Resolutions are the latest Pad fad. As January Fever sweeps the nation and its trendsetters, my Belligerently Optimistic Flatmate - though peppering discussions with resolution chat - remains curiously resolution-free. But then, 2011 was a big year of resolve for BOF. He deserves a year off. And frankly he doesn't need any more resolution-based knowledge. Everyone knows that all New Year's Resolutions are useful for is making conversation in January. Come February, the idea of resolve is long gone. No one cares.
In fact, BOF is the only person I know whose resolutions have ever succeeded. Last year he gave up smoking. Fully. It was such a success that it's almost an anti-climax: he now has to begin sentences with the phrase 'As a non-smoker...' and 'The other day when I was not smoking,' to remind others of his achievement. I think there have also been other resolutions involving sports, which might explain the Bikram addiction - though I'm not sure it justifies it.
My own resolutions are not so strenuous. The first was To Give Up Swearing. Now, this may be hard for readers of a child-friendly blog like Kate in the Countryside to believe, but in real life I am a bit of a potty-mouth. Old ladies faint. Rebellious teenagers give me looks on the Tube that say 'Blimey, that's a bit much'.
I'd like to take a moment here to blame my parents. Ever since I first learnt those words that have no place in a blog with its sights on Radio 4 serialisation, any approach towards swearing was met by Daddy Mason and Mother Dearest with horror:
KITC (drops pan): Oh balls.
DM (gasps): Kate Mason!
And so forth.
Anyway, the upshot of this has been that any opportunity to showcase the hilarious aptness and virile fortitude of a swearword, I seize with glee. This is true in workplace, street or Pad. BOF finds me offensive, a fact I find faintly amusing. His pained look makes me feel as though I'm home with the Rents.
So when I announced my plan to give up swearing this year he was supportive and - er - belligerently optimistic. For my failure I have only myself to blame. The enthusiasm with which I discuss swearing (two weeks into January) may have implied that I am not as committed as I'd hoped. And yes, on the second day - blessed relief - I dropped the S-bomb.
Over supper last night I explain to BOF the necessity of trimming the limits of my ambition so that I come up with an achievable and self-improving resolution, but BOF The Resolution Inquisitor is not in agreement.
'No!' he pronounces, with manic fervour, 'Kate! You have to give up completely! That's how it works. Or it's a slippery slope. [Here he charades 'slippery'] NO HALF MEASURES. None! Impossible! No "Oh I'll just have one cigarette now - that'll be nice I don't really need one": next thing you know you've smoked four packs and eaten a cigar.' Breathing deeply he finally puts his knife down. Verdi's Requiem starts inexplicably playing in the background.
So we're going for one swear a day. Don't want to overtax myself.