after the liquor-filled chocolate fiasco of 2017, and by drinks, I now mean 2 cases of Perrier, which is terribly boring and probably a let-down for everyone who saw HOW I had signed up for the potluck in what appeared to be a very boozy way:
People were bringing in crockpots and crystal trays and poinsettias and wreaths, and I was like, “Here. Stow these babies in the mini-fridge”. Well, they all got drunk—the cans, not my colleagues. In the future, I will try to be a little more creative, like putting bows on the Perrier boxes or something. Also, I would love to have the confidence of the person who simply wrote “Something Special”:
Me: So what did you bring to the potluck, Cathy?
Cathy: Something special.
Me: Processed cheese on Ritz Crackers?
Cathy: It’s special.
Me: But it’s just–
Cathy: SO SPECIAL.
4) I will continue to write. My only purpose in writing this blog is to make people happy, so I will keep on trying to do that. I am nothing if not resolved.
Question 1: What is the first thing you remember writing?
It was a poem about a windy day that I wrote when I was in about grade 3—I think my mom still has it. It was something like this:
What do you do on a windy day
When the wind is pushing you on your way?
Why, you should quite simply say,
Wind, oh wind, just let me play!
Then oh wind, do as you please,
Take me to fairyland with the breeze…
I can’t remember the rest but it was probably also very 8-year-old-ish, with several more youthfully optimistic exclamation marks. I also remember writing a really cool story about a rollercoaster which my teacher slashed up with red pen because of my use of fragmented sentences. For emphasis.
Question 2: Do certain dates (births, deaths, anniversaries of all sorts) carry great weight and significance for you, around the calendar, or do you tend to observe them as things come up at any point in time and remind you of those people and events?
No. I’m terrible at this. I struggle to remember birthdays, anniversaries, and anything like that. Ken is always the one who’s like “Guess what day it is today!!” and then hands me a card and a gift and I’m like “Oh f*ck”. But my brother told me a great trick the other day for when you forget an occasion—you just quickly go on Amazon and buy something, then show the person the item and say, “It hasn’t arrived yet because of the postal strike, but it will be here soon. Sorry to spoil the surprise!” And if the person says, “What postal strike?”, you just say, “You know, the one in California.” No one can prove or disprove that statement and you look considerate instead of like a dick.
Question 3: What did you do the first day you had your driver’s license and unaccompanied access to a car, keys in hand?
Oh man. I got my license 37 years ago. It took me three tries because I couldn’t parallel park. I can tell you that the first thing I did NOT do was parallel park anywhere, and I have never had occasion to do it in 37 years. Most likely, on the first Saturday night after I got my license, I told my mom I was going to the roller rink, and then went to the dance club I’d been going to underage for months—only this time, I screwed myself. I had to come home early because the car had a curfew. Not me—the car.
Thanks for the tag, Lille—I hope you enjoyed my attempts to answer!
Here are three questions for any of my friends to answer:
1) What is the weirdest thing that ever happened to you?
2) Alien or Predator?
3) What would you bring to a potluck?