My Default Mode? Guilt, 24/7

So Much for New Year's Resolutions

Default Mode: guilt

Most people are flexing their New Year’s Resolutions muscle. Not me. I’m already stuck in my default mode: guilt!

Here are just three (of the many) things I feel guilty about:

Default Mode: Guilt — I fear I’m a closet “sexist.”

As soon as I could reach the kitchen sink, my mother forced me to polish the silverware and her prized silver tea set. I hated the stinky polish and the scalding hot water. I begged to be relieved of this task each time she ordered me to “polish or perish” but to no avail.

Still, at age 69, I am a world-class silver polisher — arthritic fingers be damned! Why, when I take out the Haggarty polish and my special sponge, the terrified tarnish practically vanishes on its own, makes a run for the hills sooner than face my scrubbing-rubbing wrath!

Still, for all my polishing panache, did I require my son to polish the silver? Did I mandate he scald his fingers and break his back standing over the sink to polish the silver he will one day inherit? No.

I used to think it was because I was kind, saving my precious child from this hated, tedious task. Now, however, I realize that deep in my heart I always believed the task was “women’s work,” not appropriate for a boy to do. Instead, I required him to take out the garbage and attend to other “guy” chores.

Of course, come the day he does inherit all the silver, he’ll have to polish it anyway. So, all I accomplished was to save him a few decades of pain and simultaneously leave him bereft of skills, ill-equipped to face an ugly, tarnished-filled future.

Default Mode: Guilt — All talk. No action.

Last year I vowed to be kinder and more patient. Just ask Handsome Hubby how much progress I made on that resolution! Better yet, please don’t.

Each day I try anew to honor this goal. Each day I fail.

Just yesterday, I was at the drugstore. The pharmacist and I were reviewing a new prescription. On the counter was a bunch of flowers I was buying. An older woman behind me interrupted, joking about how pharmacies should give out flowers to make customers feel better because of the high cost of medicine. She went on and on and ON.

Meanwhile, other customers were waiting, and, of course, I was impatient to finish my PRIVATE conversation with the pharmacist. She finally stepped away. The pharmacist sighed. I sighed. Then, 27 seconds later, she was back, yakking up a storm again.

It was too much. I shot her a nasty look. She got the message and walked away; shoulders slumped. Snarky me didn’t feel so proud. What had I accomplished? How much time had I saved at the expense of a woman’s hurt feelings?

Default Mode: Guilt — Sins of the Flesh!

Yes, I commit sins of the flesh. No, not sexual, but culinary. (Mind out of the gutter if you please!)

I love meat. Red meat. Crave it. So, please, skip the farro. Pass the filet mignon.

Yes, I know it’s bad for the body. Bad for the planet. But, oh, baby, it’s oh, so yummy. So, despite my repeated vows to cut back on my beefy ways, I sin multiple times each week on burgers and steak.

Guilty as Charged!

Yes, three days into 2024 and I’m already a resolute sinner. Oh, no! Now I feel guilty about feeling guilty! Oh well!


Here’s hoping your New Year is happy, healthy, guilt-free, and filled with humor!
Muddle On!


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