COMMENTARY BY WILLIAM CARTER: I resolve not to resolve
By William Carter, Columnist
This is my first column for 2013 but it won’t be about resolutions because I haven’t made any yet and don’t feel bad about it because I’m pretty sure if I look hard enough I can find a list of rules governing resolutions that allows me a week or two grace period. If there isn’t a rule like that, there should be because, in truth, I am in such need of improvement as a human being it would take me nine months and 11 days to compile a list of things I need to work on … leaving me only a few weeks at the end of this year – if I factor in mandatory time to watch “Walking Dead” re-runs – to become a better person. Besides, the only resolution I can remember keeping was the one I made 20-something years ago to learn how to juggle. I don’t know why I wanted to learn how to juggle, but I did and would like to now take this opportunity to apologize to anyone who was ever bored by my three-minute and more-than-likely drunken routine. I would also like to beg forgiveness – again - from the person whose rare Hummel figurine of a little girl looking at a bluebird I broke with a fumbled mango. You know who you are. I feel like a better person already.
Not only is this the first column I’ve written for the new year, it is also the first time in almost two weeks I’ve sat in front of a computer monitor; mainly because I am tired of news right now and hearing things and reading things I can do nothing about – things that take your wind away; makes your chest hurt – except to break inside and cry a little bit and then selfishly/gratefully/unbelievably consider how lucky I am this Christmas season mine and Love-Weasel’s now-grown babies are alive and warm and breathing and can hug us back when we hug them.
There are gifts, and then there are Gifts.
One thing that has helped me tentatively re-enter the world has been ambling through nine days off from work over the holidays. Well, not totally off if you consider the two frantic calls I had to respond to on different nights from different people that the lights on the City Christmas tree were out during rain storms and another caller who informed me “the elevator in the Fourth Avenue garage smells like somebody peed in it” and then requested that I clean it up.
Something else that helped take my mind off things I didn’t want to think about was that I learned how to make biscuits under the watchful – and slightly suspicious – eyes of Love-Weasel and Mama – a lady who, seriously, travels with her own supply of cornmeal and Crisco. Love-Weasel was bemused; Biscuit-Master Mama was a little miffed, and both wanted to know “why?” but I didn’t tell them it was because growing up it seemed I was always waiting for the biscuits to get done before I could sit down and eat a meal and now…now…I can have biscuits whenever I want them.
I also watched 11 different versions during my time off of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, including the ones with Mr. Magoo and Mickey Mouse in them, and cried a little bit at the end of each one. I don’t know why; I don’t even like Mr. Magoo.
I didn’t shave for five days in a row and remembered why I shouldn’t try to grow a full beard.
I didn’t bathe for three days in a row, either, mainly because, with no schedule to follow, I just forgot to. Bathing is something, I found out, you should do every day.
One morning during my time off I used my AARP card as an ice scraper on my windshield and realized that was the only time in two years AARP has been of benefit to me and decided, right then, not to – ever – send them any more money.
I also decided one morning to surprise everybody with donuts and went very early to one of the chain, heavily advertised, donut stores in town only to be told at the counter that they were out of donuts. “Don’t you manufacture donuts here?” I asked. “Yes,” the kid behind the counter responded, “but we’re out.” This has absolutely nothing to do with anything. I just thought it was weird.
One thing during my time off that made me think about this past year as well as the one yet to come was a show I saw on the E! Network a few days ago where two pretty people talked breathlessly about all the earth-shattering things that happened in entertainment news during 2012. I now know I am the least hip person on the face of the earth who doesn’t know anything about anything and if my life depended on my knowledge of popular culture past 1979, I probably would have been dead a long time ago. It also reaffirmed for me how little things like that matter.
William Carter is a longtime Franklin city employee and published author. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on: 1/2/2013