The Little Things

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? If you do, you may already be thinking about them, at least a little. I don’t tend to make strict ones but throughout the year, I do try to improve. I notice it’s the little things that kill.

Take the preparation and display of Thanksgiving cranberry sauce.

A few years ago, as a small part of my contribution to dinner, I brought jellied cranberry sauce. Of course, everyone knows that you must slice the cranberry sauce so it appears in rounds and then you serve it in an oblong dish. Everyone, of course, receives such an oblong dish as a wedding gift. This dish is used to serve cranberry sauce. Sliced into rounds. We do not know of or speak of whatever population would consider the purchase or consumption of the glop that is known as whole berry cranberry sauce. We have never met such an individual, though we would welcome such a poor, wretched, misguided soul to our Thanksgiving table.

While I was not looking, one of my aunts MUTILATED THE CRANBERRY SAUCE. She cut it into IRREGULARLY-SHAPED RECTANGLES and put it into a BOWL! And she did this happily, as if this were a perfectly normal procedure. When I asked about this horror of horrors (trying to refrain from expressing my outrage and puzzlement), she said her mother had always done this! I considered this development astounding. Hadn’t her mother received an oblong dish for her very own jellied cranberry sauce? But alas and alack, apparently both women had somehow managed to live productive and peaceful lives, unaware that butchered is the ENTIRELY WRONG way to serve cranberry sauce. MY mother, who was also in attendance, had always served cranberry sauce the CORRECT way. When questioned later, I discovered that she was unaware of this atrocity in time to stop it, so we all had to live with maimed cranberry sauce that year, known henceforth as THE THANKSGIVING TRAGEDY.

Have you ever caught yourself feeling this put out over something so insignificant? If you’re like most of us, I have a feeling you probably have. I’d say if you do make New Year’s resolutions, now is a good time to throw out things that aren’t working for you, and those things are the splinters. (Notice my expectations, assumptions, and just plain silliness.) Let’s all get out the tweezers and rid ourselves of these little pains that could threaten our relationships.

Oh, and as an aside? I don’t even like or eat cranberry sauce.

Your turn:

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions?

Do you have any splinters you’d like to get rid of?

What splinters do your characters have?

How do you think your writing path will change this year, if at all?

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