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News Year’s Resolutions Are Failures Revisited

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Two nights ago, I played blackjack next to a woman. A hot woman. A cougarish woman. A woman that any red-blooded American male would want to whisper sensually into her ear, “Did that feel good?” after three triumphant pumps. Over the course of the night I learned about her life. How she had lived in NYC as a stylist, then decided to leave for Vegas to go to culinary school, and how she just recently moved to Florida because, as she put it, “Why not?” She wasn’t married and said that her last boyfriend was “just an ass.” And by the end of the night everyone at the blackjack table was pretty hammered and she went from flirting with me to another guy to a good looking chair. I went to my room feeling a bit empty if not full of cum.

Birthdays and New Years depress me. I don’t think I’m alone. I don’t think all of you are looking at a list titled “2015” that has every resolution from the prior year checked off. I don’t think you’re thumbing through a leather bound picture book of all the chicks you pursued and laid. If you are, that’s a weird and awesome book you’ve made and probably one of the toughest picture books to explain to your children after they rummaged through the attic. I’m guessing you guys are like me, thinking back about the “could haves” and the “would haves.” Wondering why you aren’t the person you thought you’d be when the clock struck midnight a year ago. That’s why we make resolutions for the new year. We want to change the things we regret from the last year. (Cue commenter typing “Fuck you, I crushed 2015” before leaving for his TFM Commenters NYE Gala)

That brings me to that woman. She’s a living breathing New Year’s Resolution. She’s in her mid-thirties, having been a stylist and a chef and, I’m sure, a number of other jobs she’s given a better title than their realities (working at Bloomingdale’s CAN be a stylist if you say it). She moved from New York to Vegas to Florida. The moves in location are as wildly diverse as her career paths. A life of good ideas that run out of steam. Half attempts and unfulfilled pronouncements. She’s living a Tinder life, swiping things before even giving it a shot. It’s always about what’s better when that “better” is just an illusion she’s created in her dreams where she’s passionate about food because it’s something she interacts with three times a day.

Most resolutions are about things we’ve half attempted. The weight you want to lose is because you were just kind of healthy. The type of interpersonal relationship you dream of is because you just kind of committed to the last one. The new job you need is because you sort of try at your current job. Every half attempt in my short life has lead me to my next resolution (another half attempt) and those have all left me a bit depressed.

Last night, I met another person while gambling. This was a man in his 70s, overweight, and greying. Physically, he’s the opposite of the woman. We got to talking and drinking and ballbusting. He even laughed when the dealer asked for his bet and I told him to turn up his earpiece volume. I think I spent 20 minutes telling the table “Grampi’s losing it.” Over the course of the night I learned that he worked in real estate his whole life. He’d been married four times. He claimed his third wife didn’t even speak English. He had seven kids between the four wives and only spoke to three of them. He flew privately and owned over fifty cars and gambled on pretty much every football game on TV.

That guy’s life could sound depressing. All the riches in the world but along the way, he’s gotten all those divorces and there are some kids he doesn’t get along with. I choose to think of him as a life that’s been lived. One where he took hard rights and lefts and maybe those led him off a cliff but at least he got to experience the jump. Today, I feel like more like that woman than the older man. I’m sitting here at an airport regretting the half-tries and the semi-jumps that could have worked out if I just dug in. I’ve called myself a “stylist” when I really just worked the floor. I’ve spent more nights flirting with a chair than I want to admit. My resolution is to be the old man. To live life. To make a lot of mistakes. To give a girl three pumps and never care how it felt because I did all I could.

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Jared Freid (@jtrain56) is a New York City-based comedian who has been featured on MTV’s Failosophy and is the host of The JTrain Podcast presented by TFM.

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