Just like everyone else on New Year’s Eve, my life flashes before my eyes as the Big Peach (or Big Apple, as the case may be) drops and ushers in a brand new year. While others celebrate, I, as a serious writer, ponder. Acutely aware of my shortcomings, I take pen in hand to once again reel my life back into control and transform my existence to one proclaiming productivity, organization, and reasonable sanitary codes.
I annually inventory the house rules to refocus a more productive lifestyle. Using a combination of primary numbers, colors, and tidal predictions I have arrived at what I believe is an efficient plan for our family to use on the following topics of mutual interest:
1. Laundry: On days containing more than two “A’s,” only white laundry will be done. On days containing “s,” colored clothes will be washed with the exception of Christmas day. Every other Friday, socks will be sorted and laundered. Linens are to be changed on the fifth Saturday except on high tide or crescent moon dates. See Farmer’s Almanac for more information. No substitutions.
2. Meals: Mealtimes in 2010 will be made more interesting with each family member taking part in meal preparation. Each child will be responsible for a vegetable (I don’t care what the school system says, catsup does NOT count) either prepared in a salad, casserole, or some recognizable form. A parent (more than likely me) will prepare the entrée except on Sock Friday when we will order pizza. Holiday meals will remain negotiable. Dad will have the final say with the three magic words: “Let’s eat out.”
3. Holiday Traditions: This year inaugurated the Great American TV Out similar to the Great American Smoke Out whereas the television will remain off on New Year’s Day, thus avoiding the after turkey football coma, broken diet already syndrome, and quirky relative discussion. We will strengthen family ties with quality time playing Candy Land, Mr. Potato Head, Twister, Clue, Picture It, and Chutes and Ladders. No wheedling, crying or cheating will be tolerated. Alternative games may be suggested. Just for the record, I can be bribed.
4. Family Vacations: Dad will plan these ad nauseum around the kitchen table two weeks before said trip occurs. Proposals for sending Dad to “Survivors” or Me to the Pounderosa Ranch is off limits. Trading places with a neighbor kid for vacation week is frowned upon. However, cleverness will be awarded points.
5. Household Chores: Chore lists will be posted on Tuesdays. In all cases, house rules still apply:
a. No loud parties before 8 a.m.
b. No switching “For Sale” signs with the neighbors.
c. No calls to the funeral home for body pick up.
d. No booking orthodontist appointments for the gerbil.
e. No science projects involving the microwave, Dad’s laptop, or my hair dryer.
f. No drinking directly out of the tap, milk carton, or toilet bowl.
g. No showering without closing the curtain.
h. Complaints, confessions, and compromises will be heard on alternate 5th Wednesdays in months not containing an “R.”
Writing resolutions for the new year before me is inspiring. All this time, I thought I didn’t write fiction.