We’ll take a cup of kindness yet

Obligatory New Year’s resolution post? I didn’t bother to put on a bra today. I did the crossword puzzle, watched Penn State football, and ate kraut with pork and keilbasa sausage. A year that begins thus is surely doomed to failure. Oh well. I enjoy this new Lay-Z-Boy.

We went out last night with the intention of watching the ball rise in downtown Pittsburgh. Yes, rise, that’s how we roll in Pittsburgh, apparently. We wandered through an art exhibit in which puffer fish in a little bowl play horns via a video camera and motion sensors taped to a television screen. It’s difficult to describe. And we wandered the streets on the only day of the year that there are people downtown after 8pm until thoroughly soaked deciding that even if they didn’t cancel the fireworks because of a downpour, it would look better on television while wearing dry sweatpants with a glass of champagne in hand.

We barely got home in time to cut up some cheese from the Macaroni Factory and pour the bubbly. We spent so much time watching Fergie and the shadow of Meatloaf in a Cowboys jersey singing “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” with some skinny brunette with barely any clothes on, that we didn’t discover Garrison Keillor’s New Year’s special until it was too late. And after at last getting dry, I sat in champagne.

Last year I fell asleep before midnight. It was the day we got up at 5am to go to the Taj Mahal. Over lunch that afternoon, someone whom I’d just met said ‘Think about where you were at this time last year. Could you have anticipated where you would be in a year?’

He may not have said ‘anticipated,’ but of the ways you could phrase that question, this is how I choose to repeat it.

‘Could you have imagined?’–depends on one’s capacity for imagination. ‘Could you have known?’–technically, no one can. But ‘Could you have anticipated?’–even though this year wasn’t spent halfway around the world in some novel situation, but in my living room with my sister, parents, aunt and uncle, the answer is again no. So the past year must be counted as some kind of success.

Perhaps my New Year’s resolution, then, is to be, on every New Year’s Eve, in a situation that I could not have anticipated, or predicted that I would be in, 364 days before. However, that is a much taller order than getting rid of the six kilos I put on in Korea. Or climbing Mount Halla. Or planning my next semester. Or learning the names of more than half a dozen of my students.

The only thing more difficult would be deciding what to do after Korea in time to not have to move back into my parents house in July.

But I spent the first day of 2007 in the same pair of pants that sat in champagne a few minutes after midnight.


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