Before I go, I have something to say


One of my work vendors gave me a planner for 2011. It was a nice gift, as freebies go, but I can’t say I’m going to use it. Instead, I’m thinking of making some anti-plans, if I have to make any at all. Here’s a few, in no particular order. Since I’m writing this two weeks before Christmas, it feels especially good to be blatantly throwing organizational schemes to the wind.


  • Call it “twenty eleven,” no matter what Charles Osgood says on “Sunday Morning.”
  • Start smoking. I tried, and failed miserably, in college. Too late now.
  • Lose five pounds. If I do, I vow to gain them back. This is called Making Peace With Your Body. Or, okay, Giving Up.
  • Try to read the entire Sunday New York Times on Sunday. Finishing it sometime before the next one arrives will do.
  • Stand over my daughter with a stick so she finishes graduate school, as planned, in May. I had something more enticing in mind, like, say, a laptop? An iPad? A Ferrari?
  • Wear red, white, and blue on September 11. There are better ways to commemorate tragedy than walking around looking like a flag.
  • Forget to water the houseplants. Unlike the cat, they do not yowl and butt me with their heads when it’s dinner time.
  • Put really important things in a “special” place so I can lose them.
  • Show anyone my new driver’s license. No smiling? Are you kidding? We all look like Bonnie and Clyde!
  • Eat so much chocolate. Well, okay. Let’s just say I will eat less cheap chocolate. Only the best.
  • Play Farmville. I’ve seen what it’s done to some of my favorite people, and it’s not pretty.
  • Take it personally when a poem I send to a journal is sent back (i.e. rejected). I’m certainly getting enough practice. But bitter? Me?
  • Run yellow lights. Even though it’s really hard, and once I got stopped for running two in a row and the only reason the cop didn’t ticket me was that he was on his way to the mall to apprehend a shoplifter. After all, I don’t want to have to show that new license.
  • Lie on the sofa suffering when I have a number 5 migraine (the worst it can be). Oddly enough, I’ve learned, both from classes I took while hospitalized in the Head Pain Unit and my own experiments, that I actually feel better – marginally, but still – if I get up and make myself do something, even it’s just washing the dishes.
  • Let my important papers pile up. I’ve learned the hard way that if I put a basket in the room where I file things, I just toss them in the basket until they start to topple over, and then it becomes a Major Project to sort and file them. Getting rid of the basket forces me to file the stupid thing right away, and that is so much better.
  • Drink anything stronger than tea (sigh). Unfortunately, alcoholic beverages either give me a headache or make me pass out as a side effect of my headache pills. So goodbye, Cabernet; farewell, Pinot Grigio; arrivederci, Chianti. Maybe someday we’ll commune again.
  • Wait until two weeks before Christmas to order the shirt from L.L. Bean I really want to get for my son, which is, by that time, available only in size XXL. In purple.
  • Check out so many library books at once. Oh, who am I kidding? They’re free! They’re books! Did I mention they’re free?
  • Accidentally substitute baking soda for cornstarch in the cherry pie. Yes, I’m sure I’ll never do THAT again, but there’s a reason they call them accidents.
  • Answer the front door half-dressed because it might be my daughter, because it also might be my husband’s friend. Carrying my pants in my hand does not mitigate the resulting humiliation.
  • Go into passive mode in the doctor’s office. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. They can’t read our minds.
  • Not do any yoga just because yoga class is canceled. There is nothing good about missing a good thing.
  • Think back nostalgically about what it was like to be tan in the summer. Tanning is bad! Tanning is dangerous! It causes age spots and wrinkles!
  • Go on and on about how unhealthy tanning is.
  • Point out typos and grammatical errors in other people’s writing – unless they beg me to.
  • Say “I wish there wasn’t so much ice on the steps” after my husband has singlehandedly cleared two tons of snow off our patio, driveway, sidewalk, and, yes, steps.
  • Subscribe to one more magazine. Enough is enough. And books are better.
  • Search in vain for things like tahini and red lentils at chain supermarkets when I can find them at the Indian grocer at White and 12th
  • Look at this list at the end of the year and cringe. Because, I swear, I am going to try very, very hard not to be such a high-strung perfectionist. Besides, I’ll probably put this thing someplace “special,” and never see it again.

Happy New Year, everyone!

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