New Year’s Resolving to be an Even Greater Greatsby

Posted on January 2, 2012


I’m hoping to make 2012 even better than 2011 so here’s a list of my New Year’s resolutions to make that happen:

They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. I can’t remember to eat an apple every day, but I do think I could remember to eat seven apples every Monday.

Write a letter to dressing room experts to find out why dressing room mirrors don’t make you look better. The lighting is always sub-par. Shouldn’t a billion-dollar company like H&M have experts analyzing the lighting to trick you into buying clothes instead of convincing you every item of clothing makes you look fat and blotchy? Couldn’t the dressing room lighting and decorating resemble a cocktail bar and customers be given two drinks while they wait in line? H&M might be pleasantly surprised by what people are willing to go home with after a few drinks.

Instead of dancing like nobody is watching, I’ll always dance like everyone is watching. And if I do a good enough job dancing, everyone will call a number to vote for me to win a TV dance contest.

I’d like to learn to fold clothes better. How do those department store people do it? I hold the shirt up against me to see the fit, then when I put it back it looks terrible despite my best efforts. If someone asks me to name a weakness, my inability to fold clothes is usually what I mention. You may not think this is a significant weakness, but the big drawback is when I go to a friend’s house and rummage through his drawers to see what he has hidden under his drawers and then try and refold everything, it’s still obvious someone’s been rummaging.  And everyone knows which party guest named his greatest weakness as an inability to fold.

Opportunity seems to find the assertive, and that’s why I plan to raise my hand more often and demand to be picked, even if no volunteers are asked for. And even if I’m by myself.

Last year I started Formal Friday to start dressing up every week. I’m worried about the direction of a society that values comfort above all else. Let’s classen up, society. We’re just a few slipper steps away from wearing our pajamas to work. You feel comfortable wearing pajamas, but you know you don’t feel good. I wore a suit, smoking jacket, or at least a tie during the day and into my evening plans because I want anyone who sees me on Friday to say, “Hey.  Who’s that extremely classy dresser flirting with my wife?” I’d like to start pushing Formal Friday and hope I can convince more men to wear ties on Friday and more women to wear evening gowns or prom dresses. Instead of Casual Friday with its untucked polo shirts, light blue jeans, and white tennis shoes, wouldn’t you trade all that comfort for a monocle?

Shanghai has a lot of expats who come and only stay one or two years. I need to remember to make a list of everyone going home this summer and set a goal to borrow something from each of them in March. There’s a pretty good chance at least half these people won’t remember to ask for their stuff back or they won’t have the time amidst the stress of moving. Every year I forget to ask them in March and I don’t remember until the farewell parties in June. I definitely still ask to borrow things in June, but everyone says no because they’ve already packed.

Wear a cravat. Also learn how to tie a cravvat. Also learn where cravots are sold. Also learn how to spell kravaught.

I've got a hunch Cary Grant's cravat is what helped him convince Grace Kelly to be his personal driver.

Find a top hat in my size. I’ve searched online but apparently top hats aren’t as popular with today’s young people as they are in my mind. I just found a milliner in Shanghai and I’m hoping he’ll understand my vision.

Find a monocle in my size. Where do they sell monocles? Somebody send me a link.

Learn another duet with Mrs. Good Greatsby. Whenever a friend tells us about his or her new relationship and raves about what a great couple they are, we like to counter by singing a duet, so they can see how far away they really are from being the perfect couple. But everyone has heard our one duet and it’s time for us to learn a couple more so we can keep the jealousy fires blazing.


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Posted in: Columns