Words For Your Enjoyment: New Year’s Dissolutions

Here’s a riddle for you.

When does Friday not seem like a Friday but it’s really a Friday but when someone tries to convince you that it’s not really Friday when it really is the Friday in question, when does it…you know…do that?

The answer of course should keep you busier than a woodchuck doing cartwheels on the top of an SUV going forty in the slow lane of a freeway while I, instead, present to you the very last “Words For Your Enjoyment” of 2005 — where you provide the idea, and I provide the elbow grease.

For this fifty-second WFYE of 2005, it was only fitting that the suggestion come from WFME long-time reader Stephen who writes: “My new year’s resolution is to be more like Pauly. No, that doesn’t mean more post titles like “I’m the guy who screws up your check balancing” or “Today’s prognosis on flip-flops.” It means that I’m going to write much more often… So I ask (as I’m sure that others will as well) for tomorrow’s WFYE, “What are your New Year’s Resolutions?”

Great question, Steve.

But instead of boring everyone with the same post that will show up on thousands upon thousands of blogs today and tomorrow (“My New Year’s Resolutions, Parts IV through XXXXXVI”) I would, instead, rather tell you what my New Year’s Dissolutions are. What things I will kill or remove from the equation from my life. The things that I will cease doing for my health, my sanity and the peace of the entire world.

First and foremost, I will stop asking supermarket checkers who look pissed how long until they’re off.

Seemingly, I always thought that it was my goal to make unhappy people happy but I can’t ever keep the happiness going after the initial question. I get the conversation going and then said supermarket checker is expecting something witty or even encouraging and I can never find the words to do it. For example:

Me: “Long day?”
Supermarket Checker: “Huh, yeah.”
Me: “Aw. Well, when do you get off?”
Supermarket Checker: “In like eight hours.”

[Looooong pause. Shoot. Eight hours, huh?]

Me: “Um… Can you not put that gum in the bag? I’d like to chew it now.”

I mean, really. What do you say to someone after hearing that they’re going away to prison for five years? What do you tell someone after asking them how they’re doing and they say they’ve just contracted a painful and un-treatable disease? What do you tell the woman at the checkstand after finding out she’s got eight more hours in her supermarket hell?


In addition to the ceasing of making conversation with supermarket checkers, I will also stop chewing an entire pack of gum or an entire box of those chewy mints in five minutes flat. I will no longer treat mints and gum as entrees of a meal that does not exist. I will refrain from asking people who wear t-shirts with single-fonted words on the front (bitch, stud, atari, et al) what said words mean or represent. I will stop laughing at the uncomfortable sad parts in movies, stop asking people with fake legs if they’ve ever used them to hit someone over the head in robbery/pickpocketing situations and I will definitely stop sorting the marshmallows out of the Lucky Charms for my “master box of marshmallow only Lucky Charms” that seemingly will never come to be.

I will stop trying to convince people to buy TiVo.

Because really – who am I to convince you that you need to buy a recording device. When I hear myself sell people on the features that this amazing device that has been handed down by E.T.’s from outer space, I almost can’t believe what I’m saying:

“So you hook this thing up to your TV… And then when you’re gone you set it up to record shows so you CAN WATCH TV WHENEVER YOU WANT! You can actually record a show at one point, then watch it at a totally different time!!!! It’s amazing!”

Isn’t that called a VCR?

I will stop saying “jinx” when me and another person say the same word at the same time because as adults you can’t really hit the other person in the arm when you say “jinx” like we all used to do as kids. I’ve tried it once during a conference call/meeting and it didn’t go over too well.

I will refrain from asking people if they would ever want to live in the window of a Crate & Barrel store for one month straight (sleeping, showering, dressing, eating, reading) for a monetary sum because it is both unrealistic, never going to happen, and it is my trademark question that is getting extremely old.

And, oh boy, I am so going to stop saying hello to people in my neighborhood that I’ve never met in an attempt to be that friendly neighborhood guy and then never following up my hello with anything else. I mean, sure, I say hello and good morning and you say hello and good morning and then we smile and then walk right past each other and never say anything else. I do not know who you are, where you live and why I said hello in the first place and this practice must be dissoluted immediately.

I will no longer eat olives by the dozen. I will no longer wear UGG shoes with socks. I will stop singing the theme song to The O.C. and then tell people that I went to college there, which seemingly must make it okay for singing that song. I will chew with my mouth closed for the first time in 30+ years and then make sure to point out when you’re chewing with your mouth open since I’m so cultured that I chew with my mouth closed. I will scream every time I see the trailer for that stupid Heath Ledger movie, Cassanova, because it is worse than any painful torture I could ever imagine:

“M’lady will take the animal, but the pig stays outside…” Ha, ha, ha, ha, B*L*A*M!

