Dec/January 2023

Mazel & Mishagoss: Guide to Surviving New Year’s Resolutions


By Stephanie D. Lewis

We Jews have an alternate New Year’s Day, so we’re justifiably able to bypass this whole mess completely by simply playing the Apple & Honey card. But for 2023, if you’re dead set on joining the masses with their morbid exercise/diet/get more organized/weekly carwash self-declaration antics, you might as well do it correctly by following my step-by-step guide.

  1. By December 30, find yourself a designated Foiler. (Noun: One who takes great pride in foiling plans. Synonyms: Thwarter, Saboteur) If they resent those terms, merely refer to them as the “Kibosh Put-er On-er” instead. They’ll know who they are, and what their duties consist of, trust me. People who are right for this position include all Jewish mothers, most grandmothers, an envious neighbor/employee, and/or a competitive best friend.
  2. On December 31, go on all social media channels, updating your status. Make a big to-do, announcing your intentions. It should resemble this: “Tomorrow! Tomorrow marks the beginning of my never eating carbs again!” Do a Facebook live and belt out the song, “Tomorrow” from Annie for added emphasis. Further demonstrate you’re deadly serious to anyone who comments by switching to the formal name. Type, “Carbohydrates are so frightening that next Halloween I’m dressing up as a baked potato to give the neighborhood kids a scare they won’t soon forget! Additionally for good measure, since fruit and veggies technically contain the C-word, I shall only ingest protein and fat (just the good kind, like avocados and walnuts) from January 1st onward!!!” Be sure to put lots of exclamation marks after your statement and then post a picture of a POW behind bars with just a rusty jug of water, since even a crust of stale bread will now be forbidden. Wait an hour. Count all the likes you accumulate.
  3. Time for those good fats! Eat one walnut. Conclude that walnuts are extraordinarily dry and scratchy on the throat, so it’s time to call up your Foiler to confess you nearly choked on one. They should then react appropriately. “God forbid!” they’ll exclaim. “What are you trying to do? Give me a heart attack? Chocolate-covered macadamias are much safer in a world filled with terrorist nuts. Why would you be eating such a thing as a walnut anyhow, God forbid?!”
  4. Explain to your thwarter that walnuts are pretty much all you have left, after swearing off carbs so you can drop a few pounds for health reasons. Tape-record their predictable response, which should go something like this. “What?! Look at you! You skinny little thing who eats like a bird. And a waistline that could fit into the sleeve of your shirt!” Try to get them to speak that last part loudly and clearly into the microphone.
  5. Go to sleep. Dream that after only 12 hours you’ve already broken your New Year’s resolution by eating leftover coffeecake. From the trash. Awaken in a cold sweat, place a cool rag on your forehead, and say the Shema. After all, it was only a bad dream. And there wasn’t even a scarecrow or wicked witch. And also there’s no place like home.
  6. Having made it through all three meals without a single carb on January 2nd, sing that song from Chorus Line loud enough so your entire household hears it. “Kiss today goodbye! And point me toward tomorrow. We did what we had to do! Won’t forget, can’t regret…” Wait! You can sing, right? Singing shows great determination and grit (you can’t eat grits either!) in the face of diversity. In other words, you ARE sticking with your New Year’s resolutions. No. Matter. What. Even if the Kibosh put-er on-er threatens. Even if the spouse of the Kibosh put-er on-er has you on redial. And remember, you’re counting on this.
  7. Answer the phone groggily at noon. Listen to your trusty Thwarter weeping in the background as your father says. “Do you hear this? This is what I had to put up with all night long. You’re killing your mother with this New Year’s resolution of yours. She’s dying a slow, painful death thinking of you getting married, and only being able to eat the almond crust on your wedding cake. This ends today!”
  8. Go back on Facebook and announce for the sake of your Foiler’s … err I mean your mother’s health; you regretfully must give up your New Year’s resolution. But you wish everyone else a wonderful year of change, improvement, and stamina!
  9. Pro-Tip: Next year make your New Year’s resolution be giving up resolutions.

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