Last Laugh

Winter 2016

Choosing the Right Kinds of Friends

BY JILL BRUCKNER

I like it when people think I’m funny because, straightaway, I think, “You’re right.” And like any sensible adult, I prefer surrounding myself with people who are correct.

You know what I mean: folks who agree with me when I’m wrong, effectively perpetuating my bad habits and reinforcing my familiar weaknesses. These people are cool—and right!
Case in point: my consternation (and conversations) over New Year’s resolutions. I mean, New Year, new me, right? Because the old me just keeps getting, well, older.

Jill: I need a hobby.

Right Friend: You don’t have time for a hobby.

Jill: You’re right!

See, no worries. Resolution in seven lucky words.

Here’s another scenario:

Jill: I should eat better (and I don’t mean manners, I mean gagging down a piece of fruit or choking back something horrible, like okra).

Right Friend: You’re never going to do that.

Jill: You’re right!

Once again, resolution shines in a few short words from a super-smart friend.

Not convinced? Here’s another chat:

Jill: Everyone’s exercising. Maybe I should jog, or bounce on one of those weird mini-indoor trampoline thingys.

Right Friend: A fitness tramp? People die bouncing off those things.

Jill: You’re right!

Brilliant! I definitely don’t want to die. If you don’t have friends like mine, you need some. They’re a perfect complement to my self-professed mediocrity.

Even so, I can’t help but think I should watch a tutorial on at-work fitness, or learn how to make candles from crayons in my microwave, because I definitely am not using my microwave for food. My food comes in a bag from a restaurant that starts with a “B” and rhymes with “Kurger Bing.”

As for you, maybe making New Year’s resolutions is your thing. If so, you’re not alone. According to Statistic Brain (which totally sounds completely academic…and right), 45 percent of Americans “usually make New Year’s resolutions.”

Want to guess the No. 1 New Year’s resolution? CNN says that here in the U.S., it’s to “lose weight.”
I say, who wants to be No 1? Choose a resolution you and your friends find achievable. I mean, I’m not saying losing weight isn’t a great objective, but why not be that outlier who wants to find weight?

Now we’re talking. Bet this would put us weight-finders in, like, the top 1 percent of clever resolution-makers. I’m for clever! Let’s resolve to be clever. Plus, if you’re worried about meeting your goals, you can ask my friends for their opinions, and everyone knows a poll of our friends is statistically valid and motivating.

Jill: Am I clever? I mean, resolving to find weight, rather than lose it, is clever, correct?

Right Friend: No one ever resolves to find weight. You are the only one who’s ever thought of this in the history of the world. You’re clever and, quite frankly, scaring me a little.

Jill: Boo! You’re right!

So, there you have it. Be an outlier. Be clever. And all kidding aside, in this New Year, just be yourself. W

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