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New Year's Resolutions -- A Tradition for Procrastinators

Every New Year's Eve closely mirrors the previous year. My family joyfully gathers around a tight-knit dinner table to eat an exorbitant feast of homemade Cappelletti -- hat-shaped pasta filled with balled cheese-and-pork, swimming in a pool of immaculately-salted chicken broth. We circle around the table to recount the myriad great memories from the year, even if subconsciously modified to paint a better picture, before collecting nachos, chips-and-dip, candy, and various other quick-snacks to fuel the movie marathon eloquently designed to stretch the time until 12am -- the nation-wide bedtime for the day. Three hours into the night, the mood shifts from joyful reminiscence to intoxicated confusion. My father, tipsy from too many glasses of Scotch-on-the-rocks, is incoherently rambling to himself in a self-fabricated language of monosyllabic babbling, like that of a 3-week-old baby. My mother, swayed by Pinot Grigio and mini-shots of Vodka, is attempting to check the status of her Amazon package on a broken kindle, perplexed by the new format that looks like a list of books. The family basset hound, Jack, still dressed as a reindeer from the Christmas party, is energetically scampering around the house, trying to locate the source of the commotion, like an overly-ecstatic, yet simultaneously confused, detective. I, the only sober one, am judgmentally-perched in the corner of the room, observing the chaos for a future diatribe. And just as the ball drops, everyone drunkenly-and-delusively announces their New Year's Resolution, which is the primary focus of this angry tirade.

Originally designed to last an entire year, A New year's Resolution is the motivation period from January 1st to about-the-20th when one attempts to achieve a pre-determined, unrealistic goal that almost never comes to fruition, often resulting in an annual reinstatement from dozens of failed attempts. Almost every resolution falls into a few basic categories, mirroring the facets of life most damaged from the previous week: getting into shape, managing money, learning new skills, or any other weakness that is festering inside the goal-setter like a stubborn parasitic fungus. But, because humans are resistant to change and have an unfaltering addiction to impulse, they wait until January 1st to set the goal and forget about it 3 weeks later, as if the harsh realization that effort may be required triggers early-onset amnesia that persists until the commencement of the following year.

The most common New year's Resolution is losing weight; a resolution stemming from the typical American's infatuation with fattening foods and distaste for activities that require movement. A stroll through the local Walmart will expose the cause of this epidemic; 350-pound Brobdingnagians frequently roll to the double-stuffed Oreos and deep-dish pizzas in their ride-in carts, like a line of sweaty, flappy seals hankering for their next meal. An overwhelming percentage of the population realize that simmering in a thick coat of sticky sweat at the local gym is significantly less appealing than watching Netflix in an air-conditioned room, justified with the fallacy that a movie occasionally includes 20 minutes of cardiovascular activity, that realistically ripens out to 2-3 minutes of squiggling like an awkward worm.

Many presumably-lonely people intend to spend more time with their family, and if existent, friends -- as if being in the vicinity of another person is a grueling task. Although the affliction could result from an overwhelming work schedule, some need to understand that spending additional time with others is not always a personal decision; sometimes the solution lies in a personality adjustment or a pack of deodorant.

The spread of online shopping introduced another expected popular resolution -- over-indulgent spending. A walk through a typical American's home will reveal an assortment of irresponsibly-purchased items as credit utilization surpasses the previous all-time high. Americans possess an astounding pile of unnecessities: Televisions populating every room; Plates and forks out-numbered by receipts to lavish restaurants; A wardrobe of sweaters for a mutt that only eats, sleeps, and creates waste; A newer model of the previous, still-functional car because the advertisement reported heated seats; and many other financially-irresponsible collections of waste, establishing an increasingly inverse relationship between material possessions and credit score.

I am not malicious towards those who genuinely attempt to achieve a New year's Resolution; I am proud of those who achieve them with hard work. But nothing fires up the grill of my soul more than delusional resolutionists who reinstate the same unrealistic goal every year because they fail in eleven days. A corpulent individual with more chins than workouts-per-week, a protuberant stomach that conceals his poorly-circulated toes, and a thick, oily sweat perpetually excreting from his pores will endure an entire year of morbid obesity, and then, in the final hours of the year, announce that he will burn some of the weight, instead of preemptively resisting the seductive box of Krispy Kreme Donuts. A Sudan-sized behemoth will enthusiastically exclaim that this is the year she will lose 75 pounds of "holiday weight", when, in reality, she will instantly resume dipping her spoon in Hellmann's mayonnaise while her newly-acquired gym membership rests on idle for eleven-and-a-half months. When the bank reports a negative balance, a penniless dolt will use a high-rate credit card to purchase a designer dress that will hang in the closet longer than a man who uses facial products for the "soft skin". If any of these undisciplined dullards urgently desired change, they would join a Zumba class when the doctor dishes out a diagnosis of severe obesity; they would stop allowing the subliminal whisper of Amazon lure them into buying non-essential items when their bank account runs dry.


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