As my bedazzled friends slide into their sparkliest clubwear and prepare to spend New Year’s Eve jigging between drunk strangers, an open bar and very busy bathrooms, I’ll be on my sofa in my jam jams, noshing on steamed shrimp and crab legs with my family, as is my tradition. I’d much rather be ushering in a new set of 365 days with Old Bay and my daughter than Jack Daniels and a roomful of random folks. But I don’t knock the partiers—go forth and stimulate the economy with drink and merriment. Plus, your stories keep me entertained.
The last day of 2011 will also be a time for self-reflection, goal-setting and checklisting things to let go in the blessing of a new year. Some of us make resolutions to be better; others don’t bother because we know we’re not going to stick them out anyway. Either way, it doesn’t matter. Because I have a few things I’d like to see cease and desist in the 20-12. For all of us.
1. Muffin tops and too-tight clothes. Maybe I never noticed it as much as I should’ve before but some sistas insist on pouring, pushing, stretching, squeezing, folding, cramming and stuffing themselves into two-sizes-too-small gear. 2011 was the year of the overworked bandage dress and an almost criminal abuse of leggings (for every size). In 2012, I’d like to see more of us know our limitations or, at the very, very least, invest in Spanx-esque undergarments to smooth out the lumpy bumpiness that has become an unfortunate badge of honor and a perversion of our signature thickness.
2. Why me? syndrome. Everybody is entitled to a throw a little pity party now and again. But it should not, however, become a month-long celebration. It sounds so clichéd but holds so true: for whatever you’re going through, somebody else out there is enduring something far worse. Find a silver lining and wring the sunshine outta that sucker.
3. Stagnant friendships. If somebody hasn’t changed for the better since high school, and sorting through their weekly bouts of drama is more exhausting than taking a boot camp kettle bell run in two feet of sand, you’ve got to make yourself too busy to be bothered—even if you’ve gotta tell a little itty bitty white lie about your suddenly packed schedule. You save your sanity and their feelings at the same time. Score.
4. Self-portraits in the bathroom. Especially when there’s a heap of dirty laundry in the background and you’ve had the same shower curtain up for the last 30 shots.
5. Bedwarmers. The media spent half of the year pelting us with reminders about the ever-slimming likelihood that we’ll be married, then spoon fed us sorrowful statistics that had us racing to forge romances with the nearest white guy. Still, having a man around just for the sake of, well, having a man around is a time suck if your goal is to get into something meaningful. You consign old clothes and toss out trash, so stop sharing your blankets and your bedspace just to have a dude. Contrary to the overhyped headlines, there are better brothers on the market.