Of course, I’ll be having black-eyed peas and collard greens for New Year’s Day. It has become more than a tradition. It’s almost downright superstition, though I hate to admit that.
And, of course, I’ll make the usual resolutions. I’ll commit those stubborn six pounds to a diet, pledge to work out more than once a week, promise to be kinder to those who are meaner and read my Bible daily.
It is safe to say that I will not miss peas and collards on the first day of the New Year and, by sometime in February, I will have already failed at all these resolutions. However, if I can stay away from a problem with the phone company, I may have a chance of stretching the “kinder to meaner” resolution to March.
This year, however, I’m brave enough about my past failures to audaciously add some brand spanking new ones. That’s because I have a brand new husband and I realize that it is my wifely duty to help to make him a better man. I’ll happily use some of my resolutions to do that.
Since you and I are such good friends, I don’t mind sharing them with you and since my husband is a faithful reader of this column, he’ll have a copy, too.
1. I plan to introduce him to a check register. It’s helpful device that lists checks that are written and keeps a tally of money in the account.
Now you should know I’m fervent in book-keeping and counting my pennies. He, though, totes checks in his pockets, writes them at will and never thinks to record them.
“I know what a check register is,” he will say indignantly when I question whether he has ever seen one. This year I resolve that he will prove those words to me.
2. I will challenge him daily to show me that he is carrying a pocket knife. Every farmer or Southern man knows that a pocket knife is indispensable.
“I need something to cut the twine on these bales of hay for the horses,” he said the other day.
I smiled. “That’s why you’re supposed to carry a pocket knife with you. You never know when you need to whip it out and cut something.”
A wedding gift from our friend, Mike, was a pocket knife. “Every man needs a pocket knife,” Mike explained, then tossed a nod in my direction. “And she really likes men who carry pocket knives. She says it’s sexy.”
3. There needs to be more reverence around our house paid to that great and mighty warrior, General Robert E. Lee. I expect his birthday on Jan. 19 to be treated with somber respect and there should be no head-shaking over the fact that some Southern states declare his birthday to be a state holiday. General Lee is to the South what Bush Hogs are to farmers — a hero.
4. I am going to promote less hand-washing around here. My husband, who is not a doctor but often writes one on television, goes through a bar of soap every two days while a bottle of liquid soap lasts less than a week.
I believe that a few germs make us healthier. If you keep your body stripped of germs, how can you build up immunity to them?
I will say, though, that of all my resolutions relating to the man of our house, this is the one I have the least faith in. It’s probably a safer bet that I will succeed in reading the Bible daily as opposed to this one. He likes clean.
So, those are my new, never-used-before resolutions. Maybe my husband will clip out this column, put it on the refrigerator and practice these things.
Or maybe I’ll be repeating these resolutions again next year. Just like all my previous resolutions.
[Ronda Rich is the best-selling author of “There’s A Better Day A-Comin’.” Visit www.rondarich.com to sign up for her weekly newsletter.]