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Fanfare for the Common Man: No Mas Resolutions

I am not a fan of the whole New Year’s resolution thing.

DP Brown

I’m not a fan because of the ignominy of the whole resolutions origin to begin with. Let’s harken back to before the days of yore to either ancient Greece or Rome and the final days of the celebration of Bacchus, or the Saturnalia, where a young Aristotle or Julius Not-Yet-Caesar had tied one on.

Leaning into the community fountain in prayer to the porcelain goddess, either one could have uttered the world’s first New Year’s resolution.

“To the gods … if I survive this night by your good graces, I promise I will never do this again!”

I remember my first such oath where I swore fealty to abstinence while hugging a light pole on a rainy, foggy New Year’s Eve. I promised never to do this again and to be seated in church come Sunday morning.

Come Sunday, like it or not, I was in church because I was just 22 and still living at home, and this wasn’t the first Sunday morning my mom dragged me to church.

By Jan. 15, I was back at it having forgotten my resolution or if I remembered it … well, you know how resolutions go. Mine set me up for failure.

I make unrealistic resolutions that are impossible to keep. I have resolved to save money, lose weight, not gain weight, exercise more, start exercising, not exercise less, think before I speak, quit speaking entirely, no longer do stupid things, be considerate of others, not be so opinionated, think before I speak (again) and so on, over the years.

All of these resolutions were abandoned by Valentine’s Day, especially those involving reducing my intake of cheese dip, chicken wings and chocolate.

I believe the designers of the calendar tossed Valentine’s Day into the mix on Feb. 14 as a test of our will. It’s been six weeks, and you’re doing great! Now, let’s throw in a holiday that reminds you how alone you are, and no one loves you and you will die a decrepit, lonely old man as you have NO ONE who will be your Valentine.

Next thing I know I’ve got a large cheese dip, two dozen wings and a 2-pound bag of Hershey’s Kisses, steadfast in my resolve that I would get kissed on Valentine’s Day one way or another.

I read something about a 30-day challenge where you cut out candy, fried foods, fast food and Cokes. I said, why not, but first let me finish the M&Ms, fried wings and 12-pack of Coke before beginning.

Waste not, want not, I always say – not really, but it sounds convenient.

I am the only guy who gained weight in a 48-hour challenge where I ate nothing, but fruit and yogurt and guzzled this calorie substitute drink called Spark! First lesson here, never drink anything whose brand name means spontaneous combustion, or has an explanation point in it. I could hear my hair grow.

I also purchased a 32-ounce container of yogurt, a pint each of strawberries and blueberries, a half-dozen bananas and some sliced grapes. These I mixed into the vanilla-flavored yogurt to enjoy what the total cleansing program called a “tasty snack.”

I made a resolution, shortly thereafter, to double check the meaning of the word “portion” in reference to this program. Nowhere did it say not to eat it all in one sitting.

Today, I hold off on making resolutions on Jan. 1. I also denounce and deny any involvement with New Year’s Eve celebrating, especially watching the ball drop at midnight. I squirrel myself away in my little man cave, turn out the lights, unplug the phone and watch nothing but movies on TV.

Then, I don’t have to bear witness to train wrecks like celebrity performances in Time Square that are lip-synced, or worse, lip-synced live. Did no one learn anything from Milli Vanilli?

Now there’s a New Year’s resolution worth following. If I survive this night, I resolve to never perform in Time Square, on New Year’s Eve, ever again.

Throw in a diet of wings, cheese dip and chocolate and you got a deal.

Dan Brown writes as D.P. Brown because of the other Dan Brown. Dan has published 13 novels since 2013. His books can be found on For signed copies, questions and other comments, email Dan is also on Facebook and his books can be found under the D.P. Brown page.