Today is Christmas Day, 2006 or, as my people call it: Monday the 25th. And now that the sun has set on another Christmas (on the east coast, anyway), I wonder how long it will be before human behavior returns to normal. The holiday season is always wonderful for one major thing: people are nicer to each other. But it's usually disingenuous and shrouded in the umbrella of "hey, it's Christmas" but still, it's nice while it lasts.
Of course, some people use this shroud to excuse their boorish behavior. If I was in a movie theater and asked someone to stop talking, I'd be met with "relax, it's Christmas." So while you can enjoy the extra friendliness this time of year, you're not allowed to show any emotion other than wide-eyed love of your fellow man.
This can be nauseating to some but rest assured that the behavior does not last. People being who they are, they will soon revert to their selfish, angry ways as soon as it is socially acceptable. Is that now? Is it until after the new year? Maybe I sound like a grinch but let's be honest: how long did the warm glow of brotherhood last after 9/11? How long did all of those American flags stay up? How long did everyone actually care for New York City residents? It's just the way people are. And it's a shame.
Will I revert to my old ways? Some would say that I never got nicer. Screw you. Okay, just kidding. This season was harder than previous ones. So let me offer up some resolutions and apologies. The resolutions are a few days early and the apologies are a couple of months late (I missed my Yom Kippur window) but the intent is there. Let's just try to be nicer and see what happens.
1) I've been really good at controlling my road rage and this will continue. There are a lot of stupid, annoying drivers out there but every once in awhile, you might find one who has a reason. You never know when that'll happen.
2) I'm going to stop being so judgemental. It's fun to sit on a bench and people-watch and make up stories about them. But I tend to get mean-spirited and that should stop. Again, everyone has their own mishugas to deal with. The jackass walking too slowly in front of me may be having a bad morning.
3) I'm going to deal with my wife's driving. She's a good driver. Better than me in many regards. So I'm going to keep my mouth shut and stop stepping on the imaginary brake in front of me; or the imaginary gas pedal when she goes to stop at a yellow light.
4) I'm going to keep my opinions to myself. Too often, I open my mouth about something I disagree with but it's not to offer up a contrtadicting opinion in the spirit of derbate. It's to make the other person realize that my opinion is the right opinion. I'm too much of an idiot to have everyone agree with me.
5) I'm sorry to the people who may have been on the wrong side of my bad moods. My moods aren't your problem.
6) I'm sorry for not returning your calls. I'm better at returning e-mails.
7) I want to be a better friend, father, husband, coworker, person. I'll try.
8) Looking back at #4, doing that would prevent me from this blog. So I'll keep my opinions in check. How's that?
9) I'm going to ignore the looks I get from others. Sometimes they're real, sometimes it's just paranoia. But I see rolled eyes and hear exasperated sighs in my direction from time to time and I've decided to ignore them. I'm trying to live my life. I don't have time to customize it to suit others.
So in the spirit of the holidays, I hope you all have a happy new year. And come mid-January, when the glow has worn off, I still want you to have a happy 2007.
But I can't vouch for February.