Happy New Year!
No, you don’t need to come to my house and check my calendars. It just so happens that I have my own fiscal year, which is divided into three pieces instead of the traditional seasons or 12 months. That may sound confusing, but I feel it follows the rhythm of our lives better than old model, which was invented by the Romans before they became obsessed with soccer, Sophia Loren and canolis.
The year (and first season) starts on Labor Day. This is the unofficial end of summer, as kids go back to school …. Or used to. This is the pennant drive in baseball. Angel fans may be forgiven not being familiar with that. While the stores are stocked at this point with Halloween candy, costumes and decorations, Retail America really has its eye on the Christmas season.
(Note to sensitive readers: Christmas is a religious holiday, but it is also a cultural observance. So when I refer to Christmas-time, I’m not intending to exclude anyone. I’m referring, instead, to a time of peace on Earth, goodwill toward men. And crowds at the Target store).
So you start with The ‘Ber Months (pronounced Brrrrrr), and they run from Labor Day to the Super Bowl in February. I realize that we don’t get much actual “brrrrr” during September and October, but all of that is a run-up to the holidays, right? It’s at least the addition of five more pounds.
Super Bowl to Memorial Day is Second Chance, in which you try a diet, attempt to revitalize your lawn, clean out closets and then say, “Aw, shucks, I’ll do it later.”
Memorial Day weekend leads us to True Summer, with school being out, suntans coming in and the arguments about fireworks all the time, since some people seem to think that Independence Day is actually Independence Fortnight And Then Some.
So, consonant with My New Year starting next Monday, here are some of my Resolutions and Hopes:
- Regardless of the outcome of the election, please have Stephen Colbert talk about something other than politics. In fact, all of us … please talk about something other than politics.
- Bring back fruitcake! People may make fun of its concrete texture and weird components, but if you want something that’s a) full of memories and b) lasts at least as long as your memories do, this confection is the one to do it. Also serves as an excellent home defense weapon when thrown.
- We’ve all been so isolated these past few months because of the coronavirus pandemic. This will be a good time … soon, we hope … to reconnect with family members, old school pals and army (or navy or marine or air force or coast guard) buddies. We’ve all been separated for so long, it will be a thrill to rekindle an old relationship, and even – assuming you’re single – heat up an old flame.
- Talk less. Listen more.
That’s a start, anyway. Look forward to seeing you at a Real New Year’s Eve Party on Sept. 7. May old acquaintances have new life.
Jim Tortolano’s Retorts column is posted on Wednesdays. It’s almost as old as he is.