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  Ellen Davignon: Lives of Quiet Desperation

Getting Through the Winter Blahs

January 15, 2002

Well, here we are, folks, smack dab in the exact middle of winter with no where to go but up.  Been sort of blaah, ain't it, what with temperatures that are neither here nor there and all this snow with its cocooning effect that leaves a body feeling that he/she has been wrapped in layers of cotton candy.  Of course, in my case, that cushioning may be the five pounds I've gained since starting on my excoriating list of New Year's resolutions.

Funny how that works.

My year doesn't kick in until January 2, the lst being more the final day of the past year in terms of loafing and pigging out and what have you.  Of course, some of us haven't, having already eaten everything in the house during the twelve days of Ho-Ho-Ho.  But even when all the fudge and cream puffs and shortbreads are gone, I seem to be able to find something forbidden to eat too much of, simply because I know that a whole page full of resolutions will be awaiting my care and attention bright and early the next morning.

And so it was, with peanut butter on my breath, I began the second day of the new year.  Which  happened to be a Thursday.  Everyone knows that you don't begin a diet or anything else on a Thursday.  Especially if you've been invited to Duncan's for supper on Saturday ("...just leftovers because we're leaving for Arizona on Monday and want to clear out the fridge") and Doreen's idea of leftovers being the last package of T-bones and the 5 lobster tails, 2 pounds of jumbo shrimp and the dozen King crab legs left from their staff Christmas party.  I mean, I could have started but what would have been the point? 

Then came Sunday, a day traditionally devoted to sleeping late, pancakes and bacon for brunch and 'burgers and fries for supper, not exactly an auspicious time for a new eating regimen whose basis is a loosely knit arrangement of mung sprouts.  Monday morning found me with a half-cup of all bran on one hand and o'erweening virtue on the other but by lunch, a crisis of self-doubt sent me searching out the last of the  fruit cake which I spread thickly with butter and cheese and ate in an orgy of uncertainty.  A healing phone call from blarney- ing editor restored my confidence and sent me smiling and relieved to the kitchen for a celebratory sandwich.  An hour later, Phil called up the stairs to expect company for supper on Tuesday, Bob McCormick was coming a few days later and the Grindes and Jessups were all going to be here on the weekend. No use trying to diet with all that food preparation in my immediate future.

Funny how it goes, eh?

Poor Phil gets a little out of sorts with the continual puling and whingeing about my restoration program.  He never says much, just sort of rolls his eys heavenward from time to time and he dozes off a lot.  I keep thinking that I should wake him and get him involved in some of my Get Slim, Quick! programs. But then I look at him lying on the couch, head back, pulling out all the epiglottal stops and I haven't the heart.  Nah, I think, let him sleep.  He's got enough fat on him; undisturbed, he might hibernate til spring.  And that'll be good, about this time of year we start to get on each other's nerves.

Oh, it's not that we don't have a lot of mutual respect and regard.  Of course we do.  It's just that the winters seem to be longer now than they did 36 years ago and the little things, born of all this darned togetherness, seem to grate just a tad.  Tiny things.  Hair on the comb, a dripping faucet, a spike through the face of a brand-new tire... didn't you see it on the road, for Pete's sake, big as a #$%&* wrecking bar??  No doubt we'll both survive but I'm sure you can appreciate why I might be inclined to throw an afghan over him and hope for the best.

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