I know this much is really, really true


Once again, the birthday fairy has smacked — um, tapped — me on the shoulder. I thought I heard her whisper, “Another year, my dear. Use more eye makeup.” I blew out the candles, which, frankly, looked more like a pyre than a pistachio nut cake, and I meditated on the moment. According to “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the movie upon which I base all life decisions, “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings.” I wonder what the rules are for birthday fairies.

My birthday coincides with spring and Easter and Passover and eggs and lamb and parsley and gefilte fish and all the things that make us think of renewal and rebirth. After a savage winter, the promise of summer days pops up with the crocuses. I look to the year ahead and find myself challenged by the universal human dilemma: I can’t predict the future.

I have no way of knowing what joys and sorrows hide around the next bend; I cannot know what I will do or where I will go or how my luck will run. Lacking the gift of foresight, and desperately seeking some modicum of control, I can only affirm confidently and unequivocally what I will absolutely not do in the coming year. No matter what.

I scanned the headlines for coming trends and breaking news and came up with several items for my not-to-do list.

For example, despite the recent hype and media fervor for the style, I will not grow a beard. Well, that isn’t technically true. But if I do, I will nip it in the bud. Apparently beards are big, and everyone from the White House spokesman to George Clooney is flaunting new growth. I’m a bold woman, but I don’t think the world is ready for women with beards in prime time.

I will not be dating Vladimir Putin now that he and Lyudmila have finalized their divorce, according to Huffington News. First of all, Vlad must be losing his touch. “Finalized their divorce”? Is that a euphemism for, they found her teeth in the backyard? You don’t divorce Vladimir Putin; therefore you don’t marry him; therefore you don’t date him. And, of course I am married, although I imagine that wouldn’t be a problem for Vlad if he were interested in an American grandma.

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