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you say you want a resolution?
dissolving the resolving
by robert a. melos
pop culture

All right already. Get off my back. I’m not making any resolutions.

I just don’t get it. What is the big deal about making New Year’s resolutions? Why must everyone resolve to give something up, or do something to improve him or her self? Isn’t it just possible that some people, like me, are happy just as they are?

I go through this every year, and honestly it gets tiring. “Did you make a resolution yet?” “What did you resolve to change about yourself this year?” “When are you going to make a resolution?” The answers are always the same. “No.” “Nothing.” “Never.” I simply do not believe in resolutions.

I’ve heard the arguments since I was a child. “Everyone makes resolutions.” “Don’t you want to change something about yourself?”

I was never a crowd follower, so just because everyone did it didn’t mean I was going to do it. As for changing something about myself, the last time I wanted to change anything about myself was in my freshman year in high school, when I was the shortest kid in the school. I wanted to be 6’ instead of 4’9”. Resolving to be 6’ didn’t work for me, and it wasn’t until my junior year that I topped off at 5’11”. So even making a resolution to be 6’ didn’t work for me. My DNA stunted me at 5’11”. If you’ll pardon the expression, I fell short by one inch.

By not making a resolution, it doesn’t mean I’m perfect. I’m far from it. All it means is, I’m now happy being 5’11”. I don’t worry about things like weight because I never gain for too long. All I have to do is eat sensibly and I can always regain control over my waistline. A 38” waist is nothing to be ashamed of. Back off, if you know what’s good for you.

Besides if there was any resolution I would consider making, it would be more along the lines of making the world a better place. If I were to make a resolution, I would resolve to end war, help the victims of the tsunami disaster in the Indian Ocean, help end bigotry and hate in the U.S. against homosexuals, and in general make the world a nicer place to live, but I’ve already contributed toward all those things without having to resolve to do it.

Now just because I don’t believe in resolutions, don’t let that stop you from making your best attempts at whatever improvements you wish to make to yourself or the world. If geeky looking guys want to resolve to look cooler and be more attractive, I’m all for it. I’m right there behind you guys with the tape on your glasses and the pocket protectors, cheering you on to success. I wish you guys could look more like Ben Affleck, but if you achieve a Seth Green look it’ll be an improvement.

If Goth chicks resolve to act less creepy while working their day jobs as cashiers at the supermarket or corner deli, I say, “You go girl!” I’ll support every effort for you to discover another shade of eye shadow aside from black. And if you resolve to bathe before coming to work I’ll support your discovery that being “Goth” doesn’t mean taking on the hygiene of the Gothic time period as well.

If old guys, yeah you guys in your 70s and 80s, resolve to car pool or even take public transportation, I’ll support your efforts to reduce the hazardous conditions you create on the roadways when you get behind the wheel and drive at 20 miles per hour on the freakin’ highway. Get outta my way gramps, or you’re gonna be road kill!

If women of a certain age, between 70 and death, wish to resolve to dress more appropriate for their age and stop wearing halter-tops in the summer, everyone would greatly appreciate it and, again if you’ll pardon the expression, I’ll support your efforts.

If the desperate housewife in the supermarket, jabbering away on your cell phone while your kids race around in a shopping cart screaming at the top of their lungs, wishes to resolve to hang up the cell phone and act like a concerned mother, even if it’s just a ploy to fool the rest of us shoppers, I’ll support your efforts to gain control over your brats and your cell phone bills. I’ll also support your efforts to stop yammering away to your mother or your girlfriends or whoever about how your husband doesn’t appreciate you and how he’s lousy in bed and probably cheating on you with that bitch in accounting, and how you should’ve married that guy Harry who was a geeky piano player when you had a wild drunken night together at Mardi Gras fifteen years ago, and he proposed to you.

If repairmen, handymen, and contractors wish to resolve to actually show up when I contact you about doing or finishing a job at my house, I’ll more than support your efforts to live up to your word. I’ll even finish paying you for the completed work, and maybe have more work for you to complete.

If Courtney Love wishes to resolve to be less of a public figure in the coming year, and if she can convince Anna Nicole Smith to join her in anonymity, I, and a large majority of the population will support her efforts to fade away from the public eye.

If David E. Kelley will resolve to write as well as he did when he created Picket Fences, before he beat that show into the ground, and stop relying on star names and loose storylines that seem promising and then leave the viewers flat, I’ll support those efforts and not fast forward through the slow scenes of shows like Boston Legal.

If George W. Bush will resolve to tell the entire truth to the American public, no matter how ugly it is (the truth, not the American public), I’ll make every effort to acknowledge his efforts to be less of a screw up president. I’ll still be looking forward to his final day in office in 2009, but I’ll cut him some slack when he royally screws up something else during the next four years.

