ALEXANDRA: What do we need more? One of those Himalayan salt lamps or a sunlamp? I feel more addled than this administration’s take on climate change. I can’t tell if this is this just the inevitable adrenaline crash after the War on Christmas, the Winter Blues, or full-on Seasonal Affective Disorder.?
MICHAEL: I think my ailment is a severe case of 2017. And while I do realize it’s over and this is just a residual cough, I have a bad feeling that my flu shot isn’t going to stave off what I suspect will be a raging case of 2018.
ALEXANDRA: I’ve been thinking we should do some word banning of our own in 2018. Like “adulting,” for example. No functioning adult says “adulting.” And “cray cray.” It sounds like the cry of an angry seagull. And saves zero syllables. I don’t understand what would motivate someone to not just say “crazy” like a normal person. And there’s no way to say it without looking like you’re having a stroke. I hereby decree it banned. I’m waging a war on “cray cray.” Words matter, Michael. Let’s use good ones. And let’s get rid of “caucus” while we’re at it. I can never spell it right on the first try and it sounds vaguely oppressive in the wake of #metoo.
MICHAEL: Be careful, this is starting to sound an awful lot like a resolution. We don’t do those, remember? Guru Gary at the hermitage told us to, “Live your best life every day.”
ALEXANDRA: Oprah says that, too. Prints it right on the front of her magazine and everything. I skimmed the January issue while I was waiting in line at the pharmacy yesterday and she’s declared 2018 the Year of Big Questions. And MY big question is why DON’T we make resolutions?
MICHAEL: Because we hate exercises in futility?
ALEXANDRA: Because we’re complacent, Michael. Complacent AF.
MICHAEL: If you were completely complacent, you wouldn’t have bothered to find out what AF meant nor incorporate it into your vernacular to make yourself more approachable in the eyes of millennials.
ALEXANDRA: You do understand that millennials are already in their mid-thirties, right? We need to reach Generation Z now. And you, my collagen-challenged codger, have been using anti-aging creams on your hands longer than they’ve been out of college. I know! One of your resolutions for 2018 should be to start carrying cash again. Gen Z-ers think that’s adorable.
MICHAEL: ONE of my resolutions? How many do you propose we make?!
ALEXANDRA: Well for starters, I’m going to read more in 2018.
MICHAEL: You post at least twenty articles a day on Facebook, are you not reading them? Have you been feeding the Fake News monster?
ALEXANDRA: I mean books, Michael. All these “Best Of” book lists are coming out and I haven’t read even a quarter of them! I can’t coast on The Hate U Give forever.
MICHAEL: Who has time for books anymore? All my reading time seems to disappear into Twitter threads about emotional labor and breaking news alerts on my phone. I can’t read books! I can’t even remember the last time I took the protective bag off of the newspaper before dropping it straight into the recycle bin.
ALEXANDRA: That’s my point exactly! By not reading every news alert I’m going to be more tempered in my reactions because I’m going to read non-inflammatory, measured responses to news events written by experts with perspective instead of Buzzfeed listicles full of animated gifs.
MICHAEL: I could get behind a resolution that results in your doing a little less screaming, “BURN IT ALL DOWN” while smashing things you deem patriarchal. Not all liquor decanters are made with misogynistic intentions, you know.
ALEXANDRA: I have no regrets about smashing that hobo clown monstrosity that reeked of cheap bourbon. It reminded me too much of Steve Bannon.
MICHAEL: Mint condition, Alex. Mint.
ALEXANDRA: You know what else I resolve to do in 2018?
MICHAEL: Find me another hobo clown decanter?
ALEXANDRA: I’m going to spend more time being uncomfortable.
MICHAEL: Like the backseat of a VW Bug uncomfortable?
ALEXANDRA: Maybe? I’m going to put myself in positions I normally wouldn’t. Push myself. I’m going to go places I wouldn’t normally go. I’m going to wear pants with actual waistbands instead of leggings more often. I want to be more aware because when you’re too comfortable, you risk sleeping through life.
