By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
New Year’s retribution
Jase Graves

Unlike most years, I decided to start 2021 with a few resolutions that I hope will make me a better husband, father and member of the dude denomination. I also realize that I’m likely to break these resolutions within the next few minutes. But at least I can say I’m flexible and open to change.

First, with the COVID-19 pandemic still raging, I resolve to refrain from yelling, ”Whoomp! (There It Is)” and doing my best “U Can’t Touch This” shuffle in Walmart when I happen upon a fully-stocked shelf of Lysol disinfectant spray. (I’m afraid I can’t promise the same when I reach the Velveeta aisle.)

I also resolve to stop wasting valuable mask-filtered oxygen to ask, “How much?” when my eldest and most expensive daughter wants to use my credit card for life necessities like iPhone accessories, designer mom jeans and specialty coffee beverages. I’ve found it’s just easier to nod my head and continue to push back my retirement date.

Speaking of pointless speaking, I resolve to cut down on the verbal sarcasm and critical comments at home when I step in a fresh pet accident, notice what one of my three teen daughters is planning to wear in public or watch more than ten minutes of CNN. It’s just not productive to impose all of that vocal negativity on my family, so I plan to redirect my frustrations into learning something new, like advanced miming or interpretive charades.

For the sake of better mental health, I resolve to stop worrying so much when my middle daughter is on a date with her current boyfriend. I’ll just reflect back to when I was a sixteen-year-old boy and . . . oh, dear Lord!

One of my most important resolutions is to finish reading the Bible all the way through. (Hey, that wasn’t supposed to be funny.) This is actually a project I started in 2020 by reading one chapter each evening before bed, except for a few nights when I had a large Mexican dinner or took a king-sized dose of NyQuil. I’ve discovered quite a lot through this process, but I had hoped by now to have figured out whether or not Adam and Eve had bellybuttons, and how Jesus and his twelve disciples ever came to an agreement about where to go eat. 

Like many Americans, I’ve resolved to make a few dietary changes in 2021 - namely to avoid binge-snacking before supper. In the past, I’ve been known to come home from work and plow through an entire sleeve of Girl Scout cookies as an appetizer for half a can of Pringles - ok, the whole can. This year, I plan to pace myself by snacking throughout the entire day. I call it “The Hobbit Diet.” Second breakfast, anyone?

Finally, I resolve to be more positive about wearing those uncomfortable, unattractive and inconvenient face coverings. I realize we likely have several more months of public mask wearing, so I’ve decided to pretend to be a Mandalorian and consider my mask a sacred symbol of honor among my people - even if inhaling my own Taco Bell breath is enough to make Baby Yoda gag.

Well, there you have it! Even though 2021 has started out acting like 2020’s annoying little brother, I’m confident that with enough willpower, prayer and NyQuil, I can keep a significant number of these resolutions - at least until my next trip to Walmart.

Graves is an award-winning humor columnist from East Texas. Contact Graves at