In removing such actions and practices from my life in 2006 I will be forced to fill my life with other exciting new practices. I will be pushed into a corner much like the rattlesnake of the Gobe Desert is often pushed into a corner and must fight back with a fervor never before seen. I will take take take and then give give give back a whole new slew of things.

But calling out and revealing those practices (like learning to understand the differences between women’s black strappy shoes – which all look the same to me and starting to put empty milk containers in the garbage instead of the fridge) would simply do us all a disservice, especially me… For then what will I write a year from now, when I must (once again) reveal which ridiculous actions I have practiced in 2006 only to remove them in preparation of 2007? It would be the wrong thing to do to the readers, the world and me.

So instead I will simply stand by these New Year’s Dissolutions and stick to them.

For at least today.

29 comments on “Words For Your Enjoyment: New Year’s Dissolutions

  1. Fun Joel - December 30, 2005 at 8:45 am -

    I will do my best to START doing as many of these things as possible. I don’t want a big void in the world!

  2. Pauly D - December 30, 2005 at 8:47 am -

    FJ – Please please please choose the Crate & Barrel one. I don’t want that one to die. It must survive!

  3. Wendi - December 30, 2005 at 8:53 am -

    pauly…you should ALWAYS say hello to your neighbors…even if you don’t know them

  4. Hilary - December 30, 2005 at 8:58 am -

    I’m a little torn regarding the Crate & Barrel thing. On one hand, it’s one of my first memories of bizarre IM conversations and questions from you. On the other, it’s so two years ago. Sigh.

  5. annabel lee - December 30, 2005 at 8:58 am -

    Psst…hey, Pauly, it’s the very last “Words For Your Enjoyment” of 2005, not 2006. Unless you wrote this while time-traveling, in which case you are, once again, even cooler than I knew you to be.

  6. nic - December 30, 2005 at 9:00 am -

    You should only ask clerks/waiters/etc. what time they get off if you plan to meet them later. 😉

    We used to say “Owe me a coke!” when we said the same word at the same time. I REsolve to buy sodas for all the people I have ever said that to.

    I DISsolve to keep living in the window of Crate & Barrel. It’s boring here, I hate it and it pays shit.

  7. Pauly D - December 30, 2005 at 9:04 am -

    AL – Man, I must have had my head in 2006 for a minute there. Well, now it’s fixed. Done. Kaput!

    Nic – Yeah, you look bored in that window. How long till you get out?

  8. nic - December 30, 2005 at 9:11 am -

    See ya tonite!

  9. Alissa - December 30, 2005 at 9:28 am -

    I will stop saying “it’s ok!” when people barge in on me in the bathroom. It is definitely NOT OK and I’m tired of making people feel better about their stupid mistakes.

    Which page of the Crate & Barrel catalog is the window display? You know that type of information is really important when making this type of decision.

  10. Kathleen - December 30, 2005 at 9:34 am -

    and I thought I was the only one sick of the Casanova pig line…

  11. sandra - December 30, 2005 at 9:48 am -

    I’m getting the urge to make a dissolution list of my own…but in the meantime, am happy to take up your Crate & Barrel cause (don’t say I never gave you anything).

  12. nic - December 30, 2005 at 10:16 am -

    Alissa – That bathroom thing … why DO we do that? I dissolve to quit it, too – and all other empty apologies.

  13. H. F. Peterman - December 30, 2005 at 10:20 am -

    I will stop saying “bless you” when someone sneezes. Instead, I will say…”You are sooooo goodlooking”

  14. monkeyinabox - December 30, 2005 at 11:51 am -

    Today is my Monday. 🙂 Not really, but…

    Having gone through the supermarket checker thing for too many years of my life, you hit a nerve Pauly! That was a job where you could work 10 days in a row (Su M – off T – Sat Work) and then (Sun – Thurs work, F S off). You could technically have 6 Mondays in your week. How could you expect to make a conversation to make them happy? Nope, nothing, not going to happen.

    So, I guess it’s a good thing you’re giving it up. Or maybe you could think of a new plan to make yourself seem in a worse position. “How’s it going?” … “okay…” …. “That’s good, my week has been hell, wife divorced me, my sisters on meth, my dog got run over by a car, I found out I have 2 months to live too.”… “wow!, … so is that paper or plastic?”