MICHAEL: Is that how one stays woke? Proper slacks?
ALEXANDRA: You’re being intentionally obtuse, Michael. All that extra reading I’m going to do? It’s going to be uncomfortable, too. No more of this one-for-me-one-for-the-movement reading list bullshit. 2018 will be turning towards all the things that make me want to turn away.
MICHAEL: Like not just skimming on your phone but REALLY reading that Times piece on starving children in Venezuela? That was brutal. Looking at the pictures… all those cardboard wings. I wept, Alex.
ALEXANDRA: Exactly like that. And when a single mother of five kids is talking on NPR about how they’re going to be evicted on the 20th but she knows she’ll find them a new place somehow despite the shelters all being full because it’s so cold and her children understand they’re making sacrifices because having a home is more important than having a Christmas? I’m going to listen. I’m going to be a better witness. I’m going to suppress the urge to change the station…
MICHAEL: Changing the station might actually make you more uncomfortable. You were pretty upset the last time we listened to the oldies station and they played Chumbawumba.
ALEXANDRA: THEY CALLED IT A CLASSIC, MICHAEL. Generation Z doesn’t know SHIT about music.
MICHAEL: So. Resolutions. We’re really doing this?
MICHAEL: Then I’m going to do the RBG workout three days a week.
ALEXANDRA: You don’t want to aim a little higher?
MICHAEL: Frankly, Alex, I’m already plenty uncomfortable here in 2017 with your thinly-veiled ageism. I want to keep my goals attainable, okay?
ALEXANDRA: With a modified-for-beginners workout designed for an octogenarian?
MICHAEL: I said THREE days a week. RBG only does two. Besides, did you READ the intro to that book? The trainer says even “young thundercats” get winded doing it. I’m a young Thundercat. When my facial hair is on point I’m practically a double of Lion-O.
ALEXANDRA: Pretty sure you’re thinking of Snarf. Also, I seriously doubt there’s a single Gen Z who knows about the Thundercats despite Cheetara being a fairly decent feminist model.
MICHAEL: In his book review, that Elle writer said it took him ninety minutes to get through the exercises. RBG does it in under 60. AND she does planks. And…
ALEXANDRA: I’ll do it with you.
MICHAEL: Like…IT it? I know your love for Ruth is ferocious but I did not anticipate you becoming aroused at the mere mention of the boniest Supreme flexing.
ALEXANDRA: NO, Michael. Not IT it. I’m talking about the workout. I’ll do the workout with you.
MICHAEL: Oh. You will? You’re desperate to find a reason to wear that dissent collar I made for you during the leather working sessions at Adult Day Camp last summer, aren’t you?
ALEXANDRA: I was trying so hard to not make a resolution about losing weight because then I’d have to make another resolution about accepting myself for NOT losing any weight balanced with yet another resolution to enjoy life more because time is fleeting and sometimes enjoying means eating because there are few experiences more enjoyable than eating a fresh strawberry dipped in real whipped cream but GOOD LUCK GROWING STRAWBERRIES DURING NUCLEAR WINTER SO DENY YOURSELF NOTHING. Plus it wouldn’t hurt to have more stamina should we have to flee to a refugee camp in Canada. For the most part, though, I plan to donate my workout.
MICHAEL: What? I was distracted by talk of whipped cream for a moment there. And did you say something about stamina, too? I like where this is going…
ALEXANDRA: Focus, Michael. If I follow her regimen, maybe I can send all that life energy to RBG somehow, to keep her alive indefinitely. Like when little kids clap to keep Tinkerbell alive? Except I’ll be bench pressing in order to keep the most magical of magistrates on THE bench.
MICHAEL: Ruth isn’t much bigger than Tinkerbell. Surely we’ll produce a surplus. Where will you send that?
ALEXANDRA: To the same person every red-blooded, patriotic American should! To the leader of the Free World, of course. Angela Merkel.