Now that the holidays are over, save for New Years Day (which is really more of a national holiday for calendar makers anyways), I figured it was time to start planning my “New Me” diet for 2018.
Okay, I’m just kidding. I would never subject myself to something called the “New Me” diet. It sounds like something Rachel Ray would trademark and Oprah would approve. I can see Kelly Ripa hiring a team of personal trainers, dietitians and psychiatrists in order to achieve her “New Me” bod. I just ain’t down with that kind of voodoo . . . sorry.
Nah, the only “new” that I plan on introducing into my diet is borne of common sense and moderation. And if that fails, there’s always bourbon. I do plan on having certain rules that must be followed- mostly. Like, I will continue to partake of my toxic trilogy of Starbucks, chips and candy. I simply won’t be as efficient as per my intake, because I’ll only allow myself one sin per day (televangelist speak).
I do plan on eating better, same as every year. This plan always works . . . for a couple weeks. And then it occurs to me that everybody else is having fun but me and I go off the rails. It usually ends with me sobbing to myself in the parking lot of a donut shop at 1 o’clock in the morning. It sounds sad, but I actually love that part.
From there I settle into my business as usual. I try to eat better, like . . every day in fact, but the real world keeps getting in the way. If the real world came out with a menu, its Special of the Day would be “Regret”, and man . . it would be tasty!
2018 will be different in at least one way. My son will be flying the coop at some point next summer after he graduates from his Masters program at Penn (shameless proud papa shout out). He’s engaged, and it’s going to be all about new beginnings for the kid. For his father? Well, I have to keep to my sin a day. And I’ll still have my daughter for support; which is a good thing since Benny Hinn ain’t returning my phone calls.
I plan on keeping to my running/exercise regimen through the winter since I don’t feel like losing my girlish figure. Eating healthy (err) might help to fill the void of all that junk food I’ll be missing out on. I realize it’s a piss poor stand in for the good stuff, but maybe . . just maybe, if I eat more fruits and veggies every day, I won’t miss the crap I ain’t eating! It’s the biggest maybe since the 2000 Presidential election went into triple overtime, but a boy can dream.
The dream actually has a starting point for me, and it came when my son got me a Costco gift card so’s I could sign up. It’s been years since I was a member- eight years in fact. It’s no coincidence that my Costco membership ran out after I sold my house. Downsizing meant never having to buy a twenty five pound jar of beef jerky again, even if it could have doubled as a night table.
The signup process at Costco is a lesson in retail lingo. A dude named Anthony ran through the basic Costco card benefits before revving the engine and taking me into the passing lane. He told me about the Executive Member card and how it would change my life forever, and then he doubled down by trying to sell me on a Costco Visa card where I basically would be shoplifting every time I visited. In retail, every dollar you spend is always three dollars saved. Until the bill comes due, after which you owe five dollars on the three dollars you saved and then you have to sign up for another credit card so’s you can save much and owe even more.
I let Anthony know that I wasn’t interested in saving money- which is layman’s terms for spending more than I need to. I got my Costco snapshot- a stamp sized mugshot- affixed to my new card seconds after posing in front of a blue screen. Hey, wouldn’t it be great if Costco bought the DMV?
Me and the kids entered the store from the service desk area instead of going back out to grab a cart. We walked exactly three feet before people started looking at us funny for . . yanno, not having a shopping cart. I went back outside to grab a cart for fear we would be burned at the stake when we got to the deli area by the tribal leaders (Executive card members).
In retail, the worst time to go shopping is when you don’t need anything. That’s when you buy the stupidest shit, every time. Which is why retail, unlike disco, will never die. I found myself pondering whether or not we needed an extra sofa (only $800 for a sectional!). I priced a package of tube socks that weighed as much as a middle school kid (only $15!). I even contemplated Grisham’s newest novel, The Rooster Bar (only $16!) before I remembered I don’t read Grisham novels, even at wholesale prices.
My son went off to bastardize the term “food samples” while my daughter hit up the produce aisle for some holiday party items she needed for work. In the interim, I bought a box of Chex cereal that weighed as much as a carburetor, a bag of Skinny Pop that could (will) double for a pillow and enough Madras Lentils to open an Indian restaurant. My daughter contributed a banana tree (no shit, they sell the entire fucking tree at Costco!), and enough clementines, blueberries and strawberries for her holiday party and every other holiday party in a five mile radius. In summary, my shopping cart made more sense than it has in . .oh, about a year.
The Costco checkout reminded me of a tractor trailer weigh station, only not nearly as cramped. I paid for my metric ton of goods and started pushing the cart before I realized we had no bags, because bags that hold a metric ton of groceries haven’t been invented yet. That won’t happen until Costco buys NASA, or vice versa. We found a pile of boxes and loaded our stash onto them, and I didn’t even have to get a permit to ride the cart out of the store!
The experience has me thinking that once the fridge is cleared of all the holiday food that is currently taking up residence inside, it will be time for a ‘reset’. That’s when we start buying better . . in bulk. A barrel of yogurt here, a bushel of apples there . . a gross of tomatoes somewhere in between. It’s all I’m gonna need in order to forge the “New Me”, without approval from the Pope (Oprah). Well, that and a minivan that can haul all the crap Imma buy.
I feel healthier already.