Friday, January 10, 2014
Well, it's only been four days and Russell has already broken his new year's resolution. So what if I made it for him —or, strongly suggested it. We'd been talking about the subject right after Thanksgiving. And speaking of Thanksgiving, I find it interesting that one of the traditions is listing what you're grateful for at the holiday meal; and in a few short weeks, grudgingly complain about what's wrong — so what if it's with you personally — and vow to make things better in the form of new year's resolutions.
Russell and I were kidding around new year's eve about the time Ryan Seacrest was starting the countdown of the ball drop when I quickly interrupted — Russell had been getting on my nerves with all of his pessimism in 2013 — “Russell, I have an idea for your new year's resolution. My mother always said if you can't say something positive, then don't say anything at all.” He answered with, “Sure is going to be a quiet year.” This struck me as funny as all get out.
At first I thought there was no way he could possibly keep that promise — though he said he might, but he started off pretty good. Every time he started to complain, whine or lament, he corrected himself (rather than just being quiet.) Even if he said something negative, he turned it into a positive. “Daggone, I won't get to play golf Saturday. It's going to be freezing! But, at least I get to sleep in.” Good point — but, really? Did he say that?
The next day he said, “The light in my car says 'Check engine.' That's okay, I always enjoy chatting with Randy at the auto shop.” I thought I was hearing things.
In the meantime, I decided what my new year's resolution would be, a really simple one. Try once again to keep my resolutions from the year before because y'all, it's always the same thing (and I never keep them): get organized, lose weight, eat healthy, be a better person, yada, yada.
But back to Russell: I was starting to get worried. This was not my husband. It couldn't be. Resolution or not, he'd never acted this way — cheerful, positive, hopeful, continuously — in thirty-three years of marriage. But on the fourth day it did get old and he cracked. And believe it or not, I was the reason.
As you know, the humongous post-Christmas sales were just fabulous. If I had one e-mail that said 75% off, I had two dozen. The local newspaper was so heavy with colorful ads that the paper had to be divided into two sections with the ads in a separate plastic bag. The TV was blaring 24/7 with other sales. One place had 90 percent off.
Well, there's only one thing I like better than a good shoe sale and that's a good post-Christmas sale, so I went a little bonkers and bought lots of good stuff. I mean, when you see $15 red candles for $3 that are only one aisle over from the almost-identical Valentine red candles, brand new, at $15 or more, it's hard not to go a little bonkers.
But the candles, potpourri, soap, notepads and ornaments aren't what drove Russell into a nose-dive, “no way on this positive thing another minute” spiral downward. It was the gorgeous wreath that I found, marked down from $39.95 to $11 (including tax) that I thought I'd hidden in the trunk, but he found. Still, it was gorgeous. Lush green, silky, totally realistic-looking with huge red shiny apples and tightly formed perfect pinecones. And I didn't own one even close to that magnificent. Plus, at $11 it wasn't going to break the bank.
But to Russell's credit, I don't think it was the money that bugged him. It was more of a space issue. Remember that first resolution I didn't stick to in 2013 but had hoped to stick to in 2014 — getting organized? Okay, now you see the problem.
So we've made a pact: I'm stuck with Russell's negativity and he's stuck with my wreath collection (nine or ten, but who's counting?) and my sales shopping. So our joint new year's resolution is to simply live and let live. As soon as he starts speaking to me again, I'm going to tell him.
Ann Ipock “Life is Short, I Wish I Was Taller” firstname.lastname@example.org www.annipock.com.