Humor Non-Fiction posted May 28, 2020

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Don't make 'em; can't break 'em


by Elizabeth Emerald

Back in the pre-mega-mall era, every end-of-summer--our feet having grown half an inch and our height half a foot in the interim--my mother would take my sister and me to the "Shopping Center." We'd super-size our shoes at Thom McAn and down-size our hem lines at Gimbels. My mother--inching ever sideways rather than upward or feet-wise--shopped at Lane Bryant, where she could feel slender next to the "plusser--sized" ladies.

I well remember my mother's warning whenever we'd pass through the crockery section in the housewares aisle at Gimbels: Don't touch anything. She'd point to the ominous red-lettered sign: You break it, you buy it.

Every year of the 50-something since that first instance of intimidation, I'm reminded of this sign--albeit not at the end of August, but at the start of January. I vividly envision its scarlet-lettered decree, with a twist to make it pertinent to New Year's resolutions: You make it, you break it.

Just as I avoided "bullishness" back in the china shop days, these years I avoid bullishness in its sense of having the hubris to declare grand resolutions that I will clearly keep only for part of the day I declare them.

There is but one resolution I ever made that I've managed to keep, and that is: I resolve to make no others. A hard one to break--indeed, it's entirely fool-proof.

So, stay--or get--smart. Take a tip from this fool and make this item the number one--of one--on your own resolutions list. Guaranteed: you'll have a happier--or at least, a less "promising"--New Year.


Thanks to MoonWillow for artwork: Another year Older
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Artwork by MoonWillow at

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