Just because we don’t make resolutions until Spring is upon us (See Resolving to Keep it Real, Dec. 31, 2012) doesn’t mean we can’t be urged into encouraging others to change their behavior post haste. We’ve gotten to experience some horrible behavior that could fill an entire year in only the first week. And that behavior must stop.
We encountered the one that put us over the edge while we were coming out of the store and walking to our car, some 150 feet from the entrance. As we approached it, the anything but a gentleman sitting in the car parked next to ours, started beeping his horn. And then again. Longer. And then we saw why. His certainly long-suffering wife was behind us trudging through the cold and the slush with their packages. Apparently he felt it more prudent that he stay in the warm car while she goes into the store and buys his wares. He also felt it more prudent that he sit in the warm car rather than picking her up at the entrance. He knew she was done with their shopping. He was honking the horn at her. There was the extent of his chivalry. He honked the horn so she didn’t have to wander throughout the lot looking for him. Then to top things off, he let that car continue to sit in the parking space. The one that had a snow bank just outside the passenger door. When She of We said a bit too out loud, “He won’t even back out for her so she doesn’t have to climb through the snow,” the long-suffering wife said, “It’s ok. I’m used to it.” She shouldn’t have to ever become used to such rude behavior. So for 2013 he should resolve to figure out how to get along without her because eventually she’ll realize that also.
Other behavior we’d like to see not continued in 2013 is the media fascination with having to title all the news. No longer are they happy reporting it. Now they have to make up catch phrases to go along with it. So please, take your fiscal cliff and go jump off of it. Otherwise let’s at least have a little fun with it. Since we’ve either avoided it or fallen off of it depending on what analyst is babbling, it should no longer be part of the evening news’ scripts. But just in case it should sneak back into common parlance we propose the Fiscal Cliff Drinking Game. Every time you hear that phrase you must drink a shot then call your congressman.
Speaking of, and to, Congress, we’d like to see you go away. You’re not doing anybody any good. Make you’re next point of business for this session abandonment. If you don’t have the decency to put yourself out of work, have the decency not to lie to the American people about the work you’re doing. The “heroic” first vote to avoid the “fiscal cliff” saved the American worker about 20 cents for every $1,000 he or she makes in salary in what was supposed to be the temporary income tax increase. It did not address the $2 per $1,000 increase in social security and other federal taxes and fees that will be withheld per month in 2013. That means about $50 less per paycheck if your one of the average Americans getting paid every other week and if all those paychecks up add to $50,000 by the end of the year.
Finally for the fine men, women, and undecided in Washington please do not use 2013 to tell us how many jobs you’ve created. Unless you also own a company that employs legal American workers you can’t create any. Leave creating jobs to the business that actually hire, and pay, employees. Intern and housekeeper positions don’t count.
Something else we’d like to see go away are all those special parking spaces around stores and restaurants. We love our elder friends and neighbors. We’ve often said that anybody over 80 can do whatever they feel like. By then, they’ve earned it. (See Entitlement Program, March 29, 2012.) We’d like to see some of those parking spaces reserved for “Mothers to be and mothers of young children,” and for those picking up dinner to go, and even for those with Handicapped placards, turned into spaces for our Older Friends and Neighbors. The eighty-somethings who are still driving do it well, and they aren’t the ones cajoling their doctors into signing HP applications for their high blood pressure. Why should they have to walk 300 feet from the lot to the lobby? Let’s face it, if you’re just running in for dinner, you can afford to run from a few yards away, or bring one of the kids to run inside while you circle the block. So you’re a mother of young children. Being parents of former young children from the days when there were no such preferred spots we can tell you our best shopping trips were those with the kids left at home. Leave them at home.
Now that we are well into the 21st century, a time of unprecedented public protection against ourselves, we want to see the sale of sleds that cannot be steered or stopped stopped. You can’t by an extra-large, sugary soft drink in New York City but you can put four 7-year-olds on a plastic sleeve, push them down a hill, and wish them luck knowing at the bottom is a 4 lane roadway separated from the top by a dozen 45 year old oak trees. You can’t buy a lighter that takes at least three steps to ignite to start your grill for the safety of a child who may not understand that it isn’t a candy stick but you can buy an oversized Frisbee that sets the same child spinning uncontrollably on its downhill voyage over the same tree lined hillside. We love winter sports. Sledding, skiing, and skating make January and February bearable. But let’s do it safely. Nobody would ever put children on bicycles without brakes or a wheel that steers in April. Let’s say goodbye to the winter version and stop making children headlines on the evening news.
Do we seem a little cranky today? We’re sorry. Usually we are quite upbeat and make the most of what we have. Sometimes you have to take away to have better. These are some things we like to see taken away. Do you have others? Would you like to see Black Friday not start on Thursday? Is it time to make the baggage, premium seating, and boarding priority fees go away even if it does mean airfares go up? Can we stop with gas prices that end in tenths of a cent per gallon? Let us know. We can be cranky together. And then, that can go away too.
Now, that’s what we think. Really. How ‘bout you?