My New Years resolution is to be less stupid. I don’t usually make New Years resolutions, or as I call them, Last Year’s regrets. Usually, I just think they’re for suckers.
The only people who benefit from New Year’s resolutions are the therapists who profit from disappointment maintenance. But this year is going to be different. I’m making one “big picture” resolution instead of committing to a dozen specific self-improvement chores that I will end up failing to complete. Instead of trying to hit a bullseye with an arrow, I’m going to score a slam dunk by setting up a ladder right next to the net. Okay, well, here’s a specific resolution I will honor: I will not make any more sports metaphors.
Rather than setting myself up for letting myself down, my resolution is broad. A destination, really. I am going to be less stupid. Think of me like an early European explorer of the new world, only without the stockings and casual attitude towards genocide. Those fruitbats just jumped on a rickety bucket with sails, and pointed in the general direction of where they wanted to go, and then bobbed towards the horizon. By this time, next year, I will be 35 percent less stupid than I am right now.
I use to make tons of resolutions about booze and food. But not this year. Nope. First off, I don’t drink anymore. So I suppose I sort of succeeded at a resolution. Although, for the record, my resolutions were always “don’t drink so much that you fight a mailbox” or “sober up every second Tuesday.” If I had resolved to “be an alcoholic” then I would have been a self-improvement winner. As it turns out, I sobered up because making bad life choices when fully self-aware is so much more enjoyable than when pickled. I’m not going to make any food-related resolutions this year. I accept that the women in my life must be chubby chasers, and whey would I deprive them of their preference? This past Christmas, I was slutty with baked goods. Have you ever seen the movie “The Fly,” about a guy who invents a teleporter, and then accidentally teleports himself and a fly, which splices their genes together? Over the recent holiday, I starred in “The Human Cookie.” In that movie, I invent a teleporter and I accidentally teleport myself and a Christmas cookie. But I am going to be less stupid this year, so I’m going to eat more fruit and vegetables and less corn syrup and meat gristle.
There are two types of people in the world. There are people who think there are two types of people in the world, and people who don’t think there are two types of people in the world. Then there’s me, self-absorbed, emotionally volatile, perma-confused me. I am a man who is resolving to be less stupid, which means accepting that I’m not as smart as I think I am. Which is a big deal, because I have a huge brain. A Galactus-sized brain. Who is Galactus? You should resolve to read more literature next year.
One of the problems with being young is you think you know so much. One of the problems with getting older is you think you know so much. I think I should be a role model for people in their 20s, because I’m in my late 30s and I’m still stupid but I’m drinking a nice cup of tea right now. The older I get, the less I know, and the surest way to be less stupid is to stop acting like I’m smarter than I am. Being less stupid means being vulnerable to wonder. It means accepting that you are who you love, so try not to love an espresso machine or your paycheck. Being less stupid is being smart enough to know you can fall off a map. Next year, I’m going to become smarter because I will know how little I know.