Making resolutions for others is more fun

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I usually only make one resolution every New Year -- and that's not to make any resolutions. But this year, with my recent health scare, I'm having to make those self-improvement plans I should have been making all along.

Lose weight. Stop smoking. Lower my blood pressure. Find the magic spell that lets me do all three at once ...

It's more fun to make resolutions for other people. For my oldest -- Call your mother more often. For my middle son -- Do the laundry before it gets to Mount St. Helens status. For my youngest son -- Do the dishes before the spaghetti sauce bacteria multiplies into a flesh-eating mutant.

For my husband -- Learn the truth. Public displays of affection do not cause important body parts to fall off.

To the media -- please stop using "evangelical" and "fundamentalist" interchangeably. My church is evangelical -- all Christian churches should be, in my opinion -- but it is by no means fundamentalist.

To the entertainment media -- Please remember that there are those of us over 14 with disposable income who really, really, really don't care about Miley, Britney, Jessica, Paris, Nichole, Lindsay or anyone in the cast of High School Musical. Please give us some stories that have more depth than Madonna's makeup. (Although I do thank you for People's brilliant decision to name Hugh Jackman the sexiest man alive. Yum.)

To our elected officials -- Remember that there is a vast stretch of road between the left and the right, and that is the road most traveled.

To the Titans defense -- WAKE UP!

To the People's Choice Awards -- offer your voters better choices. (I've always made fun of these awards because "the people" can pick some of the most goshawful winners. Out of curiosity, I went to the web site this year to cast my own vote -- my tiny pebble flung at the Goliath of mediocrity-- only to discover the ballot is multiple choice and all the choices stink. (Hugh Jackman's not on there anywhere ...)

To our soon-to-be-President -- Quit smoking. Call me and we'll be quit-the-nic buddies.

To telemarketers everywhere -- Run my credit report before calling me. It will save both of us a lot of time and aggravation.

To Wal-Mart -- Please hire buyers who know that women do not automatically lose all sense of sartorial style once their sizes creep over 12.

To shoe designers everywhere -- Please discover a shining star designer who can come up with shoes that aren't designed with roach killers, ankle surgeons or Herman Munster in mind.

Here are some general resolutions we could and should all make (especially me).

* Drive or phone. One or the other, not both at the same time.

* Familiarize yourself with the instrument panel on your car and all the little gadgets and doohickeys. Somewhere in there is a neato little lever that, when activated, actually tells people behind you and in front of you that you are going to be making a turn.

* Please use the aforementioned doohickey before turning. Not during. Not after.

* Lighten up. People take things and themselves waaaaay too seriously.

* Don't just practice tolerance, perfect it -- even for people who don't call their mothers, don't use their turn signals, or think Zac Efron is a better choice for Actor of The Year than Hugh Jackman. (Take deep breaths, Mary. Tolerance, tolerance, tolerance ...)

The best resolution is the one my mother always made -- and always kept.

Make the world a better place, one way or another.

-- Mary Reeves is a staff writer for the Times-Gazette. She can be reached at (931) 684-1200, ext. 215, or by e-mail at mreeves@t-g.com. This column is scheduled to print every Wednesday.