The Scene: A Diner in Burbank, CA
The Time: 10:15 AM, Monday, January 2, 2017
I was having lunch with two friends, Leah and Billy, when the subject of New Year’s resolutions came up. The food nearly came up from Billy.
Billy: Why the hell’d you have to bring that up. Spoiled my chicken sandwich…which was mediocre at best.
Leah: Just curious, is why. Wanted to see how many people actually make them these days.
Billy: Not me. I always break ‘em. You?
Leah: I make them.
Billy: Lemme guess: you adhere to all of ‘em, right?
Leah: Wrong. I’m as guilty as anybody else in not adhering to them.
Billy: (nods towards Tom) You’ve been quiet on this one. Any thoughts?
Tom: My thoughts? Ummm…my turkey sandwich needs more salt and pepper.
Billy: (frowning as he passes the items) Way to avoid the topic.
Tom: Look, it’s the same refrain year after year. ‘I’m gonna do this and that, while not doing that and this.’ And what happens? We don’t meet those expectations or excuse me…“resolutions”…and we spend the first part of the year kicking ourselves for failing this self-imposed test. Ask me, it’s masochistic.
Leah: So you don’t make any resolutions?
Tom: I have one.
Leah: Really? Do tell.
Tom: My resolution is not to make any resolutions.
Billy: You fell into that one.
Leah: I must be losing my edge.
Billy: Speaking of edges, may I have your butter knife? Mine has spots all over it.
Leah: (passes her butter knife over to Billy) Way to keep up with the conversation, Bill.
Billy: Glad to contribute. (puts down the butter knife and leans in) Here’s an idea and I think Tom’s onto something: Let’s each of us write down three goals, and hand it to the other two. At year’s end, we see who’s attained the most, and the winner gets…(he looks up in the air)…the winner gets…I dunno. What should the winner get?
Tom: A new Playstation 4. (he receives a quizzical look from Leah) Kidding. (pause) Well, not really. But okay, how about a dinner at Morton’s in Burbank?
Billy: I’m in. For the Playstation.
Leah: Boys and their toys.
Tom: What would you like then?
Leah: A Barbie Doll set and a Suzy Homemaker Super Oven.
Tom: Alright, alright. I’ll give it a go. Let’s write down our three goals…or how ‘bout this? Let’s raise the stakes, look at them as promises…and email them to one another. That way, we lock it in.
Billy: “Promises” makes it a lot scarier. Goals I can score.
Leah: So be realistic in what you write.
Billy: When should we have our lists in?
Tom: Let’s give ourselves time to think about it.
Billy: How’s December 31st ’17 sound?
Leah: Like a chicken.
Billy: (holds up a piece of chicken on his fork) Can’t be any worse than this.
Tom: I say we send them out by January 10th.
Billy: (mumbles) ‘kay.
Tom: Harness that enthusiasm, big guy.
Leah: (to Tom) You already have your goals?
Tom: My resolution…is to enjoy the rest of my meal with you guys.
Leah: Meaning you’d like to change the subject.
Leah: Your call.
Tom: Okay. Now, realistically speaking….
Tom: What do you think the LA Kings chances are for the Stanley Cup?
Billy: Oh mannnnnnn, now you really upset my stomach.
Leah: I think their goal…should be to score more goals.
Billy and Tom: Oooooh…
Bill: Listen to her…
Leah: That should be one of your goals for ’17…to listen to me more often.
Billy and Tom: Oooooh…
Fade out. To be continued…