Resolutions for the rest of us

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reusable bag with recycling symbol

As we all make our personal resolutions for the new year (or not), it occurs to me that we are also often brimming with ideas concerning what other people should do better. Nothing serious, just those little “pain points” in life that are generally first-world problems, but can still benefit from a little improvement.

Thus are the suggestions for the “rest of us,” the ones who are good people living good lives but maybe just need a little nudge in the proper direction.

To whit, please, I beg of you, check your email once in blue moon. Saying “I just don’t use computers” is not a viable excuse in 2023. It’s like saying “I just don’t understand that new-fangled electricity” or “those horseless carriages are so confusing.”

You are better than this. I believe in you! The greatest generation won wars. The Boomers changed history. GenX practically raised themselves with a latchkey and a roll of quarters for the arcade. Every one of you can figure out how to power up a laptop or smart device and make an appointment or a payment. I believe in you.

Don’t call us, and we probably won’t call you. I would like to go back in time, find the advertiser who came up with the tagline “let your fingers do the walking (through the telephone book)” and stop them. It was popular in the 1970s when the telephone was the primary means of communication. In this year of our Lord 2023, ask yourself if the telephone call you are about to make could be an email or, better yet, a text message. The written word is beautiful.

If you must make an actual telephone call, please be ready to receive the information you are requesting. I am often in a position of providing the requested telephone numbers. I attempt to assist them: “Sure, it’s 724-393 …” only to be interrupted by the caller saying “wait, no, I’m not ready. … hold on …” They then proceed to rummage around for about 15 years looking for a piece of paper and a writing instrument before they are finally ready for what was apparently an unexpected event.

I have to know why people do this. When you call to request information, why are you not ready to write said information down? Did you expect to be told “no?”

Eat

On the subject of sustenance, if you are considering opening and operating a dining establishment in 2023, I salute you. It’s a tough business. That said, can we please end the tyranny of breweries and wineries that refuse to actually serve food? I’m tired of places that serve no food. Either be a bar and offer alcohol and entertainment in lieu of food or be a restaurant and offer alcohol and food in lieu of entertainment.

Instead, a rash of breweries and wineries opened offering hip ambiance, alcohol and air. No food is offered. Sometimes, we are encouraged to bring a picnic basket of our own. I’m going out for the evening; I don’t want to pack like I’m Yogi Bear.

At best, you might get a cheese platter. It takes more than a $15 smattering of assorted cheese cubes to get me to put on pants and leave my house. I am stating for the record here that I enjoy eating out in privately owned restaurants, and I will happily pay a premium for actual meals. Just putting that out here.

Finally, let’s embrace reduce, reuse and recycle this year. I love to shop as much as the next person (possibly more). Nonetheless, it should come as no surprise to anyone that I am a huge fan of second-hand goods. I have long admitted that our entire home is decorated in hand-me-down-heirlooms, and “early auction.” The very idea of paying full retail for anything is alarming to me. I love savings. If you should admire something I am wearing, I will probably tell you I got it for $3. I could win the lottery and I would still shop for a gently used car. It is simply how I am wired.

Look, I know my ideals might not work for anyone. These are just suggestions. No one has to listen to me. Few people do. Still, I like to think I have some life experience to share. I have reached the age where scrolling down to the year I was born on an online dropbox feels a bit like spinning the big wheel on “The Price is Right.” I may even be standing on the edge of “crotchety;” in which case, my one additional resolution for 2023 is going to be to get more exercise —  by chasing kids off my lawn.

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Kymberly Foster Seabolt lives in rural Appalachia with the always popular Mr. Wonderful, two small dogs, one large cat, two wandering goats, and a growing extended family.

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