A holiday column fit for the times

Roxanne Sadovsky

Happy New Year to all! Welcome to 2003! Year of the goat. Forgive this chain column, as the New Year is very busy. Speaking of which, before I begin, allow me to thank you all for the lovely e-mails this holiday season. Were I not the busy bee that I am, I would write to each and every one of you personally to thank you for all the news in your lives – the summer trips to Tahiti, the delayed plane on the way there, the tragedies, losses, gains, graduations, weddings, grants, break-ups, diaper rashes, your cousins going off of Prozac, etc. I am so glad to hear that so many of you are organ donors.

Of course I dearly empathize with all the sorrows as well. Sorry about the relapses, the bad hair days, the lingering in-laws, the mismatched wallpaper, the bad luck at Vegas. On the upside, I am proud to say I only counted four nervous breakdowns this year. Many of you think the Mall of America is in trouble. Two of you think Los Angeles is going into the ocean this year. Oh, and congratulations to those of you who were right about Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Sorry to those who lost, again, on Michael Jackson. Boy howdy, it sure sounds like you have all been quite busy.

Were I not knocking myself out day and night to get this degree, I would hand-knit each and every one of you a letter of thanks. Speaking of which, kudos for all the volunteer work you have done this year. The world is surely a much better place now that you have helped some unfortunate folks who are down on their luck. I am sure they appreciate you stopping by to teach them the value of making lanyards. I am sure they appreciate it even more than your own family members who are trying to get some stranger to voluntarily help him or her get over the divorce, loss, death, stock market, etc., because you do not, understandably, have time for them. Ever wonder who volunteers for volunteers?

Moving right along, thanks for including me in your “send-to-all” e-mail list. Thanks to that list, I am now receiving even more e-mail petitions, panty chain letters, “take-your-vibrator-to-work-day” jokes, and invitations to online cocktail parties. Gosh, if I wasn’t so busy working at my office at Microsoft Word, I’d have a whole cyber host of friends. But, as you know, it takes a lot of time to get some online, especially when you have to weed out all the wackos before you actually go through the torture of meeting them in person. Serves me right, I guess, for trying to download a date.

Anyway, just to let all of you know, I’m doing fine. As many of you rightly deduced, yup, it’s cold here. You’re right. The Midwest is cold. And yes, as many of you guessed, I am “catching” the Aaaaayeah-cent. Yah. Sure. You betcha. It’s true; they really do talk like that. They also refer to parking lots as ramps.

I guess the biggest news to report is that I tried lutefisk. It was okay, kind of slimy though. But the nice man who gave it to us took us on a tour of the plant and showed us how they soak the poor cod in lye before it gets bleached white – for the clean look. I also ate a hot dish and you can get just about anything on-a-stick.

I sure am busy, though. In addition to working and teaching and studying full time, I also decided to try yoga, crochet, swing dancing, spinning, ice fishing, and collecting Pyrex and yeah, I am an official subscriber to National Public Radio. I guess that makes me an adult, huh? Other than that, I am happy as a clambake.

The only things I am really missing are the superfluous details, the messy experiences that supposedly lurk beneath the nice narrative of my life. Yeah, love. But that will end soon. Next week I am going to try this new thing called Mega-Speed Dating. Instead of taking a whole seven minutes to get acquainted, you meet at the club and run one lap with each “contender” (their term, not mine); supposedly, you know you have found your match if you run the same pace. Isn’t that genius? We’ve come so far as a society.

Remember life before e-mail? We really didn’t know each other at all back then, did we? We wasted all that time lingering over meals and finding out what we liked most about summer or seeing how long we could get the saltshaker to balance on one grain of salt.

It’s kind of fun to be a superhuman, actually. I am learning to be efficient and strong, only a point-and-click away from success.

For the New Year, many of you have resolved to lose something or another, be it clutter or pounds. I, for one, plan to keep going. The more I do, the busier I am, the more chance I will have of becoming famous and bidding adieu to the inefficient leftovers of my pre-collegiate years. In fact, soon the stillborn shadow of yesterday will melt away with the winter’s end, and with it bring the birth of a new improved lakeside reflection.

You’d all be so proud; you’d hardly even recognize me.

Roxanne Sadovsky’s columns appear alternate Thursdays. She welcomes comments at [email protected] Send letters to the editor to [email protected]