Joanne Palmer: Auld anxiety |

Joanne Palmer: Auld anxiety

Joanne Palmer

I hate New Year’s Eve. I do not stay up to see the ball drop. I go to bed as early as possible and sleep through the whole thing. There are a lot of things wrong with New Year’s. The first: it comes at the wrong time of year.

There is nothing new about January. There was snow on the ground in November. Snow in December. And there will be snow in January, February and March. Right now I feel like I’m stuck in a continuous loop of Dr. Zhivago.

Once again, Santa did not bring me a garage or a basement, so I am surrounded by towers of Tupperware waiting to be refilled with Christmas decorations. A battalion of Star Wars Legos has invaded my living room. There are 2,585 Lego pieces from five boxes in various stages of assembly. My son has two tables set up to piece together his haul, and the coffee table handles the overflow. I am forbidden to throw out the boxes or he’ll wail, “I need to look at the picture!” I have a large trash bag full of wrapping paper I’m terrified to throw out in case Lego piece 1,482 is mistakenly in there.

And you know it is.

New Year’s should be celebrated in the spring, when the snow starts to melt, the crocus crop up, the days are longer and I feel less like hibernating and more like celebrating.

There is some logic to this longing. New Year’s was first celebrated a mere 4,000 years ago in Babylon on March 23. It must have been a heck of a celebration because it lasted 11 days, and other than the length of time, no one recorded what happened. The Romans continued to observe the New Year in March until emperor egos got in the way. Then swords were probably drawn. Whack, Whack! A cry rang out. “I, Caesar do not want to be named after a silly salad dressing. I declare January 1st to be the start of the New Year.”

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Of course, the other problem with New Year’s is resolutions. The No. 1 is to lose weight and get in shape. If you follow my sure-fire method, this is easy. Leftover lifting! The refrigerator is bursting with fattening leftovers including a special cinnamon raisin bread pudding that took two hours to bake instead of the 45 minutes the recipe promised. It weighs about 8 lbs, and hoisting it in and out of the refrigerator burns up more calories than the whipped cream I squirt on the top.

Since I don’t have to worry about losing weight, I go easy on myself and have made these easy-to-keep resolutions:

– Buy more reading glasses. Once purchased, do not lose them, sit on them, back over them with the car or lose them amid the 813 pieces of the Lego Clone Turbo Tank.

– Never buy another Lego.

– Pay attention at four-way stop signs so I’ll know when it’s my turn.

– Never knock over one of my son’s Legos.

– Resolve not to run out of toilet paper.

– Never look at myself in a magnifying mirror.

– Write 2007 on my checks before I mail them out.

– Figure out how to use more than two functions on my cell phone.

– Ignore e-mails that promise unbelievably good luck if I forward to 20 more people and dire consequences if I don’t.

Please join me in my one-woman campaign to change the date of New Year’s from January 1 to March 31. Let’s make history repeat itself.

Contact Joanne Palmer at

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