If Bill O’Reilly wishes to resolve to be less of a pompous windbag in the coming year, I’ll support that effort by actually listening to him before judging him. That’s going to be a hard one though because his recent sex scandal just gave me the creeps. I mean, come on. He’s old enough to be my grandfather. I don’t want to think of granddad playing with a dildo.

If Greta Van Susteren wishes to resolve to find some other topic on which to build her career than men who murder their pregnant wives, I’ll support her efforts by pausing longer than 15 seconds while channel surfing past her show and give her a real chance to catch my interest, unless she has that cute DA from San Francisco as a guest. Then I’ll give her 30 seconds.

If Howard Stern would resolve to stop talking, for one moment, about the day in the distant future when he will finally move his show to Sirius Satellite Radio and actually do the show he is currently contracted to do, I would support that effort.

If Hillary Clinton would resolve to stop eying the democratic nomination in 2008 like a starving dingo standing outside of a fence surrounding a nursery school during recess, and concentrate on actually helping the constituents who believed in her enough to put her in office, I would cheer that effort.

If Howard Dean would resolve to run again in 2008 and embrace his image as a loose cannon, and not allow the media to tear him down for shouting at the top of his lungs, I’ll not only support that effort, but vote for it as well.

I could go on, but the point is I’m resolution friendly. I really do support the resolutions of others, but for crying out loud I wish people would stop asking me about my resolutions because there won’t be any this year or any other year. Nope. Not resolving anything. Now go resolve to give up cigarettes or chocolate, or pie or something, and leave me alone.


Robert is the author of the novels Cool Mint Blue, Melba Ridge, and the recently released The Adventures of Homosexual Man and Lesbian Lad; and the creator of the on-line comix Impure Thoughts found at his web site Inside R.A. Melos, as well as having been an on-line staff writer for QBliss where he had a monthly humor column, Maybe A Yip, Maybe A Yap. In his non-writing time, when he's not studying the metaphysical or creating a tarot deck, he sells real estate in Middlesex County New Jersey, hangs out with his dog Zeus, and spends time at the Pride Center of New Jersey in Highland Park, NJ, where he is on the Board of Trustees.

more about robert a. melos


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by robert a. melos
topic: pop culture
published: 5.22.04


tracey kelley
12.30.04 @ 9:36a

If Hillary Clinton would resolve to stop eying the democratic nomination in 2008 like a starving dingo standing outside of a fence surrounding a nursery school during recess, and concentrate on actually helping the constituents who believed in her enough to put her in office, I would cheer that effort.


tracey kelley
1.14.05 @ 8:54a

BTW, I have some assorted 'resolutions' -but I'm not calling them that, and they don't necessarily coincide with the beginning of the year, and I didn't write them down or anything.

steve hansen
1.14.05 @ 11:56a

I too have always been a hater of the New Years Resolution, seeing them as things the people have set themselves up to fail. However, these last 2 years, I've set much more attainable goals that I should have done already. Last year, it was to get the Lasik surgery and finally go back to the dentist. And this year, I'd like to finally go the 3 hours north to Vancouver, Canada, seeing as i've never been to that country.

robert melos
1.14.05 @ 5:42p

Steve, I agree that people set themselves up for failure by making resolutions. They are a kind of rushed goal. Like someone resolving to get married this year, even when they don't have a partner. Either way, they'll end up unhappy.

Weight loss resolutions are the most common resolutions. Resolving to stick to a diet, or to lose x number of pounds are the ones I hear bandied about, but making the on New Year's is a bad idea. Wait until a less food oriented time of year.

tracey kelley
1.16.05 @ 10:32a

I think after the holiday excess is the usual reason for the "diet in the New Year" - plus a fresh start and all that.

Goals are supposedly very good for humans to establish, otherwise they lose a sense of purpose.

larry rolirad
1.16.05 @ 5:53p

My primary resolution for 2005 is to lose 40 pounds. In just the first two weeks I have lost 15 pounds so far. I am off to a great start and I plan on continuing what I started. The reason I gained weight is because my leg was broken in two places a few months ago and I gained a lot of weight because I couldn't move around, let alone exercise. Now my leg is fine and I have been accenting my diet with lots of exercise like playing racquet ball, swimming, and walking a couple of miles a day.

I wish everyone else who has made a similiar resolution the best of luck.

robert melos
1.16.05 @ 9:21p

I do wish people luck with their resolutions, I'm just practical when it comes to goals I set for myself so I know my limitations and try to stay within them. I'm not much for pushing the envelope.

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