Friday, January 1, 2010

Pass the Chocolates

As I did with Christmas, I'm recycling an article written in 1986. I am chastened to realize that in the intervening twenty-four years since writing this, I have come no further in my resolve to resist temptation...

....................Pass the Chocolates....................

No..this is not another piece about New Years' resolutions. I have never seriously considered making a New Years resolution, let alone keeping one. Such an admission forces me to reveal that perfection is not in my near future. I am told it does not even loom as a faint possibility. Indeed, if family opinion is to be believed, there is indication that I am overweight, under-disciplined, and severly addicted to chocolate.

While it is clear that a number of changes might be in order, I have not yet been foolish enough to attempt them. Self-improvement may be a noble goal, but I hold firmly to the belief that a few bad habits are good for you. Certainly, they are integral to my lifestyle. I see no point to a diet if it is not followed by a binge. I draw up long lists of chores that I proceed to ignore; and wouldn't dream of getting my jazzy new exercise outfit stained with sweat.

You can see that I take my bad habits seriously, but it wasn't always so easy for me. I learned the hard way that though a little self-indulgence is good for the soul, too much will have guilt taking all the fun out of it. It comes down to a question of perspective. There is really no need to eat the whole pie when half will suffice; and experience has taught me that if all the clocks in the house are set at different times, one of them is bound to suit me when I'm having trouble staying on schedule. Guilt does breed a certain ingenuity.

Rather than trying to overcome my shortcomings, I have melded them into a fascinating part of my personality. It is necessary to admit that this is a viewpoint not entirely shared by my husband. He has even gone so far as to suggest I give up junk food and get into -ugh- menu planning! To my credit, I decline to point out that he is not without a few faults of his own.

This fact does not distress me; instead, it serves to reinforce my belief that our individual quirks are essential to our well-being. Clearly, discipline is not natural to human beings. It is only our bad habits, after all, that set us apart from the animals. The quest for greater creature comforts has been our driving force since life began. Why, if it were not for Irish Cream cheesecake, we might never have gotten beyond the stage of digging for roots.

Did our ancestors make these tremendous advances in technology only to have us spurn them for the spartan lifestyle they worked so hard to improve? Far be it for me to squander these achievements. Self-denial is plainly an insult to those individuals who toiled endlessly to invent ice cream and escapist movies. I, for one, do not intend to let their hard work go to waste.

Give me a hot-fudge sundae over yogurt any day. Let me guzzle caffeine, and leave jogging in the rain to fanatics who don't know the value of a scorching fire and an old film on television. I can accept the fact that I am flawed; and if Jane Fonda will leave the cookie munching to me, I am content to leave the workout videos to her.

The brand new year will have to make do with the same old me. Would someone pass the chocolates, please?