I have always been a fan of quoting others- especially when I am undergoing a brain freeze. My favorite sources are philosophers, Latin poets, and the usual unknowns whose brilliance is reflected on bumper stickers everywhere. Alas, I have never found such a sage as the one who uttered (and I am paraphrasing here) the magic words, “Do or do not, there is no try.” Countless times have I said this to my children, imitating the author- the well-loved Yoda- the little green wisenheimer from the “Star Wars” trilogy.
The end of the year is the time of Resolutions. I think of a Resolution as a raised fist in the air saying to the universe, “I WILL do this!” But lately, I have become less of a “doer,” and more of a “tryer.” I have a list of excuses as to why, but trying, in my book, is just as well. Sorry Jedi Master, but you may be wrong on this one.
So here is what I resolve to try to do this year:
I will try not apologize for anything that I am not truly sorry for. I hung up on a telemarketer the other night. He called back and I apologized, and then I listened to him for 60 seconds to make up for it. Then guess what? I hung up again.
I will not apologize for things that aren’t my fault. While I was in the market contemplating why canned pumpkin and cooking oil were not in the baking aisle–where they belong–a woman hit the back of my heels with her cart. She did not apologize. Guess who did?
On the other hand, I will try to apologize for the sins of others. A woman at my local coffee shop takes particular pride in embarrassing a server whose English is not perfect. Instead of ordering a “toasted” bagel, she will say, “darkly broiled” and she will raise her voice and enunciate, to make herself understood. The server is not deaf, and the customer is clearly out of line. I plan on apologizing to the server on the customer’s behalf. Tomorrow.
I will try to educate young people about their appearance–in a concrete way. My feeling is that Girls, unless you are over 21 and pretty darn fit, please, no micro minis over any type of tights resembling a net. I can’t believe that I am quoting my mother, but you WILL attract the wrong kind of attention. And Boys, the shorts in the winter worn with the same black socks that my father wears, with flip flops? Really? I plan on getting my point across by donning fishnets and mini skirt and heading to the mall. In the fluorescent light of the food court, the kids will get a glimpse of what they will look like in 30 years– if they don’t smarten up. And I will return again the next evening–like a Dickens Christmas character meets “What Not to Wear,” in shorts, calf-length black socks, and my Oscar the Grouch T-shirt.
And I will try to clean up the English language. I am not referring to vulgarity–there is nothing better than a good obscenity when the emotions kick in. I’d like to get rid of to the stupid phrases and extraneous words stuck in our lexicon for no apparent reason, phrases that seem to excuse whatever zinger the speaker just uttered, such as “just sayin’” – as in- “You could make yourself a better life…just sayin’.”
I’d would like to try to get rid of words for things that I don’t believe exist, like “soulmate” or “closure,” and while we’re at it–let’s definitely ban “whatever!”
So these are my resolutions, but I resolve just to try–I may not be successful. Sorry, Yoda. Sometimes it just isn’t possible to “do or do not.” By the way, Yoda, you may want to sit up a bit straighter and look into Botox- Just sayin’.