New Year Resolutions bore me. I've never felt inspired to start something (or everything) anew just because the calendar turned to January 1st. Heck, it takes me six months just to remember to write the correct year on a check. There's simply nothing magical about January - at least, not for me.
But today, this year became an exception.
If you follow my website, you know that I write, talk, and write some more about women's issues. Often, the topic is our dignity. Or our lack of it. I believe that our collective acceptance of disrespect - our silence in the face of all kinds of inappropriate behaviors - is one of the main reasons that our culture is circling the drain.
We're already well into Magic Month, but I decided just a few hours ago that I'm finally going to make a resolution. And here's the twist: My resolution is to slam the brakes on others.
Like the guy I met at the store today. He struck up a conversation with me, and he seemed impressive. Intelligent, great sense of humor. Nice looking, too. I was starting to warm up to his suggestion that we meet for a martini this weekend - until he smiled broadly (great teeth, by the way) and said, "Awesome. (Expletive) awesome."
Okay, it's plenty distressing that a forty-something male would ever use the word "awesome". I'll give you that one. But dropping a hyper-vulgarity into the middle of a casual conversation, in the presence of a woman (whom he hopes to date)... Really?
It may seem like a little thing, but it was a last-straw moment. I said, "Dude, I don't date guys who talk like that. 'Bye."
Okay, it's plenty distressing that a (redacted)-something woman would ever use the word "dude", but it seemed to fit the moment.
Anyway, his face turned red, and I gave him a contemptuous once-over before I walked out. And I felt great. See, I'm weary of the (authentic) War on Women - sick and tired of the daily endurance marathon of suffering porn pushers, attention addicts, mud-mouths, and the apathetic culture that keeps them empowered.
But more than anything else, I'm done with saying nothing just because dissent seems to be an exercise in futility. It's not. Saying, "I don't tolerate that in my life" is a powerful reclamation of dignity.
If nothing else, I can keep my own corner of the world free from the mud-mouths. So can you.
Sure, I've protested disrespectful acts in the past, but never with the full-on resolve that I felt today: From now on, if it assaults my dignity, I'll say so. Loud and clear.
I'm making it my project for 2015, so you'll find an update here every month. I have a feeling this is a New Year's Resolution that will be anything but boring.
See you in February -