    See, you too can make a grocery checker’s life better. Try harder in 2006, don’t give up!

  15. networkchic - December 30, 2005 at 11:54 am -

    Hey I ask supermarket checkout girls the same thing…maybe I’m really being sarcastic and what I really want to say is, “If you hate this f*ckin job, get a new one, Mcdonalds is hiring.” But that’s just me, I’m rude and insensitive.

  16. Manic Mom - December 30, 2005 at 12:39 pm -

    Like your list. I do a lot of those things: smile at strangers, trying to will them to smile back. Make conversation with the check-out person while he’s ringing up my tampons and Xanax prescription. Say stupid things to people in elevators just to hear somebody say something! Or worse, ignore them completely the whole ride in the elevator and when one of us gets off (the elevator, of course, unless it’s a really long ride, like to the top of the Sears Tower), I will always smile and say, “Have a nice day.” But can’t say two words while the door is shut for some unknown fear.

    And of course, I am one of those lame people who has already confessed her resolutions for 2006, but I also admit I’m not about to keep them all.

    Happy New Year–I enjoy your blog.

  17. Rachel - December 30, 2005 at 12:47 pm -

    I will no longer say “sure” when asked if I can please hold.

  18. deanne - December 30, 2005 at 1:40 pm -

    Oh man. I’m so not making any New Years Resolutions. For the last SEVEN YEARS, every New Years Day, I say “This year, I’m going to get my drivers license!” For the last seven years. (I’m 27, by the way.)

  19. Brooke - December 30, 2005 at 2:09 pm -

    You are going to be very boring in 2006. I won’t be back.

    In other news, I have vowed to find the man of my dreams in 2006. He must scream “jinx” when we say the same thing, he must let me pick out all the marshmallows in the Lucky Charms, and he must love gum. So you’re out Paul.

    Happy new year!

  20. Smoog - December 30, 2005 at 2:23 pm -

    My 2006 dissolution was made for me when my television exploded in preparation for the holidays. Already I’m reaping the benefits by not having had to watch Heath Ledger try to play Casanova. Isn’t he, like, twelve? Yes, folks, it’s another instalment of A Prepubescent’s Life of Sensual Pleasure.

  21. JM - December 30, 2005 at 2:47 pm -

    “When does Friday not seem like a Friday but it’s really a Friday but when someone tries to convince you that it’s not really Friday when it really is the Friday in question, when does it…you know…do that?”

    You’re funny, bro.

  22. Pauly D - December 30, 2005 at 4:00 pm -

    Brooke – Yeah. 2006 is going to blow around here.

    Oh well.

  23. Dave2 - December 30, 2005 at 5:08 pm -

    My dissolutions are all going to involve personal hygiene and self-abuse this year.

    And tacos.

    Don’t ask me why.

  24. Dan - December 30, 2005 at 7:00 pm -

    I do the same exact thing with the supermarket checkout clerks. I mean same exact conversation. I can only conclude that this is the only viable conversation you can have with a supermarket checkout clerk. Except of course for:

    Me: “Those aren’t the organic tomatoes. They’re the regular ones.”
    Her: “Oh.”

  25. Lisa - December 30, 2005 at 8:14 pm -

    following along with the “I have always been hanging around here and supporting you in your decision to get a new job” theme:

    You have no idea how very much the support of an old friend like you means to me. I have missed you since we last spoke. We really should stay in touch more, I know we keep SAYING we will….

    ahh… pauly.


  26. Will - December 30, 2005 at 8:41 pm -

    Actually, Paul, in Roman numerals, “XXXXX” (or 50) is represented as “L.” Of course, for the sake of the humor, it is probably better that you leave the X’s in their place, since they are the more recognizable numerals. Honest mistake.

    And I must agree that your system of dissolutions is far more helpful and effective than any resolutions I’ve ever seen. Good luck kicking that gum-and-mint habit. I hear that can be a nasty addiction.

  27. Lynn - December 30, 2005 at 11:46 pm -

    I love eating olives by the dozen.

  28. Enigma - December 31, 2005 at 9:37 pm -

    i made sure to come here cuz i knew you’d have something different for me. i am so happy you never disappoint. now, how many women have said that to ya?

  29. Esther Kustanowitz - January 2, 2006 at 9:32 am -

    I don’t say this enough, but you’re pretty darned funny. You know…for a boy. Have a happy new year and hope to see you in February, dude. “Caaaaliforniaaaa….”

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