So…I didn’t keep my promise to post daily.

My mother emailed me today, “Why haven’t you put anything new on L&V lately?”

The response I gave her was lame… I haven’t been inspired. I don’t know why I haven’t come up with fun, witty things to blog about.

Maybe my fun-o-meter is dampened now that I can’t drink my favorite vodka cocktails?

Or maybe it’s the 27 loads of freakin’ laundry I’ve been working on for the past week that has me uninspired?

But then, that is the name of my blog isn’t it? Laundry and Vodka.

Well sure enough, as soon as I responded to my mother about my lack of creative juices flowin’, I happen to read an article about broken New Year’s resolutions. It cracked me up, I laughed out loud over the burrito I was consuming. (I would have only eaten half, but the baby was apparently hungry today so I ate the whole thing. And all of the chips. And might have ice cream in a little while.)

Anyway, this will be a longer post than usual, but I guess I owed y’all a bit more gab since I haven’t written in 5 days. I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did, and let’s toast our pregnancy-friendly, non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated, tasteless drinks to this:

Southern Journal | By: Rick Bragg

New Year’s Irresolutions: The only thing a Southern man should bother giving up? A hopeless resolution.

The best resolution I ever heard was my Uncle Jimbo’s. “Son,” he told me, “I have give up lying.”

“How’s that working out for you, Jim?” I asked.

“It’s hard, son,” Jimbo said, woeful.

“How long you been quit?”

He looked at his watch. ” ‘Bout 15 minutes.”

By the standards of the average Southern male, he was actually doing quite well.

Resolutions start out noble and fine. After a solid year of beer joints and buttered biscuits, backsliding six ways to Sunday, we stand on the threshold of a new year and swear that this year, it’ll be different. We will do right, do good, for 365 long, long days.

Some of us – deacons, Sisters of Mercy, and my mother – make it, with prayer, almost to Valentine’s Day.

The rest of us are on Jimbo time.

I do not believe Southern men should be asked to make a resolution to start with. It’s not the we don’t have the will. It has to do with what we have to give up.

We promise to forfeit liquor, bad language, loafering, sloth, poker, and sausage gravy.

We resolve to go to church for more than just wedding, funerals, and dinner on the grounds when they are said to have homemade ice cream. We say we will take out the trash, even if it is not full. We swear off eating barbecue after 1a.m., in our jammies, in the glow of a Frigidaire.

We promise to say “I love you” and mean it, and not just because the object of our devotion found in our pants a receipt for an eight-piece bucket and extra-large Pepsi. We promise not to cheat at cards, especially while playing children. We promise not to look at majorettes.

That is a lot to give up.

Still, after a healthy New Year’s Day meal of hoppin’ John, it’s easy to be optimistic. With your belly full of collards, which our society equates with financial prosperity, and black-eyes peas, for luck, it’s easy to go to bed with good intentions.

But with the dawn comes bacon. And then we drive by a sausage and biscuit and it all goes straight to Hardee’s.

I think it would not be so hard if I lived in the frozen wastes of the Far North. What do you have to give up in Rhode Island? Halibut? I could swear off halibut for the rest of my natural life.

Every year, because she loves me, my wife makes me promise to exercise more, to walk outside in good weather, even if that occasionally means it’s uphill, and to walk in bad weather in the gigantic recreation center, which is – thank you, Lord – quite flat.

And I do walk, at least until I am lapped by the first septuagenarian. “It’s hard to get around this thing when you’re 86,” one woman told me, after lapping me for spite, then sitting down to breathe.

“You should try it,” I said, patting my belly, “at 286.”

And so my resolve dwindles with every mile and every speed demon who was alive when Teddy stormed up San Juan Hill. But still, I resolve.

One year, I resolved not to get any speeding tickets. The Alabama state troopers resolved to break my resolve and charge me $300 in state court north of McIntosh.

Another, I resolved not to get upset about something as piddling as football. That was the year we got beat by Utah.

Last year, I resolved to diet, drive slowly, exercise four days a week, and sometimes on Sunday, be affectionate even when mostly innocent of wrongdoing, and not eat Buffalo wings in any Marriott, anywhere, unless it was the only thing on the menu (and sometimes that happens).

This year, I resolve not to look at majorettes. Again. *

Southern Living | January 2011

This entry was published on January 17, 2011 at 12:45 pm and is filed under Squawkings. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

8 thoughts on “Irresolution

  1. That is SO funny – laughed out loud when I read “And then we drive by a sausage and biscuit and it all goes straight to Hardee’s”. That is MY Southern gentleman’s downfall, for sure.
    Speaking of him, I just mentioned to him last night that I was worried about you – your last post was about being snowbound with your hubby, and it sounded as though things were getting a mite “testy”!
    Glad to hear from you today!

  2. I love that you posted this story from Southern Living. I read it while waiting in an airport, and scared more than a few people when I laughed out loud while reading it. I love this article, as only a true southerner can. Thanks for sharing it and making me laugh all over again.

  3. My hubby’s family is from Arkansas and my family is from the Midwest (land of flavorless cooking) so I grew up cooking the bland food that I grew up on. Well, my hubby was in for a shock when he tasted my cooking for the first time after we got married! “Where’s the flavor?” he asked. His mother gave him biscuits and gravy every Sunday (aka: “Country Breakfast”) and I had heartburn for a week after I ate that famous meal for the first time. Bacon grease was to be kept in a can and reused in his family- imagine the surprise when he found me throwing it away in the garbage because in my family it was considered trash!

    Since I am the cook in the family he has grown to appreciate the mild ‘Midwestness’ of my cooking and I have discovered the joy of spices and salt. Who knew sage was so good?

    Glad to hear you have survived cabin fever- sorry about the laundry. Some things just can’t be helped.

  4. I’m not Southern, but I found his article very amusing! I loved the majorettes thing – SO TRUE OF MEN!!! 😉 Don’t worry about not posting every day…I haven’t felt inspired lately, either, but I always enjoy your posts. I think it’s time for another photo essay on Nigel the Wiener Dog. Did you know whenever I think of Nigel I see the picture of him lying upside down on your bed? You know what shot I’m talking about…It’s burned into my retinas! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  5. In fact it’s known as Search engine optimization that when i search for this piece of writing I found this web page at the top of all blogs in search engine.

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