By Buddy Early, January 2019 Issue.

"Do you have any resolutions?”

Has anyone ever really asked this question with a genuine concern? It has always struck me as the sort of thing you say to someone in a social situation when you don’t care to ask a truly substantive question. It’s basically the “Hot enough for ya?” of January.

Once I asked an acquaintance what his resolutions were because, well, he was standing next to the onion dip and I wanted the onion dip. This individual was unaware that I was only being polite, so he went on for the next 10 minutes about his plans for opening a Thai restaurant. Or maybe it was tacos, or tapas … or dim sum. Come to think of it, maybe it was a check-cashing outlet. The point is: that onion dip turned out to be completely average, so I pretended to listen to him for no reason.

The most common resolutions involve diet, exercise and going to the gym. And I vowed to never make public statements about my intention to lose weight and/or get into better shape. I find the best strategy is to lay low with my plans and spring it on everyone when I’m in Jack Lalanne shape — but the middle-aged Jack Lalanne, not the Jack Lalanne who died eight years ago. Ok, maybe the Jack Lalanne from 5-10 years before death, because even that guy was in better physical condition than yours truly. Like, by a lot.

Here’s a tip for anyone who desperately needs to make a resolution involving the gym: resolve to not be the dick who complains about all the newbies showing up in January.

I don’t make resolutions for a number of reasons, chief among them is the fact that I have many other things to worry about. I’m trying to make ends meet, shave my back on the regular, and remember to take my blood pressure and cholesterol medications. I don’t need to add taking up watercolors and helping a stranger once a week to my routine.

Furthermore, resolutions seem like an admittance there are things in my life that need fixing — or that I need fixing. Since my brush with death via my own hands nearly six years ago (this is ground covered in a previous column; you can catch yourself up on the Echo website), I made a decision to wake up every morning and choose to be happy. Much like a person in a garden-variety 12-step program, that choice is something that happens one day at a time; resolutions would complicate that.

I could say that instead of “resolutions” I will make “promises.” But that might seem disingenuous. A promise to drink less alcohol is too easy, since I’m practically a teetotaler as it stands. A promise to get to know my neighbors is unfair, as that would be compromising who I am as a person. A promise to lay off white women for the disastrous position they put our country in on November 8, 2016, is simply a promise I cannot keep, I’m afraid.

So how about I take the easy course, and make some predictions for 2019:

  • I will continue my streak of not having watched a State of the Union address since the mid-90s.
  • I will have my body ready for swimsuit season. (I cannot predict whether swimsuit season will be ready for my body.)
  • I will end the year loving dogs more than humans.
  • I will give kisses to strange dogs, even when advised against it.
  • I will be told by at least one person that the attention I am showing their dog is creepy.
  • I will be unapologetic in my criticism of white women for the disastrous position they put our country in on November 8, 2016.
  • I will use valuable PTO to watch a sporting event that affects my life in no way.
  • I will offend many of you via insensitive and/or unenlightened comments, whether about millennials or my fellow gay men or (natch!) white women.

So, what are your resolutions? And, remember, I am not really interested. I’m just making polite conversation.

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