New Year’s resolutions follow Christmas as surely as night follows day. But why am I talking about this NOW, in the good ol’ summertime?
Because it’s almost time to make your New Year’s resolutions, as it’s Christmas in July. At least for the purposes of this post.
Clearly, whoever thought up this idea of Christmas at this time of year had gotten into the figgy pudding big time. What a terrible idea it is. Not getting into the rum soaked figgy pudding; that’s a brilliant idea.
(I have no clue if it’s rum soaked or not. I just like the name: Figgy Pudding.)
New Year’s resolutions have religious origins, and are pretty much timeless, as can be deduced by the fact that Romans made them every year in January and so do we. They made them to their god Janus, for which January was named, and we make them over glasses of Champagne, and to whomever is standing near us when midnight rolls around.
Even though New Year resolutions have been around for thousands of years and all over the world, each country made vows according to their culture.
However, as we shall see, New Year resolutions show a unity of human spirit and great longing across centuries. Namely, the longing not to have to make resolutions.
We modern people, for instance, vow to cut down on computer time and video games because we sit too much and get fat. Romans would vow not to sit so much in stadiums watching Christians get eaten by lions.
Of course, modern Romans now sit in front of computers and play Stadium Wars, but that is neither here nor there.
They also vowed to invent plumbing, thereby assuring Roman plumbers a steady living. Once Romans invented plumbing, they resolved never to monkey with it again, despite the fact that they put the toilet paper holder right inside the shower stall. That’s where it was in the hotel where I stayed in Rome. I think they installed the toilet paper holder first, and then built the hotel around it.
Once the builders realized the toilet paper was going to get wet, they just gave one of their charming Italian shrugs, and went to the Coliseum where they had season tickets to the Christians versus the Lions.
Before plumbing was invented, Roman plumbers starved, and their Mercedes were always breaking down from having no roads to drive on, until Roman soldiers built them. Some of these roads are still around today, which proves that they were not built in New York City by union labor. Owning cars before roads were invented was okay by the plumbers, because there were no gas stations.
Ancient Romans would vow to cut down on junk food, too, just as we still do, which for them meant eating less lion jerky (called Slim Cats). All those lions had been fattened by eating Christians, and got too lazy to use. This practice made ancient Romans the first re-cyclers. The resolution to cut down on junk food worked out because there weren’t any convenience stores, either.
People often vow at the New Year to experience new foods and cultures, and Romans did this too, as they marched all over the place finding lands with no flags.
Sometimes, they pledged to spend less time on conquering and more time on orgies, even though orgies were a great deal of work, and really cut into their Sitting-Around-Sacrificing-Christians time.
Orgies were where all the Roman mechanics were hanging out, usually just when all the plumbers’ Mercedes had flat tires. They took all the good tools to the orgies too, like tire jacks and socket wrenches. It worked out well for Madeline Kahn though, who loved the ‘Hup To!’ when Roman soldiers hop-marched back to quarters.
According to internet resources, which I vowed to use when writing this post, men in general are more successful at keeping their resolutions. They set small measurable goals, instead of big, vague ones.
For instance, instead of saying “I’m gonna lose a lot of weight and this gut, too” they say “I’m gonna lose my wife,” after which they go to strip clubs. If they want better lap dances, they’d better lose some of that gut. Nothing is more embarrassing than having your stripper slide off your lap, because there is no lap.
The ancient Babylonians also made New Year’s resolutions. They’d pledge to get out of debt, the same as we do now, except the ancient Babylonians bought ancient stuff with their currency. Buying old stuff really jacked up Babylonian credit card rates, because the only place you could sell that stuff was on a site called bBay.
The Babylonians had an 11 day festival during which they made all their pledges, which beats our one day all to heck.
The ancient Egyptians made their resolutions during the annual flood of the Nile, which is the origin of our resolution to fix the damn basement before it floods again.
One way to keep your resolutions is to share them with others. Sharing goals helps women stick to their resolutions. One of our favorites is the vow that our hubbies don’t go to strip clubs.
I have friends who mix it up at the New Year.
They resolve to do things like only use their left hand instead of their right one. I watch them closely, and I see that they can keep this resolution, but only until it’s time to pick up a fresh glass of champagne, which is accomplished with your feet, if that’s all you’ve got left un-pledged. Trying to eat with your left hand helps with that weight loss goal when most of your food spills down your shirt.
It will not help with your ‘getting out of debt’ goal, like the Babylonian’s pledge of fiscal responsibility, because your dry cleaning bill will increase with every meal.
People younger than 45 are more likely to make New Year’s resolutions than those over 45, proving that with great age, comes great wisdom.
Older people make pledges all year round, instead of just once a year. For instance, we vow to wake up the next day, and when we do wake up, we pledge to have a cup of coffee first thing. We are very spiritual and committed to these courses of action, and are much more disciplined about them than you younger folk.
So, if you must make New Year’s resolutions, please bear in mind that orgies are hard to ‘come’ by, and so are decent Mercedes’ mechanics.