Fuck kale. Fuck Fitspo. Fuck falsehood. Fuck Snapchat glam-shots. Everything ‘outside’ is fake. Enjoy it, but don’t believe any of it for a second. Dip your toe in and out, go for a full-on swim, but don’t let yourself drown in it.
Here we go again. Another twelve months down the drain, another twelve months waiting to take their place. Like the old retired cop, jaded from realising you can’t beat The System, 2012 has slunk away into the corner with its gold-plated clock and now defunct police badge stained with cheap whiskey and tears of regret for a thankless job now finally over.
The next morning he is already forgotten; for in his place, fresh from the academy, bounds a young fresh-faced young cop, ready to take on the world and save it from The Bad Guys. His haircut is all business, his uniform pristine, his badge gleaming, his voice just that little too high pitched and excited for the rest of the die-hard desk jockeys. He is 2013, and he is here to kick ass and take names. And God, I hate him already.
I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s hype. I’ve tried. Heaven knows, I’ve tried. I rang in the Millennium up in Belfast with a bunch of amazing people and had mad laughs while the fireworks went off – I even allowed myself a little frisson of dread during the countdown to midnight, and said a quick prayer for forgiveness just in case our world ended in a searing ball of white heat and crunching tectonic plates. I’ve made all the resolutions in the world, and kept none. Apart from writing more. As you can see, it’s done much for me so far. Here I sit, typing away, on an armchair made entirely of foldy money, drinking hot chocolate topped with gold-flake shavings while Frank Sinatra’s hologram croons ‘Seventeen’ and Wes Anderson films my every move for a documentary because my life is so awesome. SWEAR T’GOD.
Being the cynical soul that I am, I watched in amusement last night as my Facebook news feed filled up with New Year greetings fused with all sorts of corny generic ‘go-get-’em tiger!’ type ravings. It was as if my entire friends list turned into Tony Robbins, Dr Phil, Oprah or – in some unfortunate cases – Shane MacGowan. If I had cringed any more, I would have become the first living Inside-Out Human. Imagine the fun I’d have had with that on Instagram.
So why am I spewing venom and hatred at something as light-hearted and whimsical as New Year’s Eve, you ask? The answer is simple: I see it for what it is. It doesn’t fool me for a second. It’s like Ben Stiller’s guest character in the episode of Friends when Ross is the only one who notices he’s a completely psychotic asshole while everyone else loves him because he’s so nice to them. I AM ROSS GELLER. (In many more ways than this, but that’s a whole other blog post.)
New Year’s Eve has never been nice to me. It’s only ever been a disappointing non-event full of massive expectations, holding a magnifying glass up to all the previous unrealised hopes and dreams you had for the year before. Mind you, back when I was a teenager, I only had myself to blame for that. It’s hard to get the facilities together to resurrect Brandon Lee, keep him in his Crow character AND convince him to live with you in Limerick while living happily ever after, dancing to The Cure in Termights night club of a Saturday. So to be fair, most of the time my disappointment with my New Year’s failures have been my own fault.
However, nowadays my resolutions have become so mundane and depressing that frankly, I’m ashamed. When did it come to this? Once, I dreamed of worldwide fame & fortune; visualising best-selling modern classic literature and marrying the love of my life while at the same time being linked in the press to affairs with assorted Hollywood hunks, all while touring a Grammy-winning indie album and adopting a child from each country I visit.
This year, my wish is simple: To get glasses that stay on my head.
You may well laugh. The consequences for breaking this resolution will be tragic. For as sure as I will never see five foot in height, the following will happen:
Scene:A crowded pub. Me standing next to the potential love of my life. I turn to say the perfect thing to make him fall in love with me. Camera pans out to witness the crowd’s reaction when my glasses fall right into his pint as I trip up when running away, trying to suppress a snart.
And wouldn’t you know, there’s Wes Anderson filming it.
We’ve all done it. We’ve all sat and had a good hard think about our plans and our dreams for the coming twelve months and committed loudly and publicly to a bunch of grandiose gestures which, upon the stroke of midnight at the end of December 31st, become legally binding. Anyone who breaks these resolutions shall of course be publicly flogged with a Munster rugby player’s dirty jockstrap and run out of town. Or something.
However, every year the general public neglects the things which make the world tick over a little easier. Sure, it’s a great idea to want to get fit, quit smoking, save money, kick out that good-for-nothing spouse or whatever, but what about the little cogs in the wheels of your world that need just as much attention as the big ideas? I’m talking about The Lesser Resolutions. The minor little commitments that you can make to yourself that may just be the difference between a good night’s sleep and reaching for the nearest automatic weapon next time someone pisses you off. Here are some of mine:
To stack the cutlery in the dishwasher in the correct fashion, storing them by category. Knives stick together. It’s the way of the world.
To match all those annoying little wool belts with the cardigans they were bought with. That high-pitched sound you hear in your ears at night after a loud gig? That’s the heartbreaking cry of The Lost Belts. You can fix this.
To master liquid eyeliner. I own the pen. The pen does not own me. I’m not scared. Nope…
To limit my Onesie use to once a week to ensure maximum human interaction.
To have my ‘going out socks’ to ‘slipper socks’ ratio exceed 3:1; for reasons aforementioned in #4.
To not lose my temper with inanimate objects…as much as I do normally.
To finish a chocolate bar on the day of purchase.
To watch ‘Withnail and I’ in its entirety in a single sitting. I’m tired of trying to piece it together since I first saw it in 1994.
To find more reasons to apply quotes from The Simpsons to daily life. Old school ones, obviously.
To finish The Wire.
See? They may not be mighty, but trust me, they’ll save a lot of lives in the long run. Remember folks, Lesser Resolutions are for life, not just New Year’s Eve. They’re the cogs in the machine of your sanity. Ignore them at your peril. Get cracking.