Every year I make New Year’s resolutions, and every year I break them. So last year I tried something different — resolutions for other people. It was so much fun that I’m doing it again. Hey world — here are the changes I’d like to see you make in 2015.
1. Eyes forward!
Multitasking pedestrians with smart phones who expect the rest of us to clear out of their way as they zip down the sidewalk, eyes fixed on their devices? Look up! Watch out! And if you don’t, please don’t be surprised if I snicker when you stumble over, fall into or slam into stuff.
2. North Korea
If you want to stop being a punch line, learn how to take a joke.
3. People who post food photos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram …
Stop. I don’t want to like your lunch. Or share your lunch. And I have no pertinent comments to make about your lunch. Get the picture? Great! Then stop inflicting your latest entrée on your followers.
4. ‘No problem!’
To those who respond to “Thank you!” with “No problem!” — I don’t care if it’s a problem or not. The correct response is “You’re welcome.”
5. Mixed signals
Hey, drivers? Your car is equipped with turn signals for a reason. Use them. Bicyclists: If your arms are broken, you shouldn’t be riding. Therefore, please give me a clue that you’re moving left or right, or that you’re about to make a turn. You may know exactly what you’re doing, but road safety actually depends on all of us knowing.
6. Food should be seen and not heard
Do you chew with your mouth open? Close your pie hole. Do you slurp your soup? Quiet down. Snap your gum, smack your lips, or roll that hard candy across your teeth while you talk? Please stop treating us to your salivary symphony — or I’m going to fling a fork at you.
Our president got the economy out of the toilet, nailed Bin Laden and enabled a lot of Americans to finally obtain affordable health care. Go ahead and complain, but if you can’t acknowledge the progress this country has made under his watch, forgive me if I can’t take you seriously.
8. People who hug too much
Back off. I don’t want to dance with you, I just want to say hello.
9. ‘Still working on that?’
“Working”? Waiters, waitresses … I am grateful that you want to keep the table tidy and clear my plate, but if it looks like I’m not finished, please stop asking me if I’m “still working on that.” Dining out, for me, isn’t work. It’s fun. Although it’s a little less fun when you come at me with that question. Let’s see if you can work on that.
Folks who hit “reply all” when responding to a group email to 250 people? Pause for a moment to think before you send. Unless your email contains something so embarrassing and juicy that you’d die before you’d let me read it. Then go ahead — hit “send” and make my day.
Similarly, group text messages can be convenient when one needs to ask or tell several people the same thing at once. But if you, a recipient, are going to make it into a conversation, please respond to the sender only. The rest of us don’t need a barrage of inane chatter, that has nothing to do with us, ding-ding-dinging our phones.
11. Attention, shoppers
Still trying to sneak a full cart through the 15-items-or-fewer lane? Maybe 2015 can be the year you learn to count.
12. Kim who?
I don’t want to ever hear, read or even think the word “Kardashian” again. Anywhere. Ever.
13. Phone first
Those computers we carry around in our pockets allow us to seek the praise of friends and family any time of the day or night by sharing all kind of fun images and videos. That’s fine if your cat or your baby or your Miley Cyrus impersonation is really that amazing. But if you witness a crime — an assault, say, or a theft — and you flip that thing out of your pocket, please tell me the first app you’re going to use is your phone and not your camera, that you’re dialing 911 first and then snapping a picture or video. If you’re just going to post someone else’s misery to Facebook, you’re making yourself an accomplice to the criminal.
14. A little less hate
Speaking of assault, we saw a lot of mayhem in 2014 on the streets of Philadelphia and across the country — violence directly related to someone else’s race, gender or sexual identity; and violence seemingly for no reason at all. Can you take a breath, please, look past the end of your nose and realize that the person you hate so much is a person … just like you? For Pete’s sake, I don’t demand that you love your neighbor, but try no to hate your neighbor quite so much.
15. Dribble threat
And guys? Can we make 2015 the year the toilet seat finally stays down? Thank you.
Whether or not you follow any of this excellent advice, best wishes for a happy and healthy 2015!