Photo by Mipsy Retro (Flickr CC)
The cynics claim that New Year's resolutions are a crock that serve only to annually remind you of your self-instilled obstacle course to failure. However me and Mark Zuckerberg think differently. And you should join us winners. Mark's resolutions have been to learn Mandarin and to pen thank-you cards of gratitude every single day. Not only has he succeeded in both of those noble goals, as of last year, I have now mastered the art of fish tail braids.
On a whole Germans are pretty down with seasonal rituals of cleansing, recalibrating etc; wishing each other Gute Vorsätze, soon frühlingsschlank etc. Berliners, however – when faced with the penance of deposing all debauchery: including (but limited to) sobriety, detoxes, cleaning out the cellar and filing taxes – frame the otherwise virtuous month of January with the existential question: should I kill myself or have a cup of coffee?
In case you're lacking some inspiration for New Year's resolutions, let me share mine with you, so that in approximately two weeks I can attribute my failure to achieve any of them to this sacrilegious public disclosure of resolutions:
Speak German in Bed:
This has always been my intention because I do in fact LOVE German men and I LOVE when they speak German to me in bed – the novelty will never wear off. No I do not have a persecution complex. Despite speaking German at work, at home and even at the shrink, English is almost always the lingua franca of my romantic encounters. Perhaps I want my mother tongue to reign with power and to feel my ego inflate with their tiny grammatical mistakes? Or is it that German men will never pass up the opportunity to show off how good their English is to an Anglo lass? I have an unsolicited sext on my phone that reads 'Wann darf ich dir stoßen?' which my German girlfriends find understandably repulsive but I have most enjoyed being titillated with all the variations and possibilities of the verb 'stoßen' because German still sounds that sexy to me. Allerdings, English in bed is coming to an end this year!
I am almost the only person I know in Berlin who takes taxis, and I manage to make up for all the taxis that my friends don't take as well. I come from a place where taxis are an essential addition to the public transport system and if you want to have a social life that extends past midnight, taxis just have to be factored into the night. What is not to love about taking taxis? They come right to your door, take you exactly where you want to go whilst pumping music you would be too ashamed to enjoy anywhere else and seven out of 10 times the taxi driver hits on you, which is probably why I like it so much.
Go to all the fucking museums/galleries, even the ones I've been avoiding:
Serious confession: I've never been inside the Pergamon Museum, despite having studied classics and generally projecting myself a woman of the world. As of last year, the Pergamon's doors will stay closed for FIVE YEARS of renovations. After years of five years of putting it off, they're giving me five years to kick myself. I don't even know if I'll live that long. When my mother visited Berlin, out of shame I lied to her that I'd already been to the Pergamon Museum – I lied about Ancient Greece, the cradle of civilisation... who does that?! I know you haven't visited them all either, stop putting it off. To the Gemäldegalerie, and step on it!
No daytime drinking:
Glühwein season is over. The cold eliminates excuses for a sunny bottle of sekt in the park or beers on the canal – occasions of which are not exchangeable for a cheeky Pfeffi on your break from work or margaritas at 3pm on a Tuesday. Let's all have sobering Rooibos tea while I patiently await Spargelzeit for the chance to glug down two glasses of riesling at lunch. Only 95 days, but who's counting.
In fact NO DRINKING at for all of January:
Pouring myself and a companion glasses of my very favourite plonk Le Compliment Rosé, I share some newly acquired knowledge on the nature of addiction:
“You know that real alcoholics aren't even allowed to drink wine juice.”
“Wine juice?” her eyebrow raises.
“I mean, they can't even drink grape juice...”
Time for someone to put down the wine juice and dry out for an annual cleanse of mind, body and spirit. Wish me luck, dear readers! Gesundes neues Jahr! And remember to always use condoms, unless they're really hot!
REMEMBER: Don't believe the hype: the only therapy that actually works is retail therapy.