I have never bothered to make New Years Resolutions, but my wife seems to think that I should make one this year. "Bill Eagle, you had better watch yourself. There are some things that you need to resolve to do!"
On occasion, I may push things a bit too far, and I am afraid that this may have been the case. My wife asked me to resolve to be a bit more careful in the future on what I say to strangers.
The "New Year Resolution" concept is well over 4000 years old and dates to the time of the ancient Babylonians. I can picture Gilgamesh the wrestler saying "I Gilgamesh resolve to refrain from drunken brawling and will no longer continence dirty fighting. I will no longer gouge the eyes out of the people I wrestle." Cuneiform writings seem to indicate that a popular Babylonian resolution was to return something borrowed from a friend. The first day of the Babylonian year was March 23rd.
The Roman Senate, in 153 BC declared January 1 to be the beginning of the New Year. A popular Roman resolution was to ask forgiveness from enemies. I am sure that Caesar said something like: "Et tu Brute. No need getting mad and pulling out knives. I am sure that we can resolve this like good civilized Roman gentlemen… he he"
The Chinese New Year is celebrated between late January and early February. One of their popular resolutions is house cleaning. I would love to have someone resolve to clean my house, wouldn't you?
I like to think of myself as a story teller. I enjoy telling stories. I remember entertaining my sister's kids and my own kids as they grew up. I would amuse them with stories of fantasy and adventure. We would visit mystical worlds of magic, mystery and danger.
I remember telling them stories about the lost land of Atlantis; a land with bad witches and evil wizards, talking enchanted animals, and a friendly dragon that loved to eat (and pop) popcorn. My wife insists that I should have published some of my stories. "Bill, you could have been another J.K. Rowling, if you would have only written some of them down.
I know that I often tell stories for my own amusement as well as for the amusement of others. Fantasy will, on occasion, impinge upon reality and sometimes gets me into trouble.
I walked into my Veterinarians office and asked the receptionist for a large sack of a very expensive brand of cat food.
She looked at me and asked: "How many cats do you have?"
She was new and I just couldn't help myself. "Cats? I don't have any cats."
She looked a bit surprised. "What is that cat food for?
"It's for me." I replied. "I'm planning to bake a turkey and this mix makes for some really excellent stuffing."
I could see that she had a dubious look on her face.
I put on my most serious face. "You do understand that all pet food is tested on humans. This particular brand is made with the highest standards and has a very high protein level. The food lasts a long time, I can store it in my cupboard and it does not require any refrigeration."
I could see that she seemed to be taking it all in, so I just had to continue. "I will often have it in the morning for breakfast. If you put it in a bowl, add a bit of milk and sugar and you will have a heck of a better meal than if you ate Captain Crunch or Sugar Snacks."
The lady had a very bewildered look on her face.
"You really aren't serious are you?"
I did not crack a smile. "This is really good stuff. It tastes great. Let me open this package and give you a taste."
Her face took on a horrified expression "Uhh no thank you!"
"It really is a lot cheaper than regular cereal, and when you are a senior citizen like me, you have to try and save money when ever you can. I would rather do this instead of living on food stamps. I do have my pride."
I carried the sack to my car and laughed to myself as I drove home.
My wife and I share everything, and I just couldn't keep myself from sharing this story with her.
"Oh my goodness!" exclaimed my wife. "What will people think? We don't need food stamps. I certainly hope that she knows that you were joking?"
"I'm not sure." She seemed a bit dubious. I probably should have told her about my strong desire to dig a hole in my garden instead of using our indoor plumbing…"
"You better not have;" snapped my other half. "You may think that you are being funny, but we live in a small town, and people do talk. Your story is not one bit funny.
I thought it was funny, but it was obvious that my wife and I had differing opinions. I sheepishly asked her: "Would it help if I made a New Years Resolution to be careful about what I say to strangers in the future?
My wife flashed me a hard look: "It wouldn't hurt."
I felt a sense of relief, my wife seemed mollified. I am sure that everyone knows that I would never tell someone a whopper like that again, particularly after making a New Years Resolution. Right?
By the way, is a resolution valid if I cross my fingers behind my back when I make it?
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