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Happy New Year! You’re Still An Asshole!


The morning of my eighth birthday, I woke up to the sounds of my tone-deaf brother’s singing. See, when I was a kid, my brother’s favorite game was to wake me up as obnoxiously as possible, which meant that that day, I awoke to the lilting strains of “Rise and Shine and Bring Out The Glory-Glory,” accompanied by two pots being banged together for the rhythm section.

Getthefuckouttahere,*” I mumbled, my mouth still full of pillow.

“OH NO!” he exclaimed. “It’s YOUR BIRTHDAY! You don’t GET to sleep in lazybones!” He then launched into a a-Capella version of “Lazybones” accompanied by one of our dogs howling.

I paddled my way downstairs in my footie pajamas and threw myself on the couch with the funny pages from the Trib.

“Happy Birthday, Rebecca!” my dad boomed cheerfully as he read the sports section of the paper.

“Thanks,” I mumbled, my head still full of The Sleeps and dreams of reinventing the Babysitter’s Club books so that the characters were all mutant zombies that looked a lot like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

“How do you feel?” He boomed loudly, always trying to annoy me with his loud-ass voice first thing in the morning, when all I’d wanted was five minutes of peace to wipe The Sleeps off my face.

“Uh, okay.” I replied, wishing he’d shutthefuckup already.

Knowing he was annoying me, he kept going, “How does it feel to be EIGHT years old? Do you feel any different?”

Finally I put down the funny pages, which had been obscuring my view of my father, in the vain hope that he’d forget I was there and assume that one of the house plants was reading the comics. I let the question bop around in my brain awhile.

Did I feel different? Was I supposed to? Was there some climactic event that happened on one particular day that I should be aware of? What was different about today as opposed to yesterday? I mean, I guess I’m older, but that’s not really much of a deal. Over and over I mulled the question – did I feel different?

At last, I replied with the only answer that seemed appropriate. “Well, I only have one more birthday until I’m in the double digits.”

He laughed before handing me a present to open – more Sea Monkeys for me to experiment upon.

And I went about my day, not feeling even one stinking inch older.

That’s, I think, what bugs me about New Years so much. Not only is the age bracket for having fun between 15-23 (the ages in which puking bar pretzels out your nose is considered “quality entertainment”), but it’s this big pivot point for most of the people I know. This year, I’m going to lose X amount of pounds, or quit smoking, or breastfeed llamas in the Swiss Alps. The resolutions range from the sublime to the absurd.

Take for example, last year’s resolution for me: “DO NOT BECOME LIL WAYNE.” Perhaps this year, I should aim to “BECOME LIL WAYNE,” just to be contrary.

I woke up yesterday feeling exactly the same as the night before, with the exception of my eyes – the sun was being too loud for them. I’d gone to sleep after drinking wee champagne bottles with my friend Paul, who was visiting from one of those states that starts with a vowel. Ohio? Iowa? Kansas City? I didn’t know.

I’d watched both The Facebook and The Twitter exclaiming how they were “so happy 2012 was done” and “2013 was going to be OUR YEAR.”

Since I’ve been using “this is going to be our year!” every year since I was a wee tot to describe my beloved Cubbies, who haven’t won the world series in 104 years (if Jimmy Wales is to be believed), so when I see it applied to the new year, I’m always baffled. If the Cubs can’t break a losing streak for 104 years, how the nuts are we supposed to believe that this year will be any different?

I’m not even wearing my pessimistic pants today – I’m just not sure that the changing of the calendar will do anything to make us different and/or better people. I woke up today in the same shape I woke up yesterday and the same shape I’ll wake up again tomorrow. Life goes on. The calendar changes. We keep on keepin’ on because that’s what we do.

Only thing different is that I’m going to have to stop signing checks 2008.

And come up with another absurd resolution, natch.

*As my brother was ten years my senior, my parents allowed me to swear in the house after I’d complained bitterly that he could swear but I could not.


Do you make resolutions, Pranskters? If so, what are they?

26 Comments to

“Happy New Year! You’re Still An Asshole!”

  1. On January 2nd, 2013 at 11:46 am Beth Says:

    My hubby and I made the ridiculously cliche resolution to lose weight and get in shape. I have also added to that a resolution to get my ass back to writing in a cohesive, coherent, and concerted fashion (I like the letter “c” today, it seems). God knows if any of it will happen, but it can’t hurt to try!

  2. On January 2nd, 2013 at 11:51 am @KathyLynnHarris Says:

    RT @mommywantsvodka: Happy New Year! Youโ€™re Still An Asshole!

  3. On January 2nd, 2013 at 12:01 pm Jenn Says:

    I feel rather the same way you do about the New Year. I am unsure why it is a holiday, I just don’t get the big deal. I mean yay we survived another year, but really why dress up spend tons of money on drinks? As you said nothing much is changing there is no great thing that happens at the stroke of midnight!

  4. On January 2nd, 2013 at 12:03 pm Roxanne Says:

    I have goals, but they don’t really seem to change from year to year. I have a word I meditate on throughout the year, and this year I’ve chosen BRAVE, because I am too much of a wimp.

  5. On January 2nd, 2013 at 12:16 pm Mod Mom Beyond IndieDom Says:

    My husband just said that to me; “Why is New Years a holiday?” And it’s so true – I woke up the same person with the same aches and pains and blah blah blah. I don’t do resolutions. Can’t keep ’em anyway. And the annoying thing? I do that to my kids. The singing, minus the pots and pans. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Drives ’em crazy!

  6. On January 2nd, 2013 at 12:23 pm Kizz Says:

    I do the goal thing and I have a few. My standard (heartfelt) answer to the resolution question is this: Write. Every day. At least 15 minutes. Not blog posts.

  7. On January 2nd, 2013 at 12:24 pm Ewokmama Says:

    I have to say goodbye to 2012 or I’ll cry.

  8. On January 2nd, 2013 at 12:46 pm donald Says:

    As cliche as it is, i feel that a comic book quote is appropriate here: “You see, Doctor, God didn’t kill that little girl. Fate didn’t butcher her and destiny didn’t feed her to those dogs. If God saw what any of us did that night he didn’t seem to mind. From then on I knew… God doesn’t make the world this way. We do.” -Rorschach

    I think that new year’s resolutions serve a purpose, but in order to change your situation you have to change yourself.

    Tired of being poor? Plan ahead, save money, don’t buy things you don’t have to.
    It won’t miraculously fix your crappy job and make your debt go away, but it will make a difference.

    Tired of being fat? eat better and exercise every day.

    A big problem we run into as humans is that we want to spend 20 years creating a problem and two weeks fixing it.

    Want to succeed at a new year’s resolution? start at 5 minutes a day. Every day.

  9. On January 2nd, 2013 at 1:11 pm Abby Says:

    I woke up New Years feeling much more hung over than I felt on Christmas Eve. Does that count?

    No, really. I like New Years not because I expect it to usher in some form of awe inspiring change. I like it because I spend it every year with my family. It’s an excuse for them, a few aunts and uncles, and me to gather round and make fools of ourselves with Karaoke.

  10. On January 2nd, 2013 at 2:01 pm Rebecca Says:

    To lose weight………lets hope that this is my year!
    To organize the pantry. And keep it that way……the pantry looks great. I hope it stays that way.

  11. On January 2nd, 2013 at 2:10 pm Tristyn Says:

    My resolution for the new year is to not diet or weigh myself. For a whole year. Then at the end I will compare my health, happiness, and weight to what it was at 2012. I have a feeling that dieting just makes me grumpy, and it doesn’t do any actual good for my health or my long term weight. We shall see!

  12. On January 2nd, 2013 at 2:20 pm Erin Margolin (@ErinMargolin) Says:

    Happy New Year! Youโ€™re Still An Asshole!: The morning of my eighth birthday, I woke up to t… via @MommyWantsVodka

  13. On January 2nd, 2013 at 2:58 pm Cindy Says:

    thank heaven that vomiting pretzel pieces through my nose is no longer my version of quality entertainment. #thisiswhyiloveyou

    Also, I should probably quit dating my checks 2008 as well. Any idears on how to actually accomplish this?

  14. On January 2nd, 2013 at 3:33 pm stacey@havoc&mayhem Says:

    Back in 1991 I resolved to give up making new year’s resolutions and I am proud to say I am still going strong with that one 12 years later.

    Best. resolution. ever.

  15. On January 2nd, 2013 at 3:44 pm Grace Says:

    I for one, am THRILLED that 2012 is gone. It’s been a really trying year. I feel like the change of the year is a chance for a clean start. All the work we’ve been through in the last year is going to pay off this year, I just know it!

    You succeeded in not becoming Lil Wayne this year!! Woo hoo!! Maybe you need to come up with someone equally, or even more horrible than him to try not to become this year. …oh wait. IS there anyone equal or worse than Lil Wayne??

  16. On January 2nd, 2013 at 5:59 pm random cow bell guy Says:

    Meh. Another year hopefully less shitty than the last. And inching closer to the wrong side of fifty. Fuckzall Beck you survived 2012. Hopefully 2013 will be kinder. And no not wiser, skinnier, richer, less irritable and cranky than I was on 12 31 12, but i have hope that 2013 will in fact be better.

  17. On January 2nd, 2013 at 7:13 pm Wombat Central Says:

    After reading that, I had a flashback [insert Wayne’s World flashback sound effects here] of my college roomie singing me awake. Fortunately, I like her, so I didn’t have to beat her with mah typewriter. In related news, typewriter? Holy crap am I old.

  18. On January 2nd, 2013 at 8:25 pm Judy Susan Says:

    Mine is pretty simple. To be a better person. I’ve been a bitter ass since Ron died. I’m not going to be bitter anymore. Asswipe died and now he lives in a jar. I’d say that’s punishment enough until I climb in there with him.. then by god, the fight is on! So in 2013, I’m not going to be angry at him anymore for dying.. and I’m not going to be angry at the assholes that got to live, even though they are a miserable waste of air. he he.. oooops.. I may be failing at my 2013 plans.. lol

  19. On January 2nd, 2013 at 8:35 pm Jolie Says:

    New year = new calendar to me. Resolve to change every. day. if you want to really make a difference. Not just one day, every single day. “When the pain of staying the same is more than the pain of changing, one will change.” Don’t know who said it, but it’s true. Sometimes the path of least resistance is a new path.
    I am weird. I always start fresh in fall – start watching what I eat, exercise more, sleep more, etc. I do that through winter and as long as I can for spring. (yes, over the holidays!) That way summer if I let it go, I can start over again come fall. It’s not about the # on the scale, or the tag size on my clothes, it’s about how I feel. Fall just seems the right time to put myself in front. But you knew I was crazy already. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I say 2013 is gonna be the year of the Becky, now go make it happen girl!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. On January 4th, 2013 at 5:44 pm random cow bell guy Says:

    See uripedes hecuba. Quote was modified from thaf. Not sure on the spelling.

  21. On January 2nd, 2013 at 9:18 pm Pete In Az Says:

    I suspect the reason 01/01 is a holiday is quite a few people are in no condition to work due to the ‘pretzel through the nose’ tricks the night before.

    This year I resolved to ride my bike more (there is a century ride {100 miles} in October that I want to take part in. You can pick your jaw back up, it’s spread over two days so I think I have a chance of doing it this year.

    Second resolution is to learn more about wine (no… not Mad Dog 20/20, the other kind, with the un-pronounsable names).

  22. On January 3rd, 2013 at 2:50 am Alexis Anne Says:

    I don’t believe in resolutions. I do make proclamations about things that simply will not be allowed to happen either to me or in my presence unless the perpetrator desires to be hit with the full force of emission from a fire extinguisher, but I don’t wait for a new year to issue said proclamations.

  23. On January 3rd, 2013 at 8:39 am Emelie Samuelson Says:

    I see what you’re saying. I think it’s odd that people need an excuse to decide to try and better themselves, but at the same time, at least they have an excuse. As for me? I think any reason to celebrate is fantastic. Except Valentine’s Day. I’m in a happy relationship and I still say fuck that shit.

  24. On January 3rd, 2013 at 7:00 pm Mishka Says:

    Yep, I do make resolutions and do tend to keep them. I don’t normally make crazy ones that are hard to keep…don’t know if that is weak-ass on my part or just realistic…LOL.

    The biggest one (which will help all my other ones) is to work on my time management skills. I have been bitten by the procrastination bug in the last few years and I am determined to get rid of it this year. A big help will be finding a job (which will take up time and force me to use my time better). Secondly, turning off the television will help too. I like having it on for background noise and company, but I also know that it keeps me from reading, writing, and concentrating like I should on other things.

    So once I have the time management thing going, I want to stretch more (which I rarely do after exercising even though I know it is good for me) and write more on my actual projects and not just on my blogs. I think both of these are doable.

    I have hopes that this year will better than last year, that I will hear from someone I love very much, and that health and financial security will find its way to my family, they all deserve a break.

  25. On January 3rd, 2013 at 8:42 pm Ginny Says:

    My overnight camp use to sing that song all the time. I was pretty sick of giving God my glory glory.

    I make resolutions only so when people ask me I have something to say because otherwise they keep pestering me until I come up with a resolution. I then be passive aggressive and refuse to follow through with any of my “resolutions”.

  26. On January 4th, 2013 at 8:10 am carissajaded Says:

    I tend to make resolutions every week. And break them every week. Naturally this week feels exactly like every other week… except everyone on the internet is just like me. Happy New year!

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