By Perry Terrell
The very first day of last year Celia wrote down five resolutions that she was bound and determined to keep.
Number one was to lose weight. She has two closets full of clothes and cannot wear over ten pieces. She has to keep washing and wearing those same ten pieces of clothing over and over again. Sometime, when she is in a hurry, they don’t get washed; and she stays self-conscious while around people hoping her clothes are not smelling.
Those ten pieces of clothing are the ones for her to wear out on errands and to work.
She has mumus, over sized lounge dresses and sleeping gowns to wear around the house, but she would not be caught dead in public in those worn and faded things.
Well, anyway, she cut down on the amount of food she was eating and bought lots of salad ingredients. At least, she had resolved to cut down.
It was mid-day, January 1st and she was on her way home from grocery shopping. She had to pass two burger restaurants and three pizza places. As she passed those places with the window down in her car, she could smell the aroma wafting in the air and filling her nostrils. But she headed on home.
She was late getting up and had not eaten breakfast which was a bad start already.
Celia made it back home with all those fast food places on her mind and was proud of herself for not stopping. She was really motivated to start her diet and eat a nice healthy salad.
She was so happy in her kitchen putting her diet food away and planning her first diet meal.
She started with a Cobb Salad. That was a good name for a salad and it sounded official. Celia was on a roll putting her Cobb Salad together and listening to Boogie Woogie music on YouTube.
All the ingredients were there in her kitchen because she Googled what was needed to make it right. A tad expensive, but in line with her resolution.
There were about ten or more Cobb Salad recipes on the internet, but Celia chose the one with less ingredients and all of the foods she loved anyway. That put a smile on her face which meant to her that this dieting thing was no grizzly bear. It was going to be easy. She couldn’t understand how people go off their diets and cheat on their diets.
Her Cobb Salad called for 6 slices of bacon, 3 eggs, 1 head of iceberg shredded lettuce, 3 cups of chopped cooked chicken meat, 2 tomatoes seeded and chopped, ¾ cup of crumbled blue cheese, 1 peeled avocado pitted and diced, 3 green chopped onions and 1 (8 ounce) bottle of Ranch-style salad dressing. At least, that is what Google said.
She usually never bought blue cheese and avocados that needed to be pitted, but she was excited with her new culinary adventure and danced along with her YouTube music while she prepared her first exciting diet meal.
There were five steps in the directions for preparing the salad, but she already knew how to boil eggs, cook bacon and her chicken was already cooked. It was one of those birds that you see under the heat lamp near the meat department in the grocery store.
Our girl finished preparing her Cobb Salad. It was huge, but that was just fine. Luckily she had a rectangular bowl that she had bought at a yard sale and it came in handy. She knew it would one day. This was her first time using it even though it looked like a trough.
Being proud of herself and her salad, she turned from the Boogie Woogie music and finally decided to binge watch a British show that she had been procrastinating about. Murder mysteries and really good whodunnits were her forte. She enjoyed trying to guess the culprit.
Celia sat in front of her television and put her trough filled with salad in front of her on the coffee table.
She found her show and began to watch and eat.
A little over halfway of the second episode, the salad was gone. Then she took a spatula, cleared out the salad residue left and licked it off. Usually a good direct licking would be in order, but her salad trough was a tad too deep. But the spatula worked just fine.
She was so full that she passed out just as the second episode was getting to the whodunnit conclusion.
What Celia didn’t realize was that the Cobb Salad she made was for six people. She didn’t pay enough attention to where it showed how to decrease and increase the counter to tailor the ingredients for a certain number of people. In her case, one.
When she woke up, she waddled back into her kitchen and noticed that she did not have enough ingredients left for a second salad. Her food budget was blown and she didn’t have enough money to go grocery shopping again until next payday which was in two weeks.
Feeling sick to her stomach, she realized that she had overdosed on Cobb Salad and that was the end of that. After three bottles of Pepto Bismol and 72 chewable Tums, which was the whole bottle, she gave up.
Well, the second thing on her resolution list was to exercise more. After a week of trying to survive that Cobb Salad overdose, she went out and joined the local gym. They were running a commercial where you pay a quarter to join and it would only be $10.00 per month thereafter with a $49.99 fee in November. She didn’t understand that $49.99 November fee, but since it was January, she said she would cross that bridge in November.
She had seen an exercising fitness show on television where the woman said, “You can eat anything you want as long as you exercise.” She decided that was going to work for her.
After waiting for payday to buy some exercise clothing, she went to the gym every day for a week. February was a good month for her. Motivation and determination was reigning high. Celia was energized and feeling good the whole week.
She had to work late during the second week of February, so she did not exercise any more that month. When she would get home, she was too tired to redress and go out again and it was too late to go the gym anyway by the time she would settle down.
March, April and May rolled around and she was still paying the $10.00 per month while not exercising. So the last week of May, she forced herself to go to the gym one more time then cancel her membership. Besides, she didn’t lose any weight that first week anyway; and going to the gym was like going to another job.
Celia looked at her resolution list again. It was June. Half the year was gone and she had not contacted any of her old school mates nor relatives from back home. The third thing on her list was to get back in touch with family and friends. That hadn’t happened, so she crossed it off.
The fourth and fifth items on her list were to stop smoking and to stop drinking. Well, better late than never, she thought.
Her liquor and cigarettes were all opened and it would have been too tacky to give it to someone unless it was a bum. Since she was not going out to find a bum, she just poured the liquor down the drain and broke the cigarettes in pieces.
She had six months to go to be successful at something she had resolved to do. “I got this,” she kept telling herself.
Well, the holidays started in with the Fourth of July block party down the street. The whole neighborhood was invited and she couldn’t miss that.
She told herself that after this block party, she would start her no smoking and no drinking regime. “That’s easy to do,” she said. “I just won’t buy any liquor and cigarettes. That stuff is expensive anyway and I will save a lot of money for Christmas.”
Last Christmas she had bought this $300.00 pants suit that she was going to wear for New Year’s Eve. It was a full size to small, but she just knew that in a whole year, she would be small enough to step out in it at the New Year’s Eve office party and impress everybody.
She drank and smoked at the July block party and for a week after that then quit cold turkey.
August was an easy month to sail through because nothing exciting happened. She thought about dieting and exercising but figured that no smoking and drinking would help with the weight loss.
She sailed through August and convinced herself that she was losing weight.
September started holidays again. She was invited to a couple of Labor Day cookouts and went to both. Food, liquor and smoking was everywhere and all day. So she participated. Her friends insisted that she take food home which was mostly cake, pies and liquor.
Therefore, September, October, November and December were busts. Holidays and parties galore.
Christmas came and went. It was New Year’s Eve. And, yes, Celia was invited to the party her employer was giving in the Grand Ball Room at the Marsdon Hotel. How exciting, she thought.
The excitement was building all day at work and all of the workers in her department had started the celebration right after work in the bar across the street from the office. Yes, yes, there was drinking, smoking and food. She didn’t get home until 9:30 p.m. and the New Year’s party started at 10:00 p.m.
Celia looked at the time and pulled out her pants suit that she was saving for just this occasion. Her shower was short and quick.
She attempted to put on her new pants suit and it didn’t fit. The jacket was much to small and the pants looked like leotards on her.
She was almost devastated until she looked in the mirror and saw that not only she was bigger than she was in January, she realized that she was drunk and had a cigarette hanging out of her mouth.
She sat on the side of her bed, closed her eyes and laid back.
When she woke up around noon, January 1st this year, she pulled out last year’s resolutions and told herself, “I’m going to lose weight, exercise, get back in touch with friends and family, stop smoking and stop drinking. I got this.”