Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Resolution Revolution!

Dear Helen Hartman,
I started last January First wearing half of a set of handcuffs, with a throbbing headache, an IOU for a ga-zillion-two dollars and eighty-nine cents and a firm conviction that I had to make some changes in my life. I’m talking New Year’s Resolutions. I hate ‘em but every January I make ‘em. And every one of ‘em is broken before March, some beyond repair. Love to know how you keep your New Year’s Resolutions.

Dear Loves to Make ‘em and Break ‘em One,
How does Helen keep her New Year’s Resolution?

In a locked box under the bed where they never see the light of day!

Candy tin my mom always brought out at Christmas time, not actual container of Helen's potential resolutions (which would have to be so much bigger)
Helen has been giving this tradition of resolution making a lot of thought this season. And while I never make resolutions for myself, I did briefly consider making them for others. 

Where to begin? Alphabetically or chronologically? I KNOW - in order of how much they tick me off! Better clear my schedule, this may take weeks.
And limit my telling people how to behave to just one list a year? No, thank you.
 
This year I am taking a cue from Noble Prize winning poet Phyllis McGinley featured here:



Okay, Helen expected a riotous or at least wry commentary on the rewards of bad and/or slovenly behavior but it was actually quite thoughtful. 

It's called thinking and despite what modern advertisers tell you, you can do it for yourself!

Too snarky? It WAS 1957, after all when THIS was the standard:

I can't iron a shirt to please my husband. In fact almost nothing I do pleases my husband. I wasn't aware that was one of the goals of marriage.



Another article details how to do housework correctly (complete with model to show you what you are doing wrong).

If I stand just so, maybe, just maybe I can be Mrs. America one day - then I can hop in the car I win and get the heck out of here!
In the end looking over the articles about weight loss, 
money management and achieving domestic bliss through better time management.

No, her unattended brats did NOT draw on this photo. This illustrates the amount of wasted time this housewife spends following a recipe in her kitchen. Then they use 2 pages to tell her how to save a few steps and 5 minutes. I could have done it in 2 words: EAT OUT. 
People haven’t changed. We are still full of little vices… and in Helen’s opinion that might just be one of our biggest virtues. Imagine how dull and dreary the world would be if we all actually made all those improvements.

That is, if YOU improve yourself. Helen is fine the way she is, of course. You don't think so and want to point out a few things Helen could improve? So sorry, I can't hear you. Sticking fingers in ears: LALALALALA

But McGinley did make some good points, (anyone who  comes out in favor of cocktails and gossip can’t be all bad), including encouraging people’s resolutions to be a list of things to accomplish with your life, not just things to overhaul about yourself. Helen would change that to ask you to make a list this January first of things you will embrace this coming year and things you will let go of. 
Listing all your faults and vowing to do better? It's like beginning the year by telling yourself what a loser you are, creating a list of potential failures and then expecting things to get better from there!

Agnes spent the whole day chopping, sauteing, roasting and plating a tasty dish then dumped it straight into the bin, because that's where it would end up anyway, thanks to Mr. "Why don't you just open a jar of Ragu like Mom did?". 
If you learn anything from Helen, I hope it is Be Bold Enough to Be YOURSELF. Embrace the flaws you know you aren’t going to change and let go of the things that have held you back, starting with resolutions you know you won’t be keeping! 

Magda had resolved to stop dressing her child up as a bellhop to pick up tips at the nearby hotel but then she saw an iron she just knew would finally help her press shirts to please her husband and...
Happy New Year, Y'all!
Joining Wow us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style

14 comments:

  1. Thanks Helen, wonderful advice! I do still think I need to make a list of resolutions for others. Hopefully this New Years you will be able to cash that gazzilion dollar check. Perhaps even without waking up with half a set of handcuffs. Although that can make for interesting stories in the new year. Have a happy one, Pam.

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  2. LOL Pam - yes, lists of resolutions for others are soooo tempting. I'm afraid I'd get bogged down in the Kardashions and never be heard from again!

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  3. Solid advice! Have a splendid 2012!!

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  4. Amen to that! Being myself isn't easy but it's easier than being the person that I *should* be. :)

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  5. Awww great post chickadee - may we all be bold in the new year :o) Im also going to have to get a locked box, a brick and a deep lake to put my resolutions into ;o) Mwah Scarlett x

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  6. Thanks Kim!
    LOL Eartha - somebody has to do it, right?

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  7. Scarlett - and no going out in a row boat in the middle of the night trying to fish those pesky ideas for self improvement back out.

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  8. Unfortunately, I have already embraced my flaws. My resolution is to seek a bit of joy this year. Don't know how, don't know when, but I'm gonna do it!

    And win that car.

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  9. Dear HH, I have to say that I just love your attitude!! I think I am going to do resolutions Helen Hartman style this year..You Rock! Pinkim!

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  10. Barbara - Joy is not to be underrated. Grab all you can with both hands (Joy that is, Helen is not responsible for any repercussions of grabbing other things with both hands)

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  11. PINKIM - warning, doing as Helen does can be bad... for the health of others.

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  12. Think its easier to accept your flaws as you get older but since one of my new years things is to get my teeth straitened at 47 yrs of age maybe not all flaws an be forever ignored lol

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  13. Great Attitude! Actually, I think we should do resolutions in the spring instead of the dead "literally" of winter. Not a thing to do when one is depressed and sick with a cold. Much better to set goals when new life is beginning. Happy New Year!

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  14. Oh Help Me! Seriously! This is the reason I NEVER make resolutions...I like me...I want to be more of ME...Lordy, all of those vices are what make life fun. Took me 39 1/2 years to figure it out...better late that never.

    Unless of course, you force you children into slave labor...then you might should think about making some resolutions.

    Oh, and I NEVER iron. The dryer irons my husbands shirts and I taught my boys and now they iron their own...hmmm